On 2nd April a number of Newport & District Running Club runners took part in the Shropshire Way 80K Festival. The festival is a fundraiser for “Grow Cook Learn”, the charity which operates the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, and all money raised is used to support the charity’s goals. This year, they are planning on developing a wetland area in their meadows, with an accessible bird hide so that people of all abilities can learn about their local wildlife.

The festival includes the flagship SW80K: 50 miles in 24 hours; the Mammothon: a full-distance trail marathon with a generous 12-hour time limit; and the Half-Mammothon, 13 miles with a 6-hour limit. All the routes are hilly, but they take in some of the iconic Shropshire Hills summits and iron-age hill forts, along ancient drovers’ routes and through magnificent woodland and delightful market towns. The routes are challenging but runners and walkers are kept in good spirits by the support on route, local food at the checkpoints as well as the amazing scenery. This year, they had both sunshine and snow to contend with but this didn’t stop them achieving some quick times considering the terrain.

James McCaughern and Aaron Nicholas took part in the full-distance Shropshire Way 80K. Both had a fantastic run with James finishing 2nd overall (out of 182 participants) in a time of 9 hours 55 minutes, and Aaron finishing in 13 hours 33. 

James McCaughern crosses the line to take 2nd place overall!

For the Mammothon, Darren Waters was the first NDRC runner to finish in a time of 4 hours 29 and placed 8th. Jennie Waters was the 1st NDRC female finisher in 6 hours 41, closely followed by Richard Bennett in 6 hours 45 and Helen & Tim Edwards in 6 hours 57, then Rodney Jones in 7 hour 35.

Mandy Purves was the only NDRC runner taking part in the Half Mammothon and she completed it in an impressive 2 hours 23 and finished in 6th place overall.