Napoleon decided to sell Louisiana to the US in 1802 for a few quid/francs/dollars as he didn’t fancy his chances of fighting on 2 fronts. Not so Croft Ambrey running club on 4th March 2017 who took on battles on 3 fronts in Shropshire England and Rhayader Wales.
The battle in Wales had been played out before, with many excellent performances on several occasions. I ran myself with knowledge of this pedigree and couldn’t stop at just the training run I had promised myself.
It was difficult to choose what to wear due to weather conditions but I decided that to preserve modesty that my attire should at least include a pair of running shorts.
Andy and Gemma were way up in the first charge up the long hill up to about 4.5 miles where Mike B had braved the wind and rain (and it was a god forsaken spot) to mark the occasion. From there it was a long downhill to the Elan River where I caught up with Kelly Bowen and bored her with my tales of measuring the flow of that river for my geography A level using a tennis ball. The tactic worked and I managed to gain a few strides on her, although that was no mean feat.
Greg and Nigel had found their rhythm in front of us on what appeared to my legs to be a very hard road surface which I felt from the first downhill and suffered accordingly. Clare followed Kelly closely. We were a tight pack really. Jo and Sam brought up the rear guard. I wish I had held back and enjoyed it more. I found it quite a slog but at times appreciated the overflowing dams. At one point I swore I was getting delirious. But the many water points and jelly babies helped. It was a very good field with some excellent times.
The most interesting point was on the out and back section whereby we could see the runners we had managed to overtake and those that had overtaken us, thus gauging our position. The ‘5 miles to go’ low point after this was ameliorated by me finding a similarly steadily plodding individual called Richard George from Hereford who used to train with some of our guys ‘back in
the day’ and says hi. We likened the hilly terrain to the Snowdonia Marathon.
With some leg pain, I gained the finish line. I think those that ran will have done well in advancing their ½ marathon times this year..let’s see. Some of the ladies notably Kelly and Sam have hardly been above that distance before and deserve more accolade. Apologies if I have left anybody out.
Thanks for the excellent organisation to those involved.
We all live on to fight another battle one day soon for Croft Ambrey. Watch out any interlopers.
9th – Andy Salt 2:08:39
60th Gemma Mallet 2:27:42 (2nd Sen F)
107th Greg Davies 2:41:32
122 Nigel Taylor 2:46:12 (10th over 50)
160 Paul ‘Cully-Davey’! 2;52;58 (14 Over 50)
174 Kelly Bowen 2:55:37 (12th Sen F)
208 Clare Evans 3:03:40 (17th Sen F)
225 Jo Marriot 3:07:16 (5th Over 45 F)
292 Sam Harper 3:26:31 (10th Over 40 F)