Croft Castle XC – Ladies race

Race Reports

What can I say that sums up how the race went at Croft Castle for the Croft Ambrey ladies that could in any way do justice to their performance?

Well done girls – you are all amazing.

A record breaking 26 team members with a fantastic 8 teams – four of which finished in the top 10! (1st, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 23, 27, 29).

With having so many runners, my race report is in danger of becoming a long list of times and positions but I think everyone deserves a mention because everyone ran a tough race well and did the club proud. For quite a while I have been sending out emails trying to persuade the lady members to form a ‘sea of sky blue’ at the beginning of a race and I think that Sundays race matched that vision.

The victory of the first team was by no means a foregone conclusion. We had been told that Amy Fulford of Ludlow Runners was going to be back following her nasty fall at the Purslow Hill Race in August and that Wye Valley would be putting on a stronger team than at Fforrest fields. But I knew the fast members of the team would give it their all and it was great to have Gemma M lead team Croft following her ten days (!) recovery after her seven marathons in seven days – to take second place, 11 seconds behind Amy. I am sure if the course was just a little bit longer she could have pulled ahead.

Emma and Irina finished only 10 seconds apart, taking 5th and 6th place, keeping Croft ladies in the lead position of the series so far.

Kelly (9th), Robyn (12th) and Katie (13th) were the B team with fantastic times to hold on to third place for Croft.

Jo T led the C team, finishing in 16th – recovering well from her marathon a few weeks ago. There was then a small flurry of Croft ladies across the finish line with Sam W in 20th, followed by Sue Davies (1st FV50), Imogen Marriot (1st FU17), Sam H and Liz (1st FV65) in 24th.

Jo Marriot, EJ and Nicky T were the next Croft team with Jo and Nicky (running with an injured collar bone) winning their age groups too!

Flora managed to get the time off work and did a great debut run in 46.14. with Jenny and Tori making up the next team.

Well done to Lisa, who I know was worried about running in the mud – I hope this race has converted her, and Sarah, who was ‘gently persuaded’ (I hope not bullied) into taking part at training last week.

Rachel Price’s handicap victory in the summer hopefully prepared her well for the race, its great to see her running again after her disappointment at the Cardiff half. In Hayleys photo, Gemma and Rachel look like they are having far too much of a good time, as does Suzanne, great to see some smiles ladies!

Louise has only been with us a few weeks and was very brave to choose this as her first race.

Theresa and Rachel T can be seen running on the second lap, not an easy part of the race to have your photo taken, but  going up that hill and looking good ladies!

If you click on these photos it does show them larger, or you can look in better qualilty on the club Flickr page.

Well done to everyone – not just those running but all those who marshalled and helped out where they were needed. The weather was nice at the start but the cold wind and the rain couldn’t have been much fun for all those standing around but everyone gave encouraging shouts as we went past.

The wind didn’t help with the refreshments either – blowing out the gas boiler, blowing away the cups and nearly destroying the gazebo. Thanks to the ladies who helped out – you did a fantastic job.

I am really hopeful that we will do just as well in the rest of the races in the winter league – no reason why we can’t have even more runners for Monkhall, Rotherwas and Presteigne.

Reading back through, not so much of a race report but more a well done to all the ladies who I am very proud of. I hope no one minds!

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