Sam Harper and I were the only Croft attendees of this 10k multi-terrain event. Numbers were down from last year, I believe, with only 80 of us gearing up for the start on a surprisingly muggy afternoon. This was a race of two halves: the first three miles were pretty flat, run mainly on pavements or hard-packed surfaces around the edge of fields (not good when you’re wearing your off-road shoes!). Finally, in mile 4 we started to climb up into Credenhill Wood and the race got more interesting and challenging! I was assured by an adjacent runner that once we got to the top of the long drag it was undulating from there but what he hadn’t realised was that they had changed the route this year! The final section was a short but steep climb through a partially-felled part of the wood, with plenty of stray logs and branches acting as obstacles, before a mad dash back down to the churchyard, across a field and to the finish. A good race in all but it was just a shame that more was not off-road as the woods were really pleasant to run through.
I finished in 5th woman (21st out of 80 runners) in 52.48 and Sam was 8th woman (29th) in 53.48. We think we both picked up age category trophies but there was a lot of confusion in sorting out the generous number of awards so after an hour and a half, we decided the need for a hot shower was greater and headed home!
First man was Matt James, Hereford Couriers, in 41.04 and first woman, Megan Judge, Malvern Joggers, in 46.37.
Sunday afternoon saw myself, Martin and newly joined member Paul join the fundraising 10k race at Credenhill.
I arrived a little closer to the start time than I intended thanks to getting stuck behind a tractor en route, but it was well organised and there was plenty of time to register and do a little bit of a warm up with Martin.
The start of the race was a little hampered by a few technical problems when I tried to take a prerace team photo and managed to crash my phone, and only realised the race had started when the crowd started to move forward.
The first 4-5Km of the race was fairly level along pavements and footpaths around the fields, then there was a sharp right hand turn to lead uphill to Credenhill Woods car park and then the rest of the race was uphill into and around the woods.
I felt I was doing ok and was trying to keep Ricardo (work colleague and Wye Valley Runner) in sight with a view to trying to get past him at some point. I got a really big lift when one of the Marshals in the Woods told me that I was 7th lady which gave me the impetus to pass the lady in front. The problem was, once I got past this lady, I could not see any runners to follow around the winding wood paths and took a wrong turn just before coming out of the woods. Luckily the runner behind heard the calls so we both turned back without loosing too much ground but I was really annoyed to see 2 ladies who I know I was in front of me running towards the finish too far away for me to catch and Ricardo just going over the finish line. On chatting at the end of the race it appears I was not the only runner to make this wrong turn and I hope they put a Marshal there next time.
The final results published on Facebook saw Martin in 14th place in 43.43, Paul in 42nd in 50.24 and myself in 56th (8th lady) in 51.59. There were 119 runners in total, 39 women.
This was a good race, which would have been good to have taken the family along to -there was a fun run around the sports field before I got there and walkers set off an hour earlier to finish at the same time as the front runners, a bouncy castle and a band plus barbecue, pizza oven, ice creams and a bar.
I also won a chocolate cake in the raffle which was one of the nicest cakes I have had in a long time.
I think I will definitely do this again if it is on next year.