Ron Skilton Half Marathon

Race Reports

Report by Sam Harper.

The weather forecast was 99% heavy rain for the morning of the Ron Skilton Half marathon, race 7 in the Croft Club Chamionship series and I think may have played a part in putting of at least a couple of Croft runners from travelling to LLanrwtyd Wells to take part in this mixed terrain run.

This race is run in the memory of Ron Skilton – uncle to Jo Marriott – and to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. His family organise the race and take on all the marshalling roles – and do a great job of it, all very friendly and very encouraging.

The route changed from the traditional one last year and this was my first running of this revised version. It is still a figure of 8 route which allows for relay teams of 2 to take part, the first leg slightly longer but the second with a few more steep climbs.

The promised torrential rain never materialised and althought the going was wet underfoot, the sky remained clear and the weather conditions were pretty much perfect for an autumn half marathon.

The start and finish are outside the Neuadd Arms Pub in LLanwrtyd Wells. It was the quickest start of a race I think I have ever participated in – no pre-race talk – just a quick ready steady go and we were off up the road leading out of the town before turning left onto footpath only to spot Mr Mike B taking photos – so good to see him!

For me, the muddy footpaths were a welcome sight – so much running for me this year seems to have been on tarmac or through the heat of the summer so it was great to be dodging puddles and mud, running along forest tracks, taking in the far reaching views. There was the occassional bit of tarmac but very little – probably the worst bit coming off the road turning from smooth drive to stoney track to boggy path, steep and steady at about the 9 mile mark, but this was then rewarded with some downhill forest paths and a couple of water crossings.

I really enjoyed this race. There was a little group of runners at my level who I would occassionally pass uphill, who would then pass me going down, each time with a few friendly comments. Thea was taking it steady and I found myself running with her for most of the second loop, and I was very please to spot Oli up ahead in the last couple of miles and tried hard to catch up with him, not quite making it.

Lots of sandwiches, biscuits and cakes in the pub afterwards and the warm weather meant the presentations could take place outside, although it was a little difficult to hear who won what.

Some great Croft times. Had there been a team prize the boys would have had it with Eric finishing in second place, Jasper third and Sam fourth but that wasn’t to be. Jo Marriott won the FV50 prize.

The publishing of the results was also a little unique – on to facebook and in a very random order, but I have managed to sort out the Croft times and positions. Please let me know if I have missed anyone or got the times wrong.

Race positionCroft PositionRunnerTime
21Eric Apperley1.37.05
32Jasper Robinson1.41.56
43Sam Juson1.45.11
194Greg Jones2.09.34
265Tim Jones2.13.45
356Jo Marriott2.17.24FV50 winner
397Ashley Robinson2.20.55
438Flora Gunner2.22.57
529Oli Cameron Swan2.30.06
5310Sam Harper2.30.11
5411Thea Preece2.30.13
5812Liza Austin/Tom Davies2.31.46Relay
6813Nikki Ferguson2.45.07
7214Clare Preece2.50.35
7715Roland Preece2.55.50
7916Huw Williams2.56.38
8017Louise Phillips2.56.38

I’m not sure how the club championship results are looking at the moment but these have all been well supported this year so I am sure it is very competitive. Run any Ludlow Parkrun during November and December to count for race 8, and the FForest Fields winter league race on December 18 will be race 9 and the Hereford 10m race on Feb19th the final one.

Lots of photos on facebook thanks to Mike B and Crispin, and professional ones on the Ron Skilton Facebook page. The one of Nikki on the left that Crispin took has to be my favourite one – I don’t know quite what happened but I can’t look at it without laughing out loud! Much better one of her on the right!

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