Congratulations to Stacey Morgan for winning the inaugural Herefordshire Festival of Running Marathon held on Sunday 21st September 2014. The festival incorporated a series of different distance races with each race setting off at approx. 5 minute intervals, so for the first few miles Stacey was overtaking some of the 10K runners before they turned off at about 4 miles. After he had shaken off the company of Couriers’ Dave Williams, a fellow full Marathon contender, he was also chasing the Half Marathon competitors on their single lap of the course. On the second lap, however, Stacey ran a solo race as he concentrated on his style and the road ahead. His consistent sub 6.30 mins. per mile pace brought him home in 2.47.14 – a highly commendable time on a challenging course. I believe that this is the first time that a Croft runner has won a marathon since Peter Tyler was victorious in the Mid Wales marathon at Barmouth way back in the mid 1980s. Peter, like Stacey, was also a veteran when he recorded this achievement – life begins at 40.
Hopefully, one of the participating competitors will write a more comprehensive report of the race as I have only the results to guide me re other Croft performances.
Neil Taylor looked comfortable when I last saw him and he recorded 3.51.17 for 27th place and 1st MV55 in the marathon.
In the Half Marathon Greg Davies registered a big PB with 95.40 to take 13th place. Not far behind, Jo Meadowcroft ran an excellent race to place 4th female finisher in 98.07.
In the 10K race Dave Ameghino took the 3rd place trophy with a time of 40.38 despite going way off course due to a direction sign having been tampered with – a constant concern for race organisers. Frank Luscott finished 40th in 48.10 in his comeback race after an injury lay-off, and Rosie Hopkins completed the Croft contingent with a strong run to finish 104th in 55.39.
There is a selection of photos on the website Gallery. My apologies for missing some runners – whilst enjoying a leisurely breakfast, I decided to check on the different start times and I discovered that they were all around the hour of 10 AM and not 11 AM as I had imprinted in my mind, so it was a bit of a mad rush to get to the venue. I am certainly glad that I did make the effort to witness Stacey’s moment of glory.