As I look out of the window this morning the early morning winter sun is catching the small undulations in the field below the house, elevations not normally visible to the naked eye. Likewise yesterday at Rotherwas, the naked eye couldn’t see the 13 feet of elevation that Neil T tells me existed over the 2.2 mile 3 lap course along the river Wye. It was basically flat and fast: frozen hard in the shade, but becoming slippery/mushy on the long run east along the river as feet and the sun warmed the top layer. Neil’s watch informed him he was making better speed running on the grass rather than on the narrow footpath ; what it is to have technology aiding one’s performance ‘in real time’!
A relatively small Croft turn-out of 20 runners (poor Carole arrived late, found the car park but no signs to the start and no-one to ask, so missed the race), which hid large discrepancies – the women had quality, despite absences, and had Gemma finishing in a magnificent 1st place, a full minute ahead of Ludlow’s Amy Fulford, who won at Croft. Kelly, having rested the day before, stormed home in 9th, with newcomer Emma making an excellent debut in 12th, giving the A team 2nd place, just behind Wye Valley, who lead by just 1 point in the overall standings. Sue P, Jo and Sam packed well to put the B team in 4th place, and the the C team (Robyn, Clare and Liza) were 9th, out of 16 teams. A good day’s work, with special congratulations to Gemma, to Emma on her fine first outing in Croft colours and to Clare on her return to competitive running.
As for the men, well. We didn’t have anyone in the top 30 (in a relatively small field of 106). Kevin, reliable as ever, was our first runner in 32nd (43.17). Mark L made a welcome return but he was clearly not fully fit (Sam M also came along, but just to watch, since he’d injured himself at work) finishing in 41st, with Ben a short way behind in 46th (44.53), and Ashley (1st MV65, again) making up the A team, who could only manage 11th place (6th= overall). Neil, who ran well on a 3 lap course where he could calculate his optimum speed, Guy, Daren and Tom were the high scoring (that could be interpreted as being a good thing – it wasn’t!) B team, in 20th place. Rob just missed out on the B team, and Bryan kept David Haynes at bay to finish in 105th. Eliot Taylor was first to cross the finish line on a course that obviously suited him, in 36.13.
Jasper, unfortunately the only junior in the league so far, covered his 2 laps with commendable speed (29.25), at a rate that would have brought him home over 3 laps some way in front of his dad, and maybe a little behind Gemma.