As we approached Fforest Fields the weather seemed in suitably sombre mood, after Wales’ narrow loss the previous day to South Africa. There was little fear though that the going would be sticky, even with wet roads, after 10 days or so of fine dry weather. As we waited at the start, now a couple of hundred metres further back than last year, we contemplated the steep hillside to our left, the top of which was shrouded in mist and which we would only too soon see at close quarters. At the off we shuffled forward, gaining speed along the track and thinning out a bit as we descended the first field, round the lake and then began the first climb. Unlike Brown Clee this wasn’t an unrelenting climb, because there were gentler parts but the steepness kept coming back until finally we were right on top and coming back down through the trees, onto more track and through a wooded area at the north end of the campsite, but instead of a short run-in to the finish we had another slog up an ever steepening track, down a bit, then up a path at the foot of the slope, before turning to run down the first field again, round the lake and then a sprint (if you were lucky enough to have one) along the track to the finish.
Croft runners were out in force, in the field of 173 finishers, and had 4 men inside the top 18, which gave us 2nd team place, with Mark holding off two fast finishing Wye Valley runners to finish in a fine 6th position. Then came Stacey in 9th, Sam 12th and Andrew 18th. Ian Price was 1st MV65 (Steve H having dropped out early on), and Gary 2nd. The women also packed well at the top: Irina (11th, 51.38) overtaking Liz (12th, 51.50) just before the end, and Sue (14th, 52.39) placing the team 2nd, and close on their heels were Sam (16th, 53.03), Steph (17th, 53.08) and Jo (20th, 53.46) giving them 4th place. Carol finished exactly halfway through the 62 female runners, in the very creditable time of 56.26.