It was great to see so many Croft Ambrey runners taking part in the Presteigne Pacers 2 Rivers Race on such a fine and bright, if a little chilly Sunday morning.
It really is a fantastic race and the final turnout of 96 runners was the sort of numbers it deserves but of which have been lacking for the last few years.
The start of the race is at the gate leading into the woods and I tried to gather all the Croft runners together for a group photo. With my frantic rushing round I passed my phone to the nearest person not in a Croft top and asked them to take the picture. So big apologies to Mick Ligema for not recognising you sooner and I really hope my being so rude was not the reason you had to pull out early in the race.
The race route can be described as undulating, especially through the woods – it does seem to be either up or down. The first real level bit had been churned up by forestry vehicles and was very rutted and muddy. It was difficult to know which path to take and I think the indecision led me to taking a fall, landing on my knees in the mud. Well done to Frank for not tripping over me as he was just behind me at this point. Then onwards to the first of the Pacers roped off section leaving no choice but to wade through the muddy water. I chose my path well but forgot to warn Robyn who took the slightly deeper path and did well to stay on her feet. The cold water was a bit of a shock to her system and she struggled a little getting up the steep narrow path which followed and I did manage to pass her here.
I was trying to keep Kelly within my sights and did manage this for most of the way so was able to see her stumble a little at the next boggy section but also was witness to her flying through the first of the river crossings – a very impressive sight compared to other runners who took things a little slower and steadier. Mike was there with his camera – check out the Croft facebook page for those photos.
The path after the first river crossing was nice and level and the pace could be picked up here – and I was overtaken along this stretch by Neil and Robyn. Just before the water station the path did become a little rutted and you had to watch where your feet were going to prevent stumbling. The uphill climb after the second river crossing is a long hard slog, especially if you have not run it before and think that the rather sharp left hand bend must me the top of the hill – unfortunately it isn’t and the uphill seems to last forever before the right hand turn onto a narrow and very muddy path. This takes you back down to the main track, which is a fine sight to see as it is a fast downhill half mile to the finish.
A fantastic post race spread of cakes, curry, chilli and warm drinks was provided by the Pacers – thanks to them for a great race which future does now look a little more secure.
Well done to all the Croft finishers. A good warm up race for the winter league – I hope we get a good turnout for that too.
Full results can be found on the Presteigne Pacers website. Croft Results:
|Builth and District. Winner
|Forest of Dean (winning Lady)
|Unattached but please come back to us!
|36 (4th lady)
I did get a picture with Mick, but it was a little blurry!