What started out life many years ago as a Croft versus Lucton School challenge has now become a more friendly event, seeing how many runners are willing to get up on Boxing Day morning to take part in a run around one loop of the Croft Cross Country course. There is a competitive element among the fast runners at the front of the pack, but for many it is a great way to get a bit of fresh air after the indulgencies of the day before and have a friendly run in a great atmosphere and has become part of many families Christmas.
Due to the wet weather of late, a decision was made to avoid running over the top of the Ambrey this year to avoid the mud bath, which may have been fun for some but was considered too high a risk of injuring the runners. So it was a fast 2 mile route, going over the ditch near the pond, through the muddy gateway, up the field, into the woods. Right at the cross roads to follow the fire track bearing right downhill after the cattle grid to bring the runners back to Fishpool valley, then up heartbreak hill for the sprint downhill finish to the line.
It was great that there were so many runners – for 42 for Croft and 29 for Lucton – and lots of supporters.
Pat Wright and Sam Johnson had a hard fought battle for first and second place with the shortened course possibly making all the difference. Pat’s winning time of 12.17 is a very fast time on a hilly course and 30 seconds ahead of Sam. Third place and the Lucton pupil trophy went to Forbes Wilson in a time of 13.13 – he is proving to be a very fast runner, his name dominating on the trophy. Malachy Clarke was the fourth finisher, taking home the senior boy prize.
It was great to see two of Crofts previous lady members, who unfortunately for the club moved away, still willing to come and run for Croft when they are home and running really well. Suzanne Philips was first lady home in 6th place overall – 13.59, with Rhea Woodfield second lady in 15.38. Third female home was Luctons Darcy Clarke 16.11 – winning the senior girls prize.
Really well done to the junior runners taking part. Ted Moffatt won the junior boys prize in 22.31 and Emily Stevens Junior girl in 25.58. The youngest runner was Max Ranft at only 3. He did really well on some of the stretches but those little legs only got him so far – I think a special mention for his auntie Katie-Louise who was spotted running while giving him a piggy back up heartbreak hill! That hill is tough – well done Katie.
This was a lovely way to spend an hour or so on Boxing Day. The hot drinks and mince pies and a little presentation from Bryan at the end were a lovely way to end the morning. Well done and big thanks to everyone who helped out but especially Bryan and Tom who did the majority of the work and the organising.
I hope that a few more families have added this to their Christmas traditions and we see just as many happy smiling runners next year!
|Position||Runner||Croft or Lucton|
|3||Forbes Wilson||13.13||Lucton||1st Lucton student|
|4||Malachy Clarke||13.18||Lucton||1st senior boy|
|17||Darcy Clarke||16.11||Lucton||1st senior Girl|
|52||Ted Moffatt||22.31||Lucton||1st junior boy|
|62||Emily Stevens||25.58||Lucton||1st junior girl|
|68||Katie Louise Belcher||32.12||Croft|