A new year and a new course for the 2018/19 Herefordshire Winter League courtesy of Wye Valley Runners. In my personal opinion, woodland races are always the best and this really is a good addition to the racing calendar, a nice route, friendly marshalls, donuts at the end! I can only hope that it becomes a regular feature of the winter league in years to come.
Neil has filled in all the technical details in his report. All I can add to this is that the first lap was great – who knew that there were so many little paths around Queenswood? The inclines didn’t seem too steep and the downhills were just right – the sort where you can pick up a bit of speed without too much mud so that the risk of slipping was not too great. However something changed after the first lap and the second seemed to last forever and the hills were definitely steeper and hard work to get up! I think it must have been my loss of fitness, I think I would have done much better if we could have finished after the first lap!
However my fellow Croft ladies did the club proud. Kelly once again was first Croft lady home in 6 place, 48.47. Great to see the return of Steph Main, making her first winter league race of the season and fingers crossed she can make some more as she was next Croft home in 53.52 (19). Roxy completed the A team in 54.49 (22), giving us a team position of fourth place. Not as good as previous races, but it still sees us in second place overall so if we still have a chance at Fforset Fields and Presteigne to finish in a strong position.
Emma led the B team and looking at the results must have had a good run with Louise as there was only 12 seconds between them to take 24 and 25. For the second lap, we had our own separate Croft event, with a group of us all running at a similar pace for quite a long stretch of the race. In the end it was Jo M who completed the B team 58.22 (34) but Sue P was not far behind in 58.48 (36) to lead the C team. Jo Tilby has now started her London marathon training and looked in fine form as she passed me at the beginning of the second lap and was racing down the muddy bank looking very sure footed in her road trainers! (37, 59.07). Liza was next, again passing me very comfortably (38. 59.14). I am sure Flora is running faster at every race she does and the fell races she has been doing can only have helped on this undulating course and she was next home – 39th in 59.24. I was next in 40th (59.30) feeling absolutely shattered.
Lucy was next (61.22, 49), followed by Kerry who is gradually returning to form with a slow recovering injury in 66.07, (62). The ever smiling Steph King (66.56, 66), Lisa Grey who I always knew would love the mud one day (72.45, 77), Louise Reeves (73.51, 78) and Gemma Davies (76.09, 82) completed the Croft teams.
We had five teams competing – pretty good going ladies and really good running. Hopefully we will all be refreshed after a little Christmas break and back to training this week will see us all improving at Fforest fields on Feb 3. See you there!