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2013 report

Andy Robinson, event organiser

Up at 4:45 and at the Community Centre bleary-eyed at 5:30 to unlock it, and we were off.  Poor weather forecast, coaches overbooked, and lots of last year's marshals and helpers unavailable for one reason or another, but should I have worried?  No, of course not.  Everything seemed to go really well this year.  We even had toilets available to use in Whitchurch, which was one up on last year.

Registration went OK: a bit of queuing, but not enough to delay boarding the coaches.  A quick "welcome" address to each coach, then off south to Shropshire.  Was it raining?  No it wasn't.  We started on time, without leaving anyone behind in Tesco's toilets this year, and that's the last I saw of any of you until you'd walked or run 33 miles, and staggered in though the door of the hall at the finish.  OK you had a bit of rain, and a bit of hail, and a bit of wind, but it wasn't too bad at all really.  Mind you, I bet one or two of the people on the checkpoints got a bit cold.

205 started out from Whitchurch, and 187 made it to the finish.  That's 3 more than last year.  We had more no-shows this year though, I imagine because of the poor weather forecast - more fool them eh?  First in was Dave Douglas in 4:51, 20 minutes faster than his 7th place last year.  First lady home was Jessica Lovell in 5:39, with Steve Nash coming in shortly afterwards in 5:48 to win the MV50 category.  Anne Wade was first lady over 50 for the second year running in 6:34.  Our own Ian Hilditch beat his own V70 record in a time of 8:50, which was the only record to be broken on the day.  Well done to all of them, but also to all of you who finished.  A long way isn't it?  I mustn't forget to mention Karen Nash's record-breaking FV50 run the week before either, taking over 40 minutes off the previous record.

We had two new things going on at the finish.  The first was a lot of new kitchen helpers: First Helsby Scouts.  Weren't they good workers?  The second was the sports massage service provided free by Paul McAvoy of Myokinetics and his colleagues.  They worked so hard for hour after hour, and appeared to eat nothing and drink only water.  Not sure how they did that...  Many thanks are due to both the scouts and to Myokinetics, and both will be back next year, I hope.

Thanks to all the other helpers too:  Delamere Spartans running club, who manned CP1, Third Frodsham Sea Scouts, who manned CPs 3,4 & 5, The Cheshire Scouts Event Support Team who kept track of where you all were, despite Bear Grylls.  Cheshire Search and Rescue were great again too, so thanks to them. This year they didn't have much to deal with apart from Nick Wishart's head.  Nick arrived at the finish running with blood having tried to headbutt a tree out of the way on Frodsham Hill and losing the argument.  Steve Riley has subsequently gone to have a quiet word with the tree, and we don't expect it to cause anyone else trouble - I'll say no more.  Oh, and thanks of course to all my clubmates helping out all over the place. And my family, who were too.

122.48 has been donated to Sightsavers International.  30 was from Claire Shaw and Robert Hornby, who had to pull out of the event but asked that we donate their refunds to charity - thanks to both of you.  The rest was from donations from spectators at the Community Centre in exchange for keeping them supplied with tea, cakes etc.

Let us know if there's anything you think was can improve for next year.

Pictures :: Thanks to all the photographers:


And Adam Gallimore's video of the walk: thanks to Adam for sharing this!  No walkers were harmed in the making of this movie.