Croft handicap series Race Reports
There was another good attendance for the penultimate event in the 2018 Croft Ambrey Handicap series. The cooler conditions were much more runner friendly and this was reflected in the setting of 8 new P.B.s and 2 course age-group records as club members continue to improve their performances.
Stephanie King, inspired by her age-group medal award in the Herefordshire Summer League, proceeded to annihilate her course P.B. as she slashed a huge 4 mins. and 24 secs. off her previous best to romp home way ahead of all the other competitors by a margin of almost 3 mins. Ireland Pearson made a promising debut on the course and overtook Bryan on Heartbreak Hill to finish second. The remarkable Mr Markham, having cycled 35 miles on the morning of the race, took 3rd place and continued his record as the oldest runner to complete the event. What is his secret ? Clean living ? No, I am ruling that one out. Monkey blood therapy ? His appearance may suggest that, but no. I can only put it down to having led an easy life.  Whatever it may be, he is a shining example to all of us and long may he run ( to quote the magnificent Neil Young).
Another scintillating model was supplied by Robyn & Will, the Gorejoyous stellar siblings, who are both in a rich vein of good form. Robyn’s time of 27.21 places her 5th in the best female times on the course, and Will’s time of 24.15 raises him to 10th in the male rankings. Will is now rivalling Kelly as the runner who just keeps on getting better and better with every race.
A couple of age-group course records were set with Jo Marriott taking 6 seconds off Sue Powell’s FV50 record – it could have been much more had Jo not been busy chatting far away from the start line when her scheduled start time arrived – will she ever learn ? Neil Taylor, another runner enjoying excellent form, broke his own MV60 record by 16 seconds.
One of the heroes of the club’s magnificent victory in the recent Herefordshire Summer League, Andy Salt, decided to make an assault on the course for the first time but he was just unable to batter the course record. His time of 22.05 was 10 seconds shy of Mark Lamonby’s best, but it places him 2nd in the rankings with the promise of more to come. Are you ready to defend your pole position Mark ?
Going into the final race in the series, which will be held on Tuesday 4th September, there are 19 runners still in with a chance of lifting the Handicap Trophy, which was first awarded in 1995 and was shared, on that occasion, by Tom Davies and Ian Cooper. This will be based on the lowest total of finishing positions in 5 out of the 6 races.

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