A really good turnout, with 25 runners completing the course on a cool, sunny evening. Stacey collapsed over the line (unaided by the officials) in a record-breaking 27 mins 40 secs, beating his PB by 21 seconds, and pushing the absent Mike down the listings and moving into 4th place in the all-time records. Not only that, but he immediately rang Mike to give him the ‘good news’! Simon was 2nd round the course (30.02), a few hundred yards ahead of Dave A (30.47) who claimed a new PB by 16 secs. Gavin in 6th beat his PB by 14 seconds (31.27), and Steve also achieved the feat but by a smaller margin (2 secs) (33.46). Sue was the 1st lady home, but a minute down on her best time set last year. Gary, now over 65, stormed round in 35.02, breaking the over 65 record by 45 seconds. I don’t see that record being retaken any time soon!Jo (guest) ran her first handicap race, and finished in a very creditable 39.37, even if she did manage to park her car in the wrong farmyard! Rachel nearly required a photo finish as she just pulled clear of Simon (guest) to record 42.47.
Full results: (1) Stacey 27.40; (2) Simon 30.02; (3) Dave A 30.47; (4) Dave Rouse jnr 31.05; (5) Dave G 31.18; (6) Gavin 31.27; (7) Pat 32.35; (8) Mark 32.46; (9) Steve 33.46; (10) Nigel 34.02; (11) Richard 34.09; (12) Sue 34.19; (13) Martin 34.39; (14) Daren 34.53; (15) Gary 35.02; (16) Alison 35.58; (17) Neil T 36.15; (18) Frank 37.43; (19) Jo 39.37; (20) Dave R snr 39.45; (21) Tom 40.26; (22) Liza 40.47; (23) Rachel 42.47; (24) Simon 42.49; (25) Bryan 45.17.
Congratulations to Stacey on breaking my Leinthall Starkes 5 P.B. About time too. He has been chipping away for a few years now and I am proud to drop down a place in the overall standings to accommodate such a talented runner. Stacey called at my house en route to Leinthall Starkes and I took one look at his lean mean frame, the steely determined expression in his eyes and the favourable weather conditions and predicted to him that “tonight’s the night”. He did have the effrontery to phone me from the finish line to confirm my prediction. How much quicker could he have run had he not called me at every mile point to state that he was ahead of schedule ? I was able to congratulate him through gritted teeth as I pictured the big silly grin adorning his self-satisfied mush.
My compliments are genuine – all the best Croft Ambrey times were set 20+ years ago and it raises my spirits to see the club getting stronger. I console myself with the knowledge that I still hold the course V.40 record (c’mon Simon, your turn !). I have no recollection of setting that record (it was 22 years ago and I have difficulty remembering my name these days) as I treated the events as just another hard training run. Shift work, injuries etc. meant that I ran the course only a handful of times before injury forced me to stop running in 1991. I have lost a lot of weight during my present illness, so I am threatening a comeback as I am back to my fighting weight – watch out El Presidente, I am gunning for you.
I hope that this is the start of a season of road racing P.B.s for Stacey as he finally fulfills his potential. I have a lot of P.B.s for him to target, but I believe that he has a fast marathon waiting to be released so that is my next prediction.
Thanks for all your recent best wishes and I hope to be back shouting at you all soon.
All the above is subject to review as I will be launching an appeal re the accuracy of the timekeeping – it would not have happened had I been holding the stopwatch.