Thursday 26th April 2012, 6:30pm
Mow Cop, a tiny village situated in Staffordshire sitting 984ft up. On the peak of Mow Cop sits Mow Cop Castle, an iconic ruin which can be seen for many miles in all directions. There is a lovely local story regarding Mow Cop Castle. A rich man lived in Mow Cop, looking up at the top of the hill. He always thought that it would look better with something on the hill, so he built Mow Cop Castle to look like a ruin to create a nice sight.
The real story is a little more boring involving a rich man building a traditional summerhouse for the family, however enhancing the view also played a part in it!
In 1937 the deeds for the Castle and surrounding lands were handed over to the National Trust.
The Castle was recently repaired in 2002 with the foundations being reinforced and brickwork being pointed to increase the safety.
The Mow Cop Killer Mile first started off in the late 1970’s by ICL (Kidsgrove) Athletics Club who often used the area for training. While looking for new events to run they found that there is an exact mile up Mow Cop without a single level step up and a total climb of over 550ft. Starting at the train crossing at the bottom the race runs up the length of Mow Cop and finishes at the Castle. This “brief but brutal” race route offers challenges to all runners, especially the 1-in-4 section past the popular Cheshire View pub. The race attracts professional runners as well as “daft” people raising money for charity.
Rode Heath Scout Group
Rode Heath is local to Mow Cop and the Scout Group often use the area for hiking and previously for climbing & abseiling. Always willing to take on a challenge & fund raise for charity, Rode Heath Explorers first took part in the Mow Cop Killer Mile in 2011 to raise money for Caudwell Charity, Merlin’s Magic Wand & Help For Heros. This year (2012) all members of the group were invited to take part and ages ranged from 7 to over 50! We all collected sponsers to raise money for Merlin’s Magic Wand, Help For Heros and for the Rode Heath Scout Group.
As you will see I have recently learnt to run with the help of Couch to 5k and have progressed to running 2 miles fairly comfortably. However nothing prepares you for running uphill all the way! Ouch! I started off fine, a nice gentle jog to the 1/4 mile way, but quickly stopped to walk. My thought is that there it is worse to push and push and push until I can’t walk. It is better to power walk and keep a good pace than be struggling. So the power walk began, for 1/2 a mile up to the steepest part at the Cheshire View. The real toughy is that you never recover, your muscles are working from start to finish so you can never stop and walk while you catch your breath. Last year for the steepest part my boyfriend Ash sprinted super fast up and this year he was watching. So off I went on a run up the steep part, and walked a bit at the top, spotted Ash and off I went jogging again to the finish! Phew. The last bit is lovely, it’s nearly flat and very short so you can end in style.
My time was: 14.55 minutes !!
Not bad for a mile up 550ft. Considering my average mile is about 12 minutes and a good mile is 10 minutes. I came 72/112. The fastest time was about 7 minutes! Boom! And the slowest 25 minutes!
Overall a very enjoyable event, yet so crazy tough. My calves felt like they were going to explode for most of it. But it’s over quickly and anyone can do it at any pace. In the middle you do feel like death & slightly ill, but it’s all over and done with soon.
A well deserved white wine to finish. Bring on 2013.
Mow Cop Residents Association – Homepage
Hundreds take on Mow Cop Killer Mile Challenge – The Sentinel