Following an invitation from Neil T, I decided to take part in the Ras Cors Caron , a 13.1 mile road race very ably organised by Rhayader RC which, as the name suggests started and finished in Tregaron, a picturesque little town 12 miles south west of Aberystwyth. The route, which started at Tregaron Leisure and Sports centre, consisted of firstly 8 miles of undulating roads and included a couple of quite steep climbs, but nothing that can’t be handled by any Croft Ambrey runner after some of the cross country routes we have endured, followed by 3 miles of dead flat almost completely straight gravel road which was a once used as a railway line and now used quite extensively by walkers and bird watchers as it crosses Tregaron Bog, with the final 2 miles or so back on slightly undulating tarmac heading back into Tregaron for the finish.
The weather was, as forecast, quite miserable although it did only rain and didn’t snow as felt possible by the temperature as we were waiting to start. Whilst the organising staff and marshals must have felt half frozen the runners at least were able to keep relatively warm and able to ignore the rain although a warm shower was greatly appreciated back in the leisure centre after finishing.
The race itself was won by almost 4 minutes by Mike Evans (TROTS) in 1:18:27; first female home was Ann Thomas (TROTS) who finished 9th o/a in 1:26:49. Whilst queuing for our bowl of cawl, which is a very hearty welsh stew, I noticed the impressive array of shields on offer. Neil and I were the only Croft representatives: Neil finished in 67th (1:48:21), I claimed 72nd in 1:50:39 out of 98 finishers. Reasonable times considering the course and the weather conditions. Only the very hardy, the very dedicated or the truly unhinged would have taken part!
So thanks to Neil for the free transport and for the opportunity to run an exhilarating and testing half marathon on a very wet and cold Sunday. Let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to run at all otherwise.