Thanks to lots of hard work, Presteinge Pacers and Hay Hotfooters managed to come up with a new course around Nash Woods for this the final race in the winter series. There were still some elements of the old course but lots more running on wider open tracks to prevent the bottle-necks which can occur, epecially early on in a race.
I think I am right in saying there were only three men at the start of the shorter race – the male ‘supervets’ – but still an amazing 73 lady competitors at the start line. The last few years have seen a growth in not only the numbers for Croft but it would seem all the other clubs too which makes for a fantastic competition.
Unfortunately for Croft, we had a few injuries which meant we weren’t up to full strength. No Robyn, Steph or Kelly – all who have been in the first team at other races in the series.
Luckily though we still had Gemma who finished in 10th, Emma in 11th and Roxy 12th, all running a great race for the team finishing third on the day. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to hang onto silver position for the series and we missed out by only one point, with Wye Valley taking silver and Hay Hotfooters gold. The other clubs had such strong teams that we should all be very proud of our performance.
Jo M was first one home for the B team in 22nd with Louise Reynolds in 23rd and Sue P 27th. All three continue to run consistently fast races, Jo despite a constant niggle and Sue feeling a bit ill from the night before!
Imogen M was the leader of the C team – timing her race really well, steadily picking off the field as she went along. She got past me just as we were coming onto the fire track for the final sprint finish and sprint to the end she most certainly did! Won’t be long before she is overtaking her Mum!. I was next Croft home in 31 and Flora 41 – running another great race despite blisters from her 8 mile fell race the day before.
The D team were led home by Steph K (51), her sprint finish was amazing and every time I see her racing she has a smile on her face. Kerry was not so smiley crossing the line next (52), she felt her ankle crunch on the last stretch of muddy path, but was determined not to let competitors pass who she had fought hard to keep in front of so ran the last half mile or so injured. So frustrating for her as she was just coming back from injury -fingers crossed she will recover quickly.
Louise Reeves had her own race battle over the course with Tom D and finished in 60th, with Lisa Gray – who yes, finally loves the mud and ran a great winter league series to go home with the bronze medal for FV45 – 61st and Gemma D, completing the Croft team in 67th.
Great performance by Croft Ladies on the day. Nash woods is such a great place to run and we were really lucky to have had such good weather to allow for such good running conditions.
After a bit of time to recover and eat some lovely soup and cakes at the memorial hall, a few medals were collected by some well deserved Croft runners.
Kelly collected a bronze medal for the County Champs race at Queenswood. There were also silver medals for the vets County Champs team – only I am not quite sure what went wrong there as Steph and Sue had been missed off the entries. Together with Jo Marriot, they may have deserved better than silver. I can only apologise if it was because my handwriting was so poor they didn’t get entered.
Emma Jones has not been a Croft member for long but has become a vital member of the team. She is improving with every race she runs and I have no doubt she will continue to improve. The FV40 age group is a tough one and she took home the bronze medal.
The FV50 medals were very closely fought with Mike having to check not just the best 3 results but the best 2 to sort out gold and silver. Jo M just missed out on gold – if only she had run all the races she may just have got the gold – that’ll teach her to go on holiday!
Two medals in the FV55 age group – silver and bronze for Sue P and Flora. Both great runners, both improving, both well deserved.
Immee Marriot’s great performances at Rotherwas and Presteinge meant she took home the silver medal in the Juniors U17 – definitely one to watch for in the future.
Well done ladies, yet again you have done Croft proud. A few years ago we used to be hard pushed to have one team and now we consistently have multiple teams, always with a great bunch of ladies and we really do have a great time. I have been proud to be your captain and look forward to many more successful years of Croft teams to come.
Thanks to Kelly and Theresa for the photos. Yet again in random order and sizes to fit the screen.