Hereford and Borders Winter League Race 2 – Croft Castle

Race Reports

Report by Guy

I suspect many of us will remember the Remembrance Day Croft cross country: a beautiful day the day before, and mild but blustery the following day, but miserably cold and wet for our race. I pitied the marshals out on the course, dutifully at their posts and yet also offering encouragement.
For Croft it actually turned out very well, with the men taking first team spot, thanks to the Apple-Jus duo, in first and second spot. As Mike points out, that is the first time since Mick Ligema that a Croft runner has won our race. Behind Eric and Sam were Gareth and Jasper, ensuring first team spot. The ladies came in 3rd, thanks to the efforts of Mia (6th) and Bella (7th) who crossed the line amid a whole procession of runners. Kelly was 11th and Jo M 18th, completing the team.
For those of us at the back of the field the experience is a little different! We were aware of the start as those in front started shuffling forward, and we followed the swarm up the track, through the churned up mud in the first gateway, then up the relatively clean first field. Various ups and downs led us onto the Common, via another wet and muddy gateway. The first downhill, down the side of the common made a pleasant change, but then came the soggy bottom section where I felt obliged to keep up a steady speed, like everyone else. The climb back up sorted the ‘sheep from the goats’, then we plunged into the gloom of the overhanging trees before re-emerging onto the common to find, a bit like with a kaleidoscope, a shake-up of the runners around us. Another ‘fast’ (ugh!) stretch to the horrendously muddy gateway off the common, where I copied the runner in front who swung round the gatepost to avoid the worst of the mire. Then down into Fishpool Valley, before the final climb up heartbreak hill, which I have never seen so muddy. You’d think the runners in front would have some thought for slower runners and leave at least part of the width of the path mud free, but no, selfishly their only concern was on getting to the finish. Once at the top I urged tired legs on to sprint the last 300m down to the finish, but sadly the message didn’t get through, and in my own selfish way I could only think of getting to the line, a drink and a hot bath.
I hope without being complacent I can say what a great, supportive club we are, that puts on a race for 233 seniors, and several dozen juniors too, so smoothly and efficiently. Particular thanks to Theresa and her team.


Junior training is going well on Monday evenings now and a few of them were able to take part to join us in team Croft Ambrey.

Oliver and Jamie started with the seniors up to and down the common, the U17 course then heading off into fishpool valley from the bottom of the common rather than looping back up again. They finished in third and fourth place.

The younger juniors had a 1km lap course, which was challenging – following the same path as the adults up the track and up the first field before turning back down. U11’s had 2 laps, U13’s had 3 laps and U15’s 4 laps. Not an easy run at all so well done to the U15’s – Henry finishing in 20.43 and Liv in 24.33. Croft U13’s were Owen M, finishing in 16.40 and Owen S in 18.07. There were 3 Croft U1’s taking part – Ted finished in 12.48, Taite in 14.12 and Wren in 14.35. Fantastic running – well done everyone!

All results can be found on the ready set go webpage

Thanks to our photographers, Wendy, Mike, Tim, Ali, Moray and Willow.

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