This year’s Wenlock Olympian Games kicked off in March to the sound of music, speech, drama and dancing with over 500 youngsters taking part in Live Arts. Next up was the half marathon, which saw 150 runners set off from Much Wenlock Leisure Centre, with Wenlock Olympian Society President Jonathan Edwards taking position as starter as well as welcoming finishers.
The route took runners through cross-country tracks and woodland paths including the Shropshire Way. A new course record of 1 hour 24 minutes was achieved by the aptly named Peter Flewitt.
The festival will truly get underway with the equestrian dressage at Valley View showground in Broseley on Saturday 4 July, followed by the main Games weekend at Much Wenlock starting on Friday 10 July with a day of Kwik Cricket, volleyball and U12 hockey. Saturday 11 July sees the junior biathlon, tennis, netball, badminton and mixed hockey competitions. The main athletics day is on Sunday 12 July, with the iconic road race and triathlon, archery and fencing.
The golf competition is at Astbury in Chelmarsh on Monday 13 July and the games close with the gruelling 50-mile walk beginning on Saturday 18 and ending on Sunday 19 July. This demanding event begins at 8am for walkers and 10am for runners, and must be completed within 24 hours. At all events, competitors and spectators receive a warm welcome, and spectator entry to all events is free.
Information, times and entry forms are on the website wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk