April 2021: Cannock Chase Blue Route Off-road (Virtual) Race

In perfect timing for the relaxation of the lockdown rules, this race challenged runners to tackle the same demanding route on Cannock Chase, involving winding trails, a river crossing, never-ending climbs, and a certain degree of self-navigation. Fortunately, the Blue Route is well marked with blue waypoints and arrows along its length, very handy to follow if you manage to start in the right direction.

Nineteen runners made the short trip to the Chase over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, comprising 8 men and 11 women. Due to the non-standard distance, there is no proper age-grading for this race, but we have used a relative method which gave Joseph Goodwin and Esther Hunt as the top two placings in that category.

Coming first for the men was Joseph Goodwin, showing an unnerving liking for hilly challenges and gaining an unusual time of 1 hour 1 minute 1 second. In second place was Jimmy Pickering who raced round it against Dave Sanders who finished third. They both found it somewhat windy in places and tough on the hill which seemed to go on forever…

Hermione Green is proving to be a rising star for the women. After a failed attempt the day before, she took to the course with strong determination alongside Joe Goodwin who failed to shake her off until the hills in the last third of the route. She would have won the crown for the Strava segment but for a mishap on navigation in the last half mile, but she still posted the second fastest time of all entrants. In second place was Esther Hunt who, not being shy of a challenge, took two bites at the cherry ultimately posting a cracking time, knocking half a minute off her first attempt. In third place making a first appearance on the podium on her first entry in this year’s race series was Tamla Short.

Extra big kudos to Owen Davies, who completed the run after a long false start, meaning he was not quite fresh when he came to record his effort. Also, there was a close-run thing between Radhika McCathie, Ruth Kennedy-Green and Hazel Moore, who all finished on the same minute, spaced by 14 seconds!

Well done to everyone who took part.

Full results here:

Cannock Chase Blue Route results FINAL