Croft Ladies put on another fine show at the Croft Castle Cross Country. Unfortunately we had a few runners who couldn’t make it due to Remembrance Sunday commitments but we were still able to field two teams with the Steph and Jo being replaced with Sue Powell and Julie.
We were able to get to a good starting position at the front of the pack owing to perfect timing and positioning of the team photo. After a minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday and Mikes prep talk we were off.
The rain hadn’t been kind this year and the course was particularly muddy in parts. The first challenge was remaining upright and getting a good position around the pond and muddy gateway. I think all the ladies managed this and we were able to begin the long hard trek to the top of the Ambrey. Irena was just in sight on the ascent up the field, but she is running well and was soon out of my sight.
The next hurdle was literally that as we had to get over the fence up to the Ambrey. I was behind Liz at this point and saw her take a tumble as her foot got caught in the fence. She said she was fine and continued to run but I was concerned when I got past her up the uphill slope. I was worried she was hurt and have never been so pleased at being overtaken while racing as when she got past me on the downhill stretch into Fishpool Valley. She was closely followed by Sue Davies who is returning to form after her injury filled summer.
So our Croft positions were determined by the end of the first lap. I have to admit to being very pleased to reach the cross roads where Elaine directed us ladies to the right with the men carrying on uphill. I have tried hard this year to increase my pace on the downhill stretches but was still overtaken by too many ladies heading downhill back into Fishpool Valley, must try harder.
Heartbreak hill never gets any easier despite the encouragement of 2 of my boys at the bottom. It was great to see rest of my family at the top, Isaac was especially useful in racing me to help sprint to the finish in a time of 39.55 (24th)
Carol was the next Croft lady home in 43.35 finishing her first Croft Cross Country having really enjoyed herself.
Sue P was not too far behind in 44.13, not used to the hills with all her recent marathon training but sure to get back on form very quickly.
Julie was running her first winter cross country race and can be very pleased with her time of 46.44.
Our A team was Irina in 37.39 (10th), Sue D in 38.41(16th) and Liz (there must have been some racing going on between these two!) in 38.59 (17th).
I think these are fantastic times but there were some very fast ladies and this meant that the team finished in 5th position. If my maths is right we are in third position in the series, very good considering the strength of the competition.
Well done ladies.
Overall winner was Nicola Davis of Maldwyn Harriers in 34.37 (Wow!). Winning team was Wye Valley Runners.