The second round of the Gloucestershire AAA Cross-country League 2016/7 was held at Blackbridge, Gloucester with Forest of Dean AC fielding a number of teams. The ladies race is 4 miles long, over two laps. 156 ladies took part with Ann Nixon the first FODAC runner to finish, 21st and 1st FV50. She was closely followed by Samantha Harris 23rd and Helen Brown 24th. These 3 formed a team which was 5th in the Senior category (all runners) and 2nd in the Masters (over 35).
The mens race is 6 miles over 3 laps. First FODAC man was John Hamilton, 29th & 2nd MU20. Next was Alex Lindfield, 48th with Ian Smith, 67th and 1st MV50, Dan Sandford, Dave Lowthian and Julian Boon making up the senior team. This placed them 11th. In the Masters, only the latter 4 counted and the team were 7th.
Eight brave forest souls ran the Bog and Bryn Challenge. For those not in the know, Bryn means hill and with 557M (1800+ feet) it was pretty appropriate although “Bog And Most Of The Way Up And Down A B…… Big Welsh Mountain Challenge” felt closer to the mark at the time.
By the time you add in the bogs, churned up fields which try to twist your ankles, uneven farm tracks (which also try to twist your ankles), tree roots (yes, they go for the ankles as well), and fast down hill descents over uneven ground with a generous smattering of rocks, usually hidden under autumn leaves – they really go for the ankles (the rocks that is not the leaves) and you probably get something close to the picture.
Oh yes, and also the distance. Imagine doing a race like that for ten miles by which point you are really knackered, and then being told you have still got another four miles to go. It was pretty well dead on 14 miles (22.6 km) by the time we crossed the line.
Patrick Rennison was first to finish in 2.14.38, followed by Helen Lipscomb and Chris Moore, dead-heating as usual in 2.17.13. Other results: Cherry Fowler 2.25.50, David Jenkins 2.31.59, Jo Edwards 2.32.32, Chris Hawkins 2.37.33 and Gemma Hewitt 2.42.45.
The race went through some great scenery, and was really well marshalled and marked. They even provided gels with the water on the way round and tea/coffee and cake at the end, so a BIG thank you to Fairwater Runners.