Sheinton Steeplechase - Race Report

Sheinton Steeplechase 2008

With the recent wet weather and cooler temperatures, I confidently assured the band of willing neighbours who help out in this event that ‘I expect about 50 to turn up…………….’

It was therefore with both surprise and delight that we counted102 starters on the night (although we appeared to lose one somewhere, hopefully not still wandering about in the wilds of Homer or Cressage).

Yet more good news, this year’s field included 12 Mercia names, ably led by the ever improving Adrian Donnelly, one of four club members to walk away with a prize.

Not wishing to put too many people off, I described the course conditions as ‘somewhat different’ to previous years having had 6 consecutive events in the blazing sunshine. Fortunately the mudbath appealed to most and although the course was far too wet and slippery for any new records to be set, I was interested to hear that a number of new personal PB’s were recorded by satisfied runners.

I strongly suspect that although Sheinton could never be described as a fell race, the mucky conditions suited those used to such terrain and could be why so many good times were recorded from the mire.

With a good number of new faces appearing there was some shuffling of the top 20 order, led by Chris Davies of Telford AC and the only sub 20 minute man this time around. Pete Ball and Robin Sedman-Smith had a grand battle for 2nd place, with Robin only being pipped right on the line, the Shrewsbury man’s ascendancy being put down to him hurdling the stiles as opposed to climbing over them like the rest of us.

Other than Adrian’s heroics, our other Merciaprize winners were: John Coombes as 1st MV60, Pauline Richards as 1st FV60, and a second Donnelly (Joe), up and coming star of Mercia youth.

Although still only 15, Joe took that prize in an impressive 31st place overall. I’d put aside some evil looking ‘Hot Chilli chocolate’ as a suitable reward, but after a wistful glance at the booze bottles he intelligently walked off with the pralines.

Thanks again to everyone who ran and everyone who helped. Our income to church restoration funds was just over £500, fantastic!

You’ll be amazed to hear that the organizer reaches 50 next year and as such is planning a few extra bits and bobs around the event to mark the occasion. See you all then for the fun.

Grahame Hughes