Slowly around Shenstone

This Sunday, following last week’s hard slog around Aldridge 10K, I’d already lined up further torture in the shape of Shenstone Fun Run.

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The Fun Run is a 10K from the mind of M C Escher. For all the fact you arrive back where you started, it feels like you did more ups than downs. Not true, as the elevation plot below shows, but I was very aware of the climbs, especially in direct sunlight. The weather wasn’t unduly warm but I was. There’s a couple of wonderful views over the nearby countryside as you run, and the rise up to the M6 Toll bridge was frankly picturesque.

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I went off a bit too quickly and faltered in the last couple of miles but I’m pleased on balance that my recovery was considerably faster than last week and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, regular water points, friendly locals and the phenomenal cheering crowd as I ran home in 1:24:11 down Main Street. It was great to see event sponsors running too – Neil from Haywards was particularly fine clocking up a decent pace and passing me like I was standing still in the last couple of miles. The fact everyone was so cheerful and friendly really gives the secret to the event. Shenstone can seem quite empty if you’re just driving through past the station, the war memorial and down the hill to Birmingham Road. But turn off onto the Main Street and a vibrant community, school, village hall and so forth become immediately evident. Rather like the village itself I suspect the Fun Run is a product of the depth of community at its heart.

Naturally I stopped off for a quick celebration before heading on to Panto.

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Many thanks to Emma F for taking this wonderful photo.

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