The Wrekin Barrel Race

The Wrekin Barrel Race took place annually between the late 1990s and 2013. It is currently on a break whilst a new organising team is put together.

The course runs from the old Rifle Range at the foot of the hill to Heaven Gate near the summit. Teams set off on a timed start from 11am, the first expected to arrive at the top in around 20 minutes. To read more about the route and the rules of the race,  click here, or go straight to the online application form here.


Organised by the Shrewsbury Lions Club between 1998 and 2004, the Wrekin Barrel Race is now overseen by Tony Nicholls and a small group of volunteers pulled together by Wellington H2A.

Although relatively new to Shropshire’s sporting calendar, the race certainly evokes something of May Sundays on The Wrekin long ago. Two hundred years ago at the boisterous Wrekin Wakes, barrels of ale would no doubt have been hauled up the hill in order to oil the celebrations at the top. Our Barrel Race is a much less drunken affair, however (and the barrels filled with water so as not to waste good beer).


The objective is to carry a full 9 gallon beer barrel from the bottom of The Wrekin to the top in the quickest possible time. There are four classes of entry:

  • The Classic – team of four men with a full 9 gallon barrel
  • Women’s Challenge – team of four women with an empty 9 gallon barrel
  • Fancy Dress Challenge – team of four (all male / all female / mixed) in fancy dress with an empty barrel
  • The Lunatic – one individual with a full 9 gallon barrel (must be accompanied for safety reasons)

There are prizes and trophies for the various classes as well as Certificates of Participation for all with a record of their time from bottom to top.