Herefordshire winter XC, Presteigne ladies race

Race Reports

Well done to the ladies!!

Nine ladies came along to represent Croft at the last race in the Herefordshire Winter League at Presteigne. This meant we were able to have three teams and didn’t we do well ladies?

This race is almost unique in that it sees the women starting off and completing the race without a male runner in sight. This is especially good on this course as the few muddy sections, whilst still slippery are not so churned up as they would be if we were following in the male footsteps.

The route takes you along some well surfaced forest tracks as well as a few steep, winding and narrow paths and it just wouldn’t be the same if the Pacers didn’t rope off the easy routes so we had to wade ankle deep in mud. Actually the roped off parts weren’t the muddiest this year as there was no easy path along one section with the forestry vehicles having churned up a lovely stretch of mud for us.

The Croft A team had all to run for in this final race as the silver team medal was ours as long as we could stay ahead of the Ludlow Runners, Wye Valley having secured the gold. First Croft Lady home was Gemma in second place having run most of the race neck and neck with Danka Machakova of WV and Amy Fulford of Ludlow, Danka just taking the lead in the downhill finish.

Kelly was our next lady home in 41.21 in 11th place, an experienced mud runner who knows how to stay upright and keep a good pace and was followed one place and eight seconds later by Sue Davies which meant a winning race for the Croft team.

Emma lead the B team in 42.19 followed by myself (43.41) and Sue Powell (44.04) closely followed by Steph (44.06), EJ (44.26)and Tom (46.10), all of us finishing fairly close together and in the top half of the table which is fantastic.

The winter league has seen 15 ladies out to run for Croft which I think is brilliant. We managed to have three teams at three of the races. Well done ladies as these are not easy races but I hope you agree with me that they are fun.

Emma and EJ only joined the club part way through the season and I think had a great introduction to running in Herefordshire.

It was also good to see Sue Davies, Steph and Claire getting back to racing after recovering from injuries, you have all been missed.

The presentations saw a few Croft medals for the County Championship race at Monkhall – Gemma got a gold for first lady and Irina bronze and there were gold medals for the senior ladies team (Gemma, Irina and Kelly) and silver for the vet ladies team (myself, Sue P and Carol).

Winter league medals were presented for Sue Powell for winning her age group and Kelly took the bronze in the senior lady category.

And we took home the trophy for second team in the league which we can all be proud of. Thanks to everyone who came and took part, a real team effort I think.

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