There were quite a few events on this Sunday, so maybe this explains why only 6 Croft Ambrey runners turned out for the Bury Ditches 10k race, which was one of the Club Championship races this year.
Tom, Gary and Frank had all run in it before and were able to inform me that it was pretty much uphill for the first half and then downhill for the second but to keep a bit in reserve for the unexpected uphill about 4 miles in.
I was very impressed to see Neil Taylor, having done so well in the Hereford running festival marathon the week before. He reassured me though that he was going to take this as a gentle jog so as he was still recovering. Steph, who had also put in a great performance in Hereford in the 10k the week before, and I made up the female members of the Croft Ambrey runners.
It was an unexpectedly warm and sunny day and there were 46 runners at the start line. A lovely friendly atmosphere and easy to follow, picturesque route, directed by some very friendly marshalls, not to mention cakes at the end, means that this is another race I shall aim to do again.
The first half of the race is almost continually uphill, first a gradual incline up a tarmac road, but gradually getting steeper as the route takes you across fields and tracks. I think we were all relieved to get into the shade of the woods although it was still uphill. I was keeping pace with Frank for most of the way up, but we were both overtaken by Neil in the woods – I think his idea of a gentle jog and mine are not quite the same!
Once we got onto the hill fort, it was obvious that the rest of the race was going to be downhill, although for me this is not necessarily a relief as I tend to get overtaken on the downhills so was determined to keep up my pace. However, Frank and then Gary both passed me on the downhill stretches and while I was gaining on them on the uphill, I never managed to pass them, although did keep them in sight until the end.
1st Male Dominic Jones, Shropshire Shufflers 38.28
!st Lady Mel Price, Mercia 42.21
Neil Taylor (24) 50.54, Gary Gunner (27) 52.10, Frank Luscott (28) 52.17, Sam Harper (29th, 5th lady) 52.51, Steph Main (32nd 6th lady). Tom Davies (38) 56.33
Gary was awarded the Veteran Male prize, although he wasn’t sure why as there were a couple in his age group who came in before him but he did sort this before he left!