I find that I get quite nervous in the week running up to a race, especially one I haven’t done before. This one was no exception – were we going to be able to get through the floods and fallen trees on the roads to get there? Would I be able to see where my feet are going due to all the rain and sleet that was going to be blowing horizontally into my face?
As it happened I needn’t have worried as the floods had subsided and all morning we were bathed in magnificent sunshine.
I travelled with Ashley, fellow Shobdonkey (thanks Mike for the correct collective noun) and we set off nice and early to ensure a good parking spot. Again we needn’t have worried as parking was trouble free thanks to the great organizational skills of Wye Valley Runners.
There was a fantastic atmosphere at the start of the race, lots of relaxed runners and supporters – and lots of entry forms for Shobdon Woods Race collected I think.
We met up with Frank, Tom, Stacey, Kim and Brian Davies. Jon Utley was spotted but I couldn’t find him in the results so not sure if he was running under the Croft name.
Stacey was lucky to be at the start after getting a puncture from one of the many Herefordshire pot-holes, but a quick tyre change and a careful drive on his spare meant he was still there in plenty of time to warm up.
The race was well named this year – definitely muddy, but mainly soft mud on top of firm ground so I didn’t have to worry too much about my footing. It did go to show though that a pair of good mud trainers is essential, as I did spot a few runners slipping and sliding, though luckily no falls. I really enjoyed the run, a good mix of up and downhills, a small stream crossing – not much more than ankle deep, and a downhill finish along a forest track.
Not having run the race before so no personal time to beat, my aim was to overtake as many as possible and not let them get back past me on the downhill stretches. I think I managed this right up to about the last 500 meters when two ladies passed me on the downhill stretch but hey-ho, I feel I ran well.
Big congratulations to Ashley who was hoping for an improvement on his last time from 2 years ago and to get in the top 100. I don’t know his previous time but I know this was a massive improvement and his position of 70th meant he was the winner in his age category. Well done Ashley. Congratulations to Brian too who won his age category. The others all ran well, staying very close to their times from last year which given the conditions is a fantastic result – well done Crofties!
Stacey Morgan 11th place in 48.08
Ashley Robinson 70th 58.36 winner in V60
Frank Luscott 101st 63.13
Sam Harper 129th 65.31
Brian Davies 166th 68.25 winner in V70 category
Tom Davies 186th 72.00
Kim Wood 278th 95.08