I have had to readjust my memories of this race – I recall sitting shivering at registration for an hour before the race, and being hecticly busy; but now with online entries, fewer register on the day, it was considerably quieter and the weather was even quite hot.
We had a record entry of 155 (?), even though not all who pre-entered turned up, so the number of finishers was reduced to 133 (unless there are 20 odd runners wandering lost in the woods). The conditions were good for a fast race on this slightly altered course. There were puddles with associated mud to negotiate round the back of the hill, and a new steep, but shorter climb, but generally there were runnable slopes and long straights. It was obviously to the liking of the two Croft champions, both first time winners at Shobdon Wood. Irina won the women’s race, 18th overall, in 43.45, with Kelly a couple of minutes behind in 2nd. Liz would have been 3rd Croft runner, but was wearing her new first claim club vest. She easily won the FV65 category, setting a new course record (smashing the record for the old course),. Robyn completed the Croft team, who were awarded the team prize. Fantastic achievements all round! Sue P and Jo M both won their age groups.
In the men’s race, Andy, having been persuaded to run rather than marshal, crossed the line in first place, in 34.43, a comfortable 17 seconds ahead of Clive Morgan of Maldwyn, and taking revenge on Mathew Yapp who’d beaten him at Caradoc 2 weeks earlier. Mark T continues to shine, 4th overall and 1st MV40, and with Simon in 8th (and 1st MV45), Croft also won the men’s team prize. Nigel T was 1st MV50, Alec was 1st Junior Boy (hope you don’t mind the terminology!) and 30th overall – a fine result, Neil T was 1st MV60 and I was 1st MV70.
All in all a very successful day for the Croft contingent – I just hope runners from other clubs won’t feel crowded out!