With fond memories of a recce of the course 2 weeks earlier (when there was lots of green grass, and scarcely any mud) we set off into the forest; after slithering across a stream twice, we began the long slow haul up the valley side in single file. Once onto the pipe track, there was room for runners to spread out a bit and settle into a rhythm. That was when the rain started, gently at first. After the switchback of the pipe track, we had the long climb up the far side of the forest and then the fast, tricky descent along a wide muddy path (and to think, only 2 weeks ago it had been green and offering a grip!). Across the Wigmore road, past the water station and then tired legs ran what little they could up the last (well, almost last) climb, up to High Vinnals, before descending towards Sunny Gutter, through larch trees, down a steep path and finally along a sticky, muddy path to the valley floor. The body then tries to summon up a rhythm to get along the 1/4 mile straight, before crossing the stream and up the (very) last hill before the swift descent through oak trees to the finish. And then it began to rain a bit harder! Out of 322 finishers, Richard was first Croft runner (42nd) in 84.50, with Dave G braving the elements in a vest and shorts, having a good run, 46th, in 85.44. Then there was a bit of a gap, till I emerged in 129th (97.42), followed by Matt (142nd, 98.57), who was really pleased to have restored his confidence by completing a race, then Neil T (159th, 101.17). Frank boldly decided to test his legs, and came through, seemingly unscathed, in 206th (107.18) a little ahead of the indefatigable (?) Tom (213th, 108.11). Adrian Allen ran in Croft colours too, crossing the line in 229th place.