Carding Mill Canter

2 March 2019 – 5 miles / 1903 ft

The clarion call went out from ladies captain Rachel Pilling, get ‘yer arse down to Stretton & recce it.

Stretton Hills being the upcoming first English Championship race & in an area well known for being tricky to navigate.

Think of the Howgills but smaller & more tightly packed, where you can stand surrounded by steep grass covered slopes in each direction any of which could be the race line.

In standard P & B manner, & with supreme confidence in our navigational abilities, the resounding response was complete silence.

Apart from yours truly with long suffering wife Rachel & loyal dog Ted in tow.

The weather was chilly, drizzly with clag on the tops. Rachel of course declined my generous offer to trot round with us & stayed in the van with a good book & a hot cup of coffee.

The compasses were soon out on the first top, but aided by Ted spotting a sheep, & towing me down a 45% slope at a rather rapid rate of knots flat on my back [“One of the greatest things I’ve ever seen” – G/editor], we soon found the correct line off.

The rest of the way round had reasonably obvious race lines, all be it with some choices, & plenty of scope to drop into the wrong valley for the unwary. You have been warned……………..should have come for the recce!

NB the day before the very small P & B Massiv did the Carding Mill Canter, over similar sort of route & terrain. Tricky little lumpy race with fabulous tea & fresh scones at the finish.

Charlie McIntosh 6th (1st V50) 46:07. Graham Pilling 23rd 51:30. Rachel Pilling 24th 51:31. (FULL RESULTS)

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