Cracker 2007

Over 200 hundred hardy fell runnners managed to finish the 20th Cardington Cracker 9 miles Fell Race on Sunday, organised by Telford Athletic Club. The 3rd race in the Shropshire Fell Running Series the Cardington Cracker starts and finishes in the village of Cardington near Church stretton.

Finishers - Andrew Davies (Mercia) 3rd, Tim Werrett (Mercia) 4th,

Winner Lloyd Taggert (Dark Peak Fell Runners) and second, Tom Owens (Mercia)

Heavy overnight rain made it very wet underfoot and strong winds during the day, added up to very difficult running conditions. The strong winds were especially difficult on the high ground of the Lawley and Caer Caradoc where runners found it hard to avoid being blown over. Despite this Helen Fines from Bristol who runs for the Calder Valley Fell Runners in Yorkshire still managed to set a new womens record. She was 4th in last years English Fell Running Championships and finished in 1 hour 24 minutes and 15 seconds.Second last year, she managed to run 5 minutes quicker and break the previous record by 1 minute 13 seconds.

Jackie Lee from Eryri was second in 1.25.30 ans Shrewsbury's Anna Bartlett was third in 1.28.47 almost two minutes quicker than her previous best and some 4 minutes quicker than when she won the race 3 years ago. Andrea Roberts from Eryri was 4th, 1.32.14 and previous course record holder Polly Gibb from Ironbridge was 5th in 1.34.07. Other leading local finishers were Julie Cowley who was 8th and 2nd over 40 in 1.39.40, Rachel Bollom from Shrewsbury was 12th in 1.41.44 just ahead of Oswestry's Alison Tickner 13th in 1.42.04.

Telford Ac's LIsa Garside was 14th in 1.42.12with Shropshire Shufflers Val Swingler 15th in 1.42.35. Suzy Pyne from Shropshire Shufflers in her first fell race was 17th and 2nd over 45 in 1.48.22 with Oswestry's Jackie Jarvis 18th in 1.53.22. Gill Harris from Wall under Heywood was 20th overall but the second over 50 in 1.57.53, just ahead of the Telford Harrier pair of Davina Cooke 1.58.47 and Jean Turner 1.58.48 in 21st and 22nd.

Lloyd Taggert (Dark Peak Fell Runners) leads at Comley

The mens race was won by one of the top British Fell Runners Lloyd Taggart from Buxton, Derbyshire who runs for Dark Peak Fell Runners. Lloyd making his debut in the race was 4th in last years British Championships and 3rd in the English Championships.Although new to the area he had done a route recce the previous week end and set off in determined style quickly establishing an early lead. He was never headed as he gradually moved further away from what was a very good quality field, with unusually only 3 veterans making the top 20.He came home almost two minutes clear in 1.10.53 just over a minute outside the course record set by Tim Davies last year. Tom Owens from Mercia who had finished 21st the previous day in the Birmingham Cross Country League was second in 1.12.44. Andi Davies, from Forden near Welshpool, who had also been busy the previous day playing 90 minutes for Welsh Premier League side Caersws in a 2 - 2 draw, finished 3rd in 1.14.48.

Leading local finishers were led home by Mark Bollom, for Mercia who finished 9th in 1.21.04 2 minutes quicker than last year. Shrewsbury's ever improving Peter Ball was 10th in 1.21.33 whilst Andy Yapp from Snailbeach was 13th and 2nd over 40 in 1.22.23. Juan Castillo from Shrewsbury AC was 17th in 1.23.53 just ahead of Andrew Primrose from Ditton Priors in 18th, 1.24.07. Ed Davies, 3rd placed Andi's father was 20th and first over 50 in 1.24.42 whilst Colin Lancaster from Little Stretton was the first over 45 in 1.25.28. Henry Thomas from Bridgnorth was 27th in 1.26.34, with Simon Daws from Ironbridge the second over 50 in 28th overall in 1.26.39 and Telford Hararier's Nick Thomas completed the top 30 in 1.26.46.

Paul Sanderson

Andrea Roberts (Eryrl) climbs Comley. She finished fourth.

At the finish, winner of over 50s Vets Ed Davies

Simon Daws (Telford) finishes...

Lady finishers, Anna Bartlett (Shrewsbury) 3rd,

winner Helen Fines (Caulderdale Fell Runners) and Jackie Lee (ERyrl) came 2nd.