A very hot afternoon for the third of this years club championship events. This year saw 298 runners taking part in the annual Burghill school fundraiser, and Croft was well represented.
The main race was a tough one this year. The route was the same as it has been for a number of years, but the temperatures were in the late 20’s and while some of us suffered, others just seem to keep on getting better whatever the running conditions. The start is at the school gates, leading up the road to the church where the kissing gate into a field leads to a long queue and a sprint start is probably a good idea though beyond me, I was way back in the queue. I did feel a bit bad as I could have warned Neil T about this who was next to me in the line and was running this race for the first time having biked all the way from Ludlow. He was timing it like a duathlon, training for an Iron Man triathlon in four weeks time. He looked like he was doing pretty well to me, out of site to me for the rest of the race once we were through the gate. There was a long, slow uphill through fields, orchards and into the woods. The water stations and frequent showers from locals with hosepipes were very welcome and it did seem a long hard battle for me. To my surprise I passed a very hot looking Ashley on the road leading up to the woods at about the three mile mark but was pleased to see him pick up form again in the woods – I am assuming refreshed from the water station and the very welcome shade – to come sprinting past me, again another one I never saw again.
Clare passed me on the fields leading down from the woods and though I did manage to keep her in my sight, I wasn’t able to catch her as we swapped the fields for the final two-ish miles along the road to the finish.
The race was won by Jonathan Barnes in 56.16 (unaffiliated), first lady Niki Morgan (Chepstow Harriers) 1.08.01.
Croft results – positions for separate men and women race:
20 Gary Pearson 1.06.33
33 Nigel Taylor 1st mv50 1.09.09.
7 Kelly Bowen 1.13.16
59 Jasper Robinson 1st junior male 1.15.41
83 Dave Millichap 1.19.26
85 Neil Taylor 1.19.39
17 Jo Tilby 1.20.32
18 Steph Main 1.21.05
114 Frank Luscott 1.23.01
121 Ashley Robinson 1.24.24
32 Clare Evans 1.26.04
35 Samantha Harper 1.27.04
141 Tom Davis 1.29.57
46 Liza Austin 1.30.35
56 Carol Powell 1.33.36
159 Rob Wood 1.35.43
169 Bryan Davies 1.42.06
93 Sarah Norman 1.51.53
Well done to everyone, a tough but enjoyable race. I would like to do it again, as long as it is a cooler day next time. Thanks to Paul CD for the photo – more on the croft facebook page.
Four Croft juniors opted to compete in the junior race, which sees them start just after the main race and following the main route for the first 2 miles, before heading back along the road to the school – 2.57 miles. Frustratingly for all, this slightly delayed start, less than five minutes, meant that they got caught up in the queue at the kissing gate in the churchyard. While some of the main runners encouraged them to jump the queue and head to the gate, others told them to get to the back and wait their turn, which lead to some getting through and others not. Scott and Alec had got to the churchyard fairly close together in first and second place, but Alec managed to loose at least five places to his bolder competitors and Oscar Austin was waiting for nearly ten minutes to get through, very much the gentleman. This surely lead to an unfair race. Scott held on to his lead to win and Alec did get past some of his competitors and in yet another sprint finish managed to finish in third. Sadly Oscar didn’t manage to make up the time lost. Lucy Austin fared a little better at the gate and ran really well, and ended as the winner of the girls race. Well done Guys.
Thanks Theresa for the photos of the Junior race podium