After my first attempt at running this entertaining multi terrain 13 miler in 2015 when it was a round of the Croft Ambrey RC club championship I was quite keen to have another bash to see if I could match my previous performance.
Following a kind offer of a lift From Neil T. we set off for the small Mid Wales town of Llanwrtyd Wells, which as many of you will know is the birthplace and headquarters of Green Events which was set up following the popularity of the Man versus Horse marathon and other famous gems such as the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.
Ron Skilton was a member and treasurer of Green Events and uncle to our own Jo Marriott, who sadly passed away due to Motor Neurone Disease in December 2005 and has been remembered every year since through this event.
The ‘Ron’ has been, and still is, a relitavely popular event among ‘Crofties’ so it was no surprise to us to find a total of 9 of us had made the trip to the Neuadd Arms, you will notice that there are 8 of us in the photo, Sam H was holding the camera.
Following predominantly dry weather during October we were expecting fairly dry conditions but there was a fair amount of mud on the course which made me extra cautious where I put my feet fearing a repeat of Presteigne Pacers’ 2 Rivers where I managed to lose a shoe in the mud on the final fast decent, so it was with relief that I had tightened my laces adequately this time and kept my shoes firmly on my feet.
The course is made up of two loops, both of which use a variety of running surfaces from tarmac road, through forestry road, stone tracks, grass, mud and almost everything inbetween. It is possible to enter this race as a two person relay team, each member running one of the loops and this was won convincingly by our own Sam H. and Sue P. who finished 46th overall in a combined time of 1:59:34 and finished a clear 7 minutes 27 seconds ahead of the next relay team.
The rest of us plumped for running the full distance which works out at slightly less than 13 miles, but when you consider the terrain, it easily qualifies as a half marathon as far as I’m concerned. Crofts best finisher was Dave G. who was 14th in 1:44:33, next up was an in form Neil T. who finished a few seconds behind relay runner Sam in 46th (2:00:06), then there was Kelly who had a storming first run at this event even after a fall at mile 4 for, in Kelly’s own words, ‘no reason’! She finished 49th in 2:01:30. Next was myself, finishing 51st in 2:05:25, which was faster then last year and resulted in me winning the MV60 category which was very pleasing, Tom finished 71st in 2:14:30 whilst Carol and Jo ran in company to complete in 93rd and 94th respectively recording the same time of 2:21:20.
Very well done to all the runners who took part, especially of course, Croft Ambrey members!
The full results can be found at onlineraceresults.org.uk
A very well organised and excellently marshalled event which I will definitely be considering for 2017.