So I thought to myself, ‘you haven’t run much the last couple of weeks, use a race as a jolly to get fit. Enjoy it, don’t go eyeballs out as usual’. I had been cycling and rowing and elliptical so thought I would be up to the job..particularly as I was ‘taking it easy’.
So last Sunday was cold but blue skies that left me with the extra t shirt dilemma, which I thankfully left off.
I didn’t see any other Croft contingent..I suppose this is when I knew I wouldn’t be taking it easy..the only representative! So the course meanders in a figure of 8 north from Brockweir to Bigsweir over muddy hills then south through the Wye Valley, back up onto muddy hills, and what looked like an old railway track back north, with a final hill to finish..real Croft Territory, and I would recommend it. Not so muddy this year it seems, and I didn’t need the pair of innovate fell shoes..the first I have bought in about 35 years of running (nice not to slip on every occasion but they weren’t broken in hence the blisters this week).
So in meeting the over 50 ultra vet on the startline, I began to think I had better stick with taking it easy. The theory went well as the masses overtook me on the first steep ascent right out of the startline. After that, it all went to pot…my 2 hour finish was reduced in target when I asked veterans how we were doing in terms of finishing. I slowly started upon my old system of taking scalps whilst allowing very few past..when they did pass, I tried to stick on their heels. I did well up the hills and felt I was flying on the tops, but I was shattered and risking injury. But this silly boy doesn’t know when to stop.
There were regular water stops with jelly babies, and cake to finish, which I missed out on as I needed to get back to my van for a warm. It was well run by Chepstow Harriers, and the results are on their webpage. I have included a post to somebody’s flickr page, if it works.
I managed 1 hour 50 minutes, 6 seconds, only a couple of minutes behind that ultra vet! The winner was about one hour 19, next came in about 10 mins later. I was very happy about my 7th over 50 result, and wish I had put a bit of extra running training time in. It was about 12 miles/2500 feet I believe. It has inspired me on to bigger things this year..Offa’s’ Dyke, Purbeck (27 miles) and Snowdonia Marathon, all booked. The last one I did 30 years ago and I was offered a cancelled place this week which I leapt at!!