Despite a forecast of mist, the weather gradually improved as we approached Corndon by car, so that eventually we were in sometimes hazy sunshine, in mild temperatures – no wind and rain like 2015.
At the pre-race briefing we were told this would be the last race, unless someone else came forward before next year, so we watch this space. Despite the amount of road running, it is still a challenging, varied but not overtaxing race of a little over 5 miles.
On the whistle the race started, with Will moving into an early lead, reaching the top of Corndon first, but losing his footing on the descent and slipping back a couple of places. He hung on to his third place, finishing in 45.41, just over a minute behind first placed Jez Brown of Buckley Runners. A remarkable result for a junior, and moreover one who didn’t know the course. Let’s hope Croft can see more of him! I thought that then there would just be a procession of elderly Croft runners, but not so: Emma, fresh from her exploits in Mortimer Forest the week before, ran a very solid race, undeterred by the long first exhausting climb up Corndon (think Poison Bank x 2), to finish in 86th (64.28), in a field of 131 runners. I was 81st, in the fastest time (62.28) I’ve managed since turning 70, with poor Gary having hit a bad patch over the last couple of months, finishing 105th, just ahead of Tom, who had been closing all the time, until Gary pulled away on the fast descent to the finish.