On Boxing Day Shrewsbury AC’s Bethany Trow became the first junior to break the half hour barrier in this the 40th running of the Devil’s Chair Dawdle or Dash. Bethany completed a trio of wins and finished as the fourth lady overall with only 51 runners out of a field of 403 in front of her in a time of 29:04.
With the unseasonable mild weather and a layer of brashed heather over the worst of the stones it was a day for fast times. Mercia’s Sarah Willhoilt gained revenge on Amy Partridge in the ladies race and in doing so broke Alison Lavender’s long standing record dipping under 25 mins for the first time. Veteran Nicola Richards followed with young Bethany splitting the long standing rivalry between Nicola and Anna Bartlett. Under 18 winner Maddison Griffiths rounded off the leading five. First lady over 50 was Telford’s ever present Juliet Hoad while Lesley Schofield not conceding her true age and Lesley Pymm from Bournville continue to prove you are never too old.
Five local ladies put the Stiperstones lads to shame Amelia Williams, a previous under 18 winner and first timers Sal Tonge, Jane Bratby and mother and daughter pair Louise Cook and Neave Wright Cook all showing the men how its done.
In the mens event Telford’s William Kay did not defend his title and it was left to veteran ERYRI runner Richard Roberts to roll back the years to his previous victory in 2011 and hold off Mercia’s topless Andy Watkins, fellow veteran Rob Baker and under 18 winner Tom Wilde from Oswestry. John Atyeo from Mercia just overcame Maldwyn’s Paul Beeson and teammate Dave Farrow in the over 50s while Ed Davies made it at least 13 age victories in a row going back to 2005, in the over 60s. Dave Evason posted a remarkable sub 45 min time in the over 70s with grandson Robert still fast enough to finish top 40.
In the junior section Mid Shropshire Wheeler Alex Hart recorded his fourth win in his final year in this age group. His time of 30.15 broke his own boy’s record, while first and only Stiperstones man Tim Hockley continues to run personal bests and may still break that 30 minute barrier himself.
We believe the 402 entries is a record as is the 322 finishers. The event raised £1500 for the Severn Hospice and the Lingen Davies Unit. John and Geoff Sproson thank all the competitors and helpers for making this yet another great event.
See you all next year.