Faced with the prospect of unpacking more boxes after my recent move or running a 10 mile race, I did what any good Croftie would do and opted for the race!
I slightly underestimated how long it would take me to get there now I am in Bartestree, North-East of Hereford, and nowhere near Wales, so I rocked up with only 25 minutes to spare knowing I still had to register, walk the 10 minutes uphill to the start and fit in a loo stop! Nothing like cutting it fine to get the adrenalin going…
It was a good turnout from Croft considering it is essentially a road race – Flora, Kelly, Ashley, Jasper, Will, Robyn, Roxy and Scott were all their in their sky-blue colours. Warmed by the sun as we waited to start, we were then welcomed by over a mile of fast downhill before a nasty, long uphill drag which really sorted out those with a superior VO2 max (definitely not me). I struggled initially with the speed of the downhill and struggled again with the uphill although it didn’t last as long as I had remembered when I did it 5 years ago! Certainly numbers had thinned out considerably by the time we got to the 3 mile mark.
After the initial climb, the route is more undulating than hilly although a short but steep twisty incline takes you by surprise about mile 7, just when your legs have eased themselves into a steadier stride. Fortunately, the relatively dry weather over the previous week meant that the route was good underfoot and although we were warned of slippery leaves in some of the darker dips and delves, there was nothing too much to worry about.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race and distance. Despite finding it more of a battle at the beginning than I had expected, by halfway, I had hit a fairly steady stride and managed to pass a number of runners over the final 5 miles. The final half to three-quarters of a mile is downhill/level which makes a pleasant ending to a race of this length. I’m still a bit of a wimp with uphill finishes, character-building though they may be!!
Some impressive performances here from Croft – with almost 200 runners competing. Looking at times, I was amazed at the standard of some of the more mature runners, especially male, when you consider that Ashley finished strongly in 1:23 flat but was still 7th in his M60 category!! I didn’t chat much afterwards so not entirely sure how everyone found it although I know that Roxy probably needed another 10 miles to really get in her stride! Looks like she and Scott may have had a battle at the end, finishing only 2 seconds apart. Flora obviously decided it wasn’t hard enough as she competed in a fell run the following day!!
Kelly, Will, Jasper and Robyn all did remarkably well coming in all within just 2 and ½ minutes of each other. Had to trawl through the list but I think results are as follows:-
30th – Kelly 1:13:29 – 4th woman and 1st in age category after 1st three placed runners
38thth – Will 1:14:37
44th – Jasper 1:15:33 – not sure how old he is now – 17/18? but a fantastic run at this distance for someone of this age
46th Robyn 1:15:53
70th Jo 1:21:17 – 1st FV45
83rd Ashley 1:23:00
88th Roxy 1:24:11
89th Scott 1:24:13
116th Flora 1:28:33