Another record turnout! 43 Croft runners competed, making nearly 25% of all the competitors (176 finished). This packing helped the final team result, which saw Croft placed second (145 points) behind Ludlow (105), who don’t have a history of consistency, and 20 points ahead of Wye Valley. In fact Croft raised 7 teams on the night (2nd, 5th, 9th, 14th, 18th, 21st and 24th).
The only change to the course was to the finish: a left turn at the top of the long last mile uphill, instead of a slight downhill to the right, meaning no let up to the climb. Some, like Carol, were forced into a sprint to the line. The race was won by Jonny Pugh (Builth) a minute ahead of Andy in 3rd spot (33.09), but with both Mark L (33.26) and Mark T (34.58 – 8th overall, 2nd M40) close behind. Then came Toby, running a fantastic race in possibly his first event as a SM (9th, 35.12), closely followed by young Sam Roberts (1st U17) in 12th place (35.57), another youngster excelling himself. Will (9 minutes faster than last year!) showing why he was chosen as club runner of the year was 32nd and 1st JM. Jordan was a welcome returnee in 33rd, just 3 seconds ahead of Nigel T, who was 1st M50. Another young Austen shone, this time Oscar, 43rd in 40.42, three and a half minutes in front of dad, who is still returning to fitness. Irina was our first female (2 mins 29 seconds faster than last year), with Kelly and Gemma 30 odd seconds behind. Ian Price knocked 4 minutes (and 1 second) off his 2017 time, Victoria ran nearly 7 minutes faster, and Bryan turned back the clock with well over 8 minutes improvement! It was particularly pleasing to see how many new members, many of whom have graduated from Mark’s New2Running group, tackled such a demanding course. I hope their enthusiasm will extend to Abbeydore, and beyond.
Well done to all, showing the club has quality as well as quantity, and a good dose of ‘new blood’.
Can anyone write a report on the Magic Roundabout?