RUNDOWN EXTRA: 5TH JUNE – COTSWOLD HILLY 100 REPORT!

Cotswold Hilly 100 Report – by Myshola Kirkham and the Hilly 100 Crew!

The Hilly 100 is a 100-mile road race, split into a 10-leg relay with each leg consisting of a 10 mile distance. Twisting its way from the start in Stratford town centre through the glorious Cotswolds countryside and only really seeing other runners on the route is a great way to spend a Sunday, especially when the sun is shining. There is a choice of three start times and you can opt in for a Mass start on leg 8 so you all get to finish at a reasonable time. Stratford AC put on a BBQ for all participants/ family and friends along with a bar so you can sit an socialise while watching the team’s finish. This is a great day out and each leg holds its own story:

Leg 1- Amelia Crees
After a slightly gruelling 3am start and just about making it to the Stratford centre line for 4:55am, the race began with a pleasant and flat (I promise!) 5k outwards towards Luddington. After a small incline at mile 4, I was well and truly on my way, running through the beautiful countryside scenery of Welford upon Avon and Long Marston. After a steady climb at the 10K point, the rest of the route was fast and flat, leading me home to leg 2 to pass the baton to Kirsty. Finishing my day at 6:30 am, I could even make it home in time for the Knowle Fun Run!

Leg 2- Kirsty Wise
A very rushed start having just got out the car when Amelia came running down the road with the K&d baton! A nice flat start, followed by some steady climbs! Stunning views across the fields with a fun downhill final kilometre to pass the baton onto chief organiser and last minute sub in Jess!

Leg 3- Jess Woolley
I was apprehensive doing my first race since having my baby 6 months ago so was nice to ease into the run starting the leg at the top of a hill. It was a lovely winding run through the beautiful village of Snowshill and out into lanes with stunning views across the fields. The woodland section gave some welcome shade, even at 8.30 in the morning! Mile 7 had a great descent which really got my legs moving but was followed by a long drag up to the next handover point which was a push through to the end. It was a relief to see Myshola in place and great see the baton continue on it’s journey

Leg 4- Myshola Kirkham
A lovely sunny day for a run around the Cotswolds. Other than cross country my first team event for the club so great to meet other members. My leg was tough going with a gentle start but two steep sections one going on for just under a mile. The views were amazing and stayed around to support the team with water as after my leg it started to get a little warmer.

Leg 5- Steve WHatmore
Nervously waited for Myshola at the Leg 5 start as this would be my first race over 5k in 18months and longest run of the year! The leg starts nice and flat and then downhill for the first 4 miles before a long steady hill at mile 5. The whole route was lovely and scenic, with a few undulations then a final sting as you came out of Farmington before it was downhill to the finish ready to handover to Paul on Leg 6!

Leg 6- Paul Winwood
Downhill start but brutal hill after 4. Fab to run through beautiful Bourton on the water even if it was rammed with either people eating ice cream or the packed beer garden I ran past! Final hill at 9 miles was a killer but fab day and fab team effort!

Leg 7- Mike McDonald
A nice, fast start which turns into some gentle uphills through pretty Cotswold villages. One long, twisty climb out onto some lovely views and then onto the (fast traffic) A44 and through Bourton-on-the-Hill. Downhill all the way then into Moreton-in–Marsh with a convenient pub on the finish line

Leg 8- Torsten Roesler
Starting in Moreton-in-Marsh, the route heads north up the High Street for a short while before heading north-west into the Cotswold countryside. After a steady first mile, the route picks up and heads towards the villages of Draycott and Aston Manga. After around 6 miles, we start picking up some elevation again as we head towards Charingworth and onwards to the conclusion of the leg. Overall a scenic route along mostly quiet roads, with a few lumps along the way.

Leg 9- Bruce Hampton
The first mile was relatively flat, taking in a blind bridge and a level crossing (where I was delayed by a train). This was followed by 3 miles of up hill, 3 miles of down, 2 miles flat and a final sting in the tail!

Leg 10- Gary Polhill
A reflective final leg, thoughts on all the efforts that had gone before. As the final hill passed the enjoyable last few miles leading to Stratford sports club, with supporters from all clubs cheering on the realisation of what had been achieved loomed large, as did the the bbq and bar.

Each club can enter as many teams as they wish men’s/ ladies and mixed. Would be great to get more of us out next year as it’s a great event in beautiful surrounding and great fun too! (more details can be found on the race website here: https://stratfordac.co.uk/cotswold-hilly-100/)

Times for the individual legs appear below:

Leg Name Time (min) 
1 Amelia Crees 88:13:00
2 Kirsty Wise 84:13:00
3 Jessica Woolley 93:00:00
4 Myshola Kirkham 78:52:00
5 Steve Whatmore 70:59:00
6 Paul Winwood 98:28:00
7 Mike Macdonald 107:00:00
8 Torsten Roesier 62:59:00
9 Bruce Hampton 89:57:00
10 Gary Polhill 64:50:00