Ten keen Croft Runners travelled to Llanwrtyd Wells on Sunday to run with 87 others over the hills and through the woods around this scenic part of Wales.
One of the good things about this race is it can be run either as the whole 13.26 miles, or as a relay with two runners. The race is a figure of 8, the first loop 7.65 miles, the second 5.6miles. Start, finish and hand over point for the relay are all just in front of the Nuedd Inn pub which makes it great for supporters.
Kelly, Emma, Andy and Mark L signed on for the whole half marathon, with Gary paired with Tom D and Mark P with Sue D for the relay. I was not sure if I was going to be able to run the whole thing so signed onto the relay with Sam W with two numbers so that I could decide whether to carry on running after the hand over point.
There was a cold biting wind before the start which led to my seemingly inevitable dilemma about what to wear for the race, finally settling on carrying a long sleeve top around my waist and gloves.
The start of the race quickly takes you along the lane next to the river, where it was good to see the familiar faces of Imme and Jo Marriot, marshalling on this race which is a family event in the memory of Jo’s uncle. There was a different turning from previous years, taking us across a couple of muddy fields before the steep ascent of Spion Kop. This is quite a tough ascent so close to the start of the race but not too bad and pretty soon the course takes you into the woods where it is a little more forgiving.
Coming out of the woods it loops around the chapel to take you back towards the town, passing Jo and Imme again before heading back to the pub.
At the hand over point to the relay, I passed the ‘baton’ to Sam (actually a wristband, very comfortable) and was feeling pretty good, so made the decision to keep going to the end. However I was by now feeling a little warm with gloves on and having not needed the long sleeve top, decided to leave these at the pub.
The wet weather of the last week meant that the going was sometimes very muddy especially on the second loop. Within a few hundred metres of the cross over point there was a boggy stretch where I sank below trainer depth and then the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain started, the wind picked up and I was extra grateful to all the marshals standing still and slightly regretting dumping my long sleeve top. I had to apologise to Emma at the end for telling her there were no river crossings, because the little stream I remember being able to step over in previous years was certainly deep enough to cover everyones trainers but was good to wash the mud off!
A great run for those who like a few hills and mud but not one to get a half marathon pb!
First man home – Robin Woods 1.34.40 First lady Wendy Price 1.54.50
Fantastic results for the Croft runners:
Andy Salt (second)1.36.09,
Mark Lamonby (6) 1.44.38
Emma (2nd lady)1.56.03 – having taken a nasty fall and fishing with a leg covered in blood. I hope you are recovering Emma.
Kelly (3rd Lady) 2.05.55.
Sue finished her and Marks relay in 2.04.23 which may have seen them as the first mixed relay team – there are another couple on the results ahead of them but chatting after the race the lady from that team said they definitely weren’t the first team home with Sue finishing ahead of her, but not sure if that is official.
Sam W ran a great second leg for team Sam, being fairly new to the mud and hills of these off road races. She crossed the line in 2.09.19, first ladies relay team.
I was next Croft runner home in 2.20.01, followed by Tom (relay with Gary) in 2.26.36
Lovely to meet and chat with all the runners in the pub after with tea, coffee and sandwiches but a bit too long for us to wait for the presentations.
A great run, with a great team Croft feel – definitely one for next year folks!
Thanks to the Ron Skilton Facebook page, Sam Wickham and Jo Marriott for the photos