Despite a gloomy weather forecast, the annual Boxing Day Devil’s Chair ‘Dawdle or Dash’ once again attracted some of the UK’s top fell runners. Rossendale pair Sam Tosh (2017 English Fell Running Champion) and Sophie Horrocks (Former Ben Nevis Race winner) both finished well clear of the opposition. Sam’s winning time of 22.46 was well off the record but with slippy grass, mud and deep pools to contend with there were few personal bests this year.
Mercia’s young star Henry Webb ran a great race to take the under 18s and finish second overall with Shrewsbury AC runner Dan Elliott and Mercia vet David Cheta rounding off the first four.
For another year the juniors put in tremendous performances. Bethany Trow (Shrewsbury AC) retained her under 12 title breaking her own record by over a minute and beating all her senior opposition bar the race winner.
Thetford’s Bethany Wilson once again had to settle for second finishing behind Telford’s Maggie Preece. The Preece family bagged two more podiums with 13 year old Charlie finishing in the top twenty to ensure second in the boys under 18 and Alison taking third place in the women’s vet event.
Local runners Amelia Williams and fireman Rob Evason both got home in under 30 minutes with Rob’s Dad David sprinting home to be first runner over 70.
In the vet categories last year’s top two battled it out again with Nicola Richards only just holding off Anna Bartlett this time. Dan Croft came down from Macclesfield to take the over 50’s and Steve Day (previously miscredited to Michael Webb) triumphed in the over 60s.
In the junior boys Robbie Yeomans, Daniel Harrison and Eric Niblock filled the top three while Alice Joyce and Iris Smith filled the places behind Bethany Trow.
Last to finish Mercia stalwart Jill Leventon has been supporting the event almost from its inception and can still get back inside the hour.