Having never raced further than 10k I decided a half marathon close to home and off-road would be good to try.
As it’s fairly local there are probably quite a few Croft runners who’ve done this race before but on Sunday it was only me and Kelly there. Kelly shot off like a greyhound at the start, having previously run the race she knew there was more than a mile downhill to get going with. I held back cautiously as I had no idea how I would cope with the distance and was worried I’d run out of steam far too far before the end!
After the initial downhill there was a flat muddy section (glad I put my off-road shoes on) followed by hills, forest tracks etc. I caught up with Kelly at mile 4 who was struggling with her breathing after her sprint start. I pushed on and luckily there were enough runners around to help keep me going.
The course is really varied with ups, downs, mud and hard track trails. The worst bit for me was miles 9 -10 which was a straight, easy access track with high hedges so nothing to distract my attraction – just a straight slog! The finishing mile was also incredibly tough (think High Vinnalls) but with no downhill to the funnel!
I surprised myself by finishing 73rd, 10th woman (1:50), 1st FV40. Kelly came in 103rd 19th woman (1:55) so a good Croft Ambrey representation!
Easy parking, nice toilets, playgrounds for kids and café for supporters were definitely a plus side!