Magnificent Eastnor 7

Race Reports
Report by Bronwyn Preece.
I was quite surprised that it was already time to take part in the Magnificent Eastnor Castle 7 race again. Twelve months has flown by.
This year the 7 mile race around the Eastnor woodland took place on Sunday 3rd April. It was a cold and overcast morning with the sunshine making an appearance every now and again. Croft was well represented with numerous members turning up on the morning. Whether we were raring to go, especially with the chillier temperatures, was another question.
Over 200 runners took the start at 11am. The route took us along the field and onto a road. After starting in a gaggle of people, it was along this road that I managed to make up some time and places. Quite quickly into the run we were faced with what was probably the steepest hill on the course. It’s a tough climb but I wasn’t going to let it beat me. Other Croft members also said the same. After that was a long, rolling run through the woodland. There were plenty of ups and downs and big puddles in the middle of the tracks which made the run interesting as we tried to dodge them. Once past the drinks station, about half way around, we started to climb up to the Eastnor Obelisk. Although not as steep as the first hill, this one was long and deceiving and I admit, I did walk at times. I do know that I wasn’t the only one. Once past the obelisk, there was a quick run through more wet woodland before the best part; a steep, downhill section leading to the finish. I have learnt the best way to approach the downhill is to keep to the grass verge rather than the gravelly path itself. Running down this hill in particular became a challenge for myself this year as the lace on my trainer decided to come loose just before the decent. I decided it wasn’t worth stopping to fix this and spent the majority of this section worrying that I was going to trip over. At the bottom of the hill it was back onto the road, the same one that was run on at the beginning of the race. It was time to really push at this point. With the momentum from the downhill section runners could really put in some effort and prepare for the sprint finish looming around the corner in the field.
The first CARC member across the finish was Jasper Robinson with a 48:24. He finished 9th overall and 7th in his age category. Our first female was Thea Preece with a 1:04:35. She finished 97th overall and 9th in her age category. Also, a special mention to Gary Gunner and Bryan Markham for finishing first in their respective age categories. Full Croft results are as follows:
Race positionNameTimeAge category Position
9Jasper Robinson48:247
15Simon Norwood51:053
94Roland Preece1:03:4925
97Thea Preece1:04:359
121Bronwyn Preece1:07:4913
132Gary Gunner1:10:371
165Steph King1:16:2312
176Lisa Gray1:18:5916
177Hayley Colebach1:18:5922
189Tom Davies1:22:434
201Bryan Davies1:26:145
221Bryan Markham1:42:041
This race is tough but I managed to improve on my time from last year by four minutes. The majority of CARC members who have run this course before also improved on their times this year which is fantastic! I do enjoy this route and I can’t wait to take part again in 2023.

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