Croft Castle Cross Country

020A squad of 21 Ludlow Runners hit the hills at the Croft Castle cross country race on Remembrance Sunday.

The race is the oldest in the Herefordshire League. This was its 30th consequetive annual running, commemorated by the planting of an oak tree near the start line by Brain Davies, from Croft Ambrey, who has run all thirty races and keeps coming back for more.

Ludlow Runners fielded three ladies’ teams, two men’s teams and one junior runner (Matthew Yapp, racing on his birthday!). One more male would have made it three teams (next time, chaps?).

After two minutes silence, the record field surged off through the mist, past the water hazard and up a mile long climb, eventually emerging 047into brilliant sunshine on the Iron Age hill fort. An exhilarating twisty, muddy, slippy descent into the valley was followed by a steep climb back up to the start. The first lap of three for the men, the ladies having to be content with just one more “half” lap. A total of 11.8km with 380m of ascent and a little over half that for the ladies. The final challenge was to do justice to the excellent tea, cakes and cider provided by Croft Ambrey at the finish.

Ludlow Runners put in a number of strong performances all round, but the real kudos must go to the ladies. Heulwen Gilbert was the first lady home – a truly impressive performance- and the Ludlow A team of Heulwen, Claire and Eilish was the first ladies team out of 19 competing.

Pictures from the race can be found here.

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