Herefordshire Summer League – Race 4 and prize giving

Race Reports

The final race of the Herefordshire Summer League 2019 was set in the stunning grounds of
Shobdon Court. It was a very warm evening and with a 96 point gap at the top of the leaderboard we
had one goal in mind, which was to try and retain the championship trophy. The route was probably
the flattest in the series and meant for a quick race. It all starts from the top of the drive and,
similarly to Queenswood it is very important to make sure you get a good starting position. This was
due to the bollards 150m away down the drive and also the speed bumps, which with lots of runners
bunched together it would be very easy to be caught in the line of one or not see a speed bump
quick enough. The start was quick going down the drive and carries on that way until you reach the
first section of uphill in the dingle. Once you have come up out of there you have to pick your route
carefully back down before running past the lakes. One more short climb before you get to the point
of heading into the arboretum. A beautiful part of the grounds to run around and you really get to
take in the surroundings and how lucky we are to all be running in such a lovely part of Herefordshire.
Once out of the arboretum you have to tackle possibly the hardest part of the race. The tough climb
out and into the last field before making your way to the arches and then descending back down and
having to do it all over again. Similarly, to Queenswood again it also means that runners who have
not done the route before knew what to expect from the second half of the race and with medals at
stake that was all the more important. In my (maybe biased) opinion the best race we do with a
variety of sections and in a fantastic location.
44 Croft runners took on the course. We did, however, have a tougher task on our hands than first
thought. With a few of our top runners not being available to run. Mark Lamonby still recovering
from his injury from Queenswood, Gemma also having a slight injury and Katie being called away for
work. However, on the night this would not be an issue. Gareth Leek finished off his first Summer
league in a fantastic position of 4 th overall. Showing again what a valued member of the club he has
already become in his short time in a Sky Blue vest. Toby Austin was our second runner home, Toby
who had to travel back up to uni that evening showing how committed he is to his running and
running for Croft and putting in brilliant 5th position on the night. I was third Croft member home in
11th position. The other members of the A-team on the night were firstly Hannah Fletcher, who gave
her all the whole way round and finished in a brilliant 56 th position overall and she also picked up the
bronze medal in the V.35 category. Hannah who has been improving in each race she has taken part
in is showing how all the training she has been putting in is paying off. The other member of the
team was Kelly, who put in a captains performance on the night and gave her all and came home in
73 rd position.

We had many more top performances on the night also, Simon Norwood topped off a solid series for
him individually coming home in 20 th. We again carried on our impressive grouping of croft runners.
From positions 26 th to 31 st Nigel Taylor, Glyn Williams, Dave George and Matt Moffat took 4 of them
and backing up the B team with some impressive performances. Also showing that all the training
that Nigel, Glyn and Matt have been putting in for their across Wales run, they are definitely reaping
the rewards. Matt and Nigel also picked up a medal each for the series with Matt coming 3 rd on the
V.40 category and Nigel came 3 rd in the V.50 category. Oscar Austin also had a very good run and
topped his series winning the Junior male category. Jasper Robinson also ran well on the night and
came home in 66 th position and took second place to Oscar in the junior male category showing just
how strong our juniors are. Ian Price again running consistently and came 104 th on the night and also

picked up a medal for himself with a good display in the series and was second in the V.70 age
category. Sue Davies was another runner who performed brilliantly in the series picking up a bronze
in the V.50 category. Amazing to see Sue still performing well and she is still managing to find time
to run after all the work that she and Mark do with the juniors and the new 2 running groups, she
came 109 th on the night in a time of 42.31. The prizes just keep coming for Croft and Emma Jones
was another person who got herself a medal, she came 2 nd in the V.45 category and continues her
good form and on the night, she came 113 th .
Ashely Robinson along with Guy Whitmarsh are 2 runners who have tasted international success and
the summer league series was no different. With Ashley picking up silver in the V.65 category and
performed well on the night coming home in 117 th and Guy with the Gold in the V.75 category, Guy
who was not running on the night but helping out with the race. Another not running on the night
was our president Bryan, he continues to keep running brilliantly and picking up a bronze medal in
the V.75 category and still managing to keep all of us entertained with his funny remarks before and
after races. Imogen Marriott also kept her running consistent throughout the series and placed 123 rd
on the night and more importantly was rewarded for her consistency picking up the gold medal in
the U17 category. Liza Austin came 139 th on the night and was another one of the Austin’s who
claimed gold in her V.55 category. Unfortunately, Stuart was not able to keep up the high standards
set in the Austin household; however, Oscar was on hand to let him know this as he waved his medal
in Stuarts face with the comment “where’s yours”, nice to see the family competitiveness in full
swing. Gary Gunner also in-between all of his fell races managed to get himself a medal and came 3 rd
in the V.70 category. The last prize winner who unfortunately could not be there on the night was
Katie Ayres, who in her first summer league series came 1 st in the senior female category making her
mark on the league and helping us throughout the series and I’m sure will carry it on through to the
winter league.

And then it came to the big prize and it was a tense wait to see if we had won and it was good news.
And by a margin of 85 points, we managed to win the team prize for the second year in a row. As
men’s captain for the series, I would like to thank every single person who took part. It doesn’t
matter which Croft team you are part of it all goes to help the club overall. Also, all the volunteers
for every race because without them the races can’t go ahead. A very special mention goes to Mike,
who puts in so much effort for the whole series and stays up late processing results so we can wake
up to them in the morning. Without Mike, the series wouldn’t be here and we are very lucky to have
someone who is willing to work so hard to put places in place for us. Overall a brilliant series with a
fantastic outcome. Now we have the winter that starts in October to look forward.
Well Done Team Croft

Full List of Prize Winners
V.40 – 3 rd – Matt Moffatt
V.50 – 3 rd – Nigel Taylor
V.65 – 2 nd – Ashley Robinson
V.70 – 2 nd – Ian Price
3 rd – Gary Gunner
V.75 – 1 st – Guy Whitmarsh
3 rd – Bryan Markham
JM – 1 st – Oscar Austin
2 nd – Jasper Robinson

SF – 1 st – Katie Ayres
V.35 – 3 rd – Hannah Fletcher
V.45 – 2 nd – Emma Jones
V.50 – 3 rd – Susan Davies
V.55 – 1 st – Liza Austin
U17 – 1 st – Imogen Marriott

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