Moreton is a small village on the edge of the Staffordshire boarder close to Newport.

Every Christmas eve for as long as can be remembered, Newport and District Running Club hold their Christmas Escapade there.

There are three routes of different lengths: 3.4km, 8km and 11km. The routes are changed every year and you only get given the current map at the start line. There are maps of previous routes on display in the Hall for perusal.

The race registration opens at 10am and the table is clustered with people deciding which distance to take.

The routes can be run, or walked, alone, with friends, with dogs, kids or whatever else you like. It is also possible to wait in the warm community hall until everyone comes back.

Christmas Eve Escapade
OS Landranger 217
8km
The Escapade starts at 11am from the Moreton Community Hall. There is little parking at the Hall so car sharing is always advised.

With bright blue skies the runners set off first with the walkers after. The route headed along the road, shortly taking a left turn onto the track. It was suggested that Moreton should grow rice considering how wet it was!

The route continued until the road ahead at Bromstead Heath and then straight head on the path in front. The muddy field was full of growing beat, not something I had ever seen growing before.

The sorter route went off to the left and there was a general discussion over “which one we were doing” “the short or long”. To be good we continued on the longer route.

There were no runners in sight at all making the men question their ability to read maps.Had we taken the wrong way.” “Are we in the right place?”.

From there we continued on the small road and left towards Beffcote. There was still no sight of walkers or runners, only cows and lots of them.

“This way or the road” was the next question. “To avoid the wooded bit” or “continue on the correct path”, “to cheat” or “not too cheat” was the hardest question. The wooded section of the route was avoided due to a reputation of excess mud on previous years; we do not want to get too muddy now do we!

Carrying on the road instead, before a left into another muddy beat field where we met a fellow Newport runner with child who had ‘unintentionally” also taken a different route.

On to the road at the bottom of the field, runners started appearing and passing at great speed. They all followed the road to the right as directed, and we went to the left to cut out another muddy field. “Are we cheating?” “ Of course we are!” “Don’t tell anyone!”.

Straight along the road in the “general direction of civilisation” we came across the Community Hall. Taking off muddy boots we helped ourselves to homemade soup and mince pies waiting for the rest of the runners who could not understand how we beat them…. well…..

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