A Whale of a time on the Lawley - little sod

The hill, and therefore the location of my nomination for entry onto the official list of recognised ‘little sods’ will be familiar to many of you.  However, I suspect the route off of this hill will be less well known to some.

­To get the ‘full on’ little sod experience I therefore invite you to consider doing a training run which concludes at the north eastern end of the Lawley.

The summit is of course a familiar landmark on both the ’Cracker’ and the ’Skyline, not to mention the ’Hike’, but what each of these events deny you is the opportunity to descend the extensive whale back ridge that heads north east from the summit.

I was lucky enough to run this route many times each week when first living in Shropshire.  Whether it was at the end of a gruelling 6 hour outing or simply part of a quick 30 minute circuit, the view down off of the summit seemed only to offer the potential of unbridled pleasure as you bound down the ridge for home.  In fact, such is the distance from the Wrekin (which gives a fantastic distant reference to one’s direction), and with the relative flat countryside ahead, the sense of running down off of the last (or first) of the Shropshire Hills is quite palpable.

And so it is then, with the end of one’s run only touching distance away and with the prospect of a great big, juicy, runable, long grassy ridge to negotiate that one can get quite excited. (Well I don’t get out much!)  It therefore comes as quite a nasty shock when only minutes into this joyous downward romp one’s legs, not to mention one’s heart, lungs and soul are suddenly traumatised by the sudden loss of momentum that occurs when this most benign of ridges decides to head skywards once more.Like most of the little sods detailed in this publication and in the scheme of things, it’s not much of an up slope really, so I won’t bother to provide you with its exact location, suffice to say if you’re running hard or the tank is near empty, you’ll know when you’re there!!

Mark Bollam, April 2007