Mortimer Forest Trail Run – Dec 2019

Race Reports

The last of this year’s club championship races saw 22 club members (though affiliations given on the results list are unreliable), nearly 10% of the total field, compete over probably the wettest course in memory. We duly triumphed in the both the men’s team competition (Gareth, Jack, Matt and Glyn – I believe Jon Newey [12th] is not actually a Croft runner), and the women’s team (Roxy, Jo, Katie B and Sam), in part thanks to the donor of 8 Christmas puddings – had there been only 6 puds, with only 3 runners to count, we might have lost out! We also unofficially won the M70 team prize, with Ashley, Ian and Gary beating the only other over 70! Jasper was first in his under 20 category, but was unfortunately not included in the prize-giving, despite his fine performance (33rd, in 77.54). The women’s team packed well, with Roxy 113rd, Jo 119th [and 1st F50], Katie 126th and Sam 152nd.

The 303 runners who set off soon found themselves queuing at the narrow funnels either side of the B road, and then again along the first track through the bracken, though those who got away faster no doubt suffered less from the early congestion. Again we avoided the double stream crossing (like last year) because of fallen trees and extreme mud on the stream banks. So we came sooner to Poison Bank, where we advanced uphill at the speed of the slowest (unless you took a parallel route through the wood to the side!). After that there were puddles and mud, and a few falls. What was once a tarmac forest road after the last of the three pipe track switchbacks, has been turned into an uneven, mud-covered track, further sapping energy and resolve. As we crossed the Ludlow – Wigmore road, we were offered drinks (though they couldn’t supply me with Sanatogen), now with only a couple of relatively easy miles to go, since the diversion through the woodland was cut out because of the fallen trees over the path. Such a straightforward run saw me being passed by younger, faster runners. Finally there was the steepish climb back up to the oak wood, and final dash down over loose leaves and underlying mud, into the finishing ‘straight’ through the bracken, where overtaking was only possible for the very brave.

Our ‘new’ members, Eric and Diane both had excellent runs, as did Gareth in 4th, not far behind legendary winner, Lloyd Taggart. Veteran Nigel T (26th), and Katie B in the women’s A team also stood out with their performances.

1st Lloyd Taggart 62.10

4th Gareth           65.12

8th Jack               68.21

20th Matt            73.44

23rd Glyn            74.06

26th Nigel T       75.33

33rd Jasper        77.54

56th Eric            81.14

63rd Greg J       82.36

85th Ashley       85.57

110th John J     89.01

113th Roxy       89.12

114th Ian         89.32

119th Jo           90.17

126th Katie B   90.49

130th Tim J      91.22

149th Mike P   94.18

152nd Sam      95.02

160th Lucy       96.03

175th Guy        98.09

181st Rob        98.54

182nd Diane   99.08

206th Gary G  102.25

226th Steph K 106.34

229th Flora     106.42


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