Statisticians might be interested to note that the new Mortimer Forest race is 1.1 miles shorter and has 430 feet less elevation than the long-held “Mortimer 10”. Now reduced to 8.8 miles and 1329 feet of elevation the race remains a stiff challenge for both mind and body. The long scramble up ‘poison bank’ still lies in wait at around 1.5 miles, as do what I call “the bumps” – the nasty trio of switchbacks that start around the 4 mile mark. True masochists will regret that the final climb to the top of High Vinnals has now been omitted but an extra river crossing has been added to create extra interest in the final mile or so. Which brings me to a confession. For several miles I vied for supremacy with a senior lady, swapping places frequently. Charging past her down the gulley and over the stream I heard a yelp and a whoosh as she slipped back into the icy waters. What does a gentleman do in such circumstances? Only one thing of course, I siezed the opportunity and dashed off into the distance. No drownings were reported. So all in all it remains an excellent race and a highlight of the calendar. The new format attracted 283 finishers which gives a thumbs up to Russell Mapp (it’s actually Colin Lancaster who has taken over the organising – Guy) and the organisers from Ludlow Running Club.There was a reasonable sprinkling of Crofters with Sam Mayglothing leading home the club in 9th place overall (66:22), Simon Norwood was next home in 18th place (69:39) and surely Ashley Robinson deserves special mention, securing 76th place as a V65 (is this correct?!) in 80:25. Sue Davies was our leading lady (107, 84:41). I was reasonably satisfied with 115th place (85:57) and I feel a bit of form is returning. Do forgive me if I forget anyone but other times included: Glyn Williams (28th / 71:50), Greg Davies (31, 72:52), Nigel Taylor (39, 73:55), Pat Pearson (43, 74:25), Dave Rouse (63, 78:18), Gary Gunner (122, 86:56), Sam Harper (156, 91:36), Tom Davies (201, 99:58), Mark Griffiths (235, 107:27). More Crofters will take part next year hopefully. Race report by Neil Taylor.