Skyline 2006

Stretton Skyline 19 Mile Fell

Church Stretton


The anniversary race enjoyed a good entry which was up on previous years, despite the Peris Horseshoe (a British champs counter) being held the day before. Overall the quality of the field may have been slightly down because of this, but it didn’t stop Michael James of Shrewsbury AC setting the 3rd fastest time ever on the course, with the other two times both set way back in ’86, & running 6 minutes faster than last year despite heavily blistered feet. Conditions were good for the race with a mixture of light drizzle & bright sunshine throughout the day.

Michael James lead from the start sprinting away from the field on the road leading up the scenic Carding mill Valley & then coming home some 18minutes in front of second placed man Simon Wurr from Thames Hare & Hounds. The Thames club bringing a good representation from the south to take the men’s team prize with local club Shrewsbury AC close behind in second. The Women’s race was a similar story to that of the men’s with last year’s winner & course record holder Ruth Pickvance winning by some 15minutes from Penny Priest of Ludlow Runners. The women’s team award went to Mercia fell runners with good performances from Julie Cowlie & Rachael Bollom.

Thank you to all the Marshals who helped on the day & also to Graham Kelcher who made the kind donation of £100 towards the race which went towards supplying the goody-bags at the finish.

86 started, 76 finishers

Andy Smith

New England international Mike James was an impressive winner of the 25th Stretton Skyline Fell Race. The Shrewsbury AC runner recorded the third fastest time ever in the Telford AC promotion, covering the 19 mile course six minutes quicker than his winning time last year.

Having recovered from a back injury he sustained during his first international appearance for England in the World Fell Running Championships in Turkey the previous weekend, James  finished in 2.20.20.

The 28-year-old from Ditherington, led the Shrewsbury AC team to take the team race with Ian Hughes fifth in 2.44.58 and Juan Castille 14th in 3.08.30. Mike , who has retained his Shropshire Summer Fell Running Series title, set off like a man on a mission as he established an early lead up the picturesque Cardingmill Valley.

He led by three minutes by Pole Bank summit - at 1,693 feet the highest point on the course.

That had grown to four minutes by Ragleth, six by Caer Caradoc, eight by Lawley and an amazing 18 minutes by the finish back in Church Stretton.

Although winning in fine style, he was still some three minutes outside the course record which was set by Ken West in 1986 - but he is determined to come back next year to attempt to take the record.

Simon Wurr, a geography teacher who runs for Thames Hare & Hounds, was second in 2.38.18 with his team mate Nick Malynn next in 2.41.29.

Stourbridge’s Matt Giles was fourth (2.43.35), Church Stretton’s Ian Hughes was fifth in 2.44.58.

Telford AC’s Simon Daws from Ironbridge was the first veteran home in 2.53.27, 17 minutes quicker than last year. Ruth Pickvance from Cardiff, who set a new women’s course record in 2005 when winning in 2.46.42, won again but in a slower time of 3.00.06.

Penny Priest from Ludlow Runners, was second in 3.15.45, with Julie Cowlie of Mercia Fell Runners 3rd in 3.21.12.

By Paul Sanderson