The traditional start to the Croft Ambrey summer season attracted a disappointingly low turnout, with a few familiar faces missing – the last 2 years’ opener has boasted double that number. There were some excellent performances, however.
Stacey, still not back to full fitness, led from the start to continue his sequence of wins and hold off the attentions of the young pretenders. Sam finished second and gave a good illustration of his improvement by recording a huge P.B. despite having competed well in a tough duathlon just 2 days previously. He had been predicted to be the next club runner to break the 30 minute barrier and he duly obliged with a time that now features him at no. 14 on the all-time list over this classic course in an event now starting its 28th year. Toby ran stride for stride with Sam until he weakened over the final mile but still registered a big P.B. and went tantalisingly close to the 30 minute barrier as he crossed the finish line in third place. His time of 30.17 takes him to no. 17 on the aforementioned all-time list and, at the age of 17, there is lots more potential there for faster times ahead. Perhaps more important to Toby, was the fact that he is now officially 51 secs. quicker than his Dad – bragging rights in the Austin household assured. It was good to see Mark, another who had contested the recent duathlon, running again. He is still short of full running fitness as he concentrates on his triathlon preparations, but will soon regain that level with a bit more intensive training. Also good to see Andrew competing again. His time may have been slower than in previous years, but it was remarkable considering that it was achieved on a minimum of training.
The biggest P.B. of the night was recorded by Carol as she continued her impressive progress. Her time was over 5 mins. quicker than that recorded in this equivalent race last April. There was a promising debut from Julie, again running on tired legs after conquering the strenuous Shobdon Wood Race just 2 days previously.
The next race, when runners will be handicapped, will be held on Tuesday 12th May.