'Fresh' from their efforts at the Sandford River Run yesterday afternoon, Stuart Craft and Peter Wright took on the Watlington 10k. This is a tough one, even without today's baking heat and our boys' race weary legs.
The following quote from the Watlington 10k website gives a flavour of the event:
'Famously known as "the best hill run in the South", the Watlington XC 10k has established itself as a popular cross country run and is now in it's 6th year. The run takes in a beautiful section of the ancient Ridgeway trail before heading steeply up into the wooded Chiltern Hills. A steep descent down Shirburn Hill with stunning views of the Oxfordshire plain leads to a fast track through Beech woods followed by another steep (and we do mean steep) ascent of Watlington Hill. The final section down the hill is the runners favourite and careful foot placement is needed through the fast twisting singltrack back down to the Ridgeway to complete the course'.
Tough it is then, but very rewarding and set amongst some of the most beautiful panoramic views Oxfordshire has to offer (if you can appreciate them when your calfs and quads are screeming!) Stuart came in 18th place with a time of 53:09 (41 seconds faster than his previous time set in 2010). Peter came 35th on his fist attempt at the course with a very respectable time of 59:32.
David and Graca Craft, both of whom have taken on the course in previous years, were on volunteer marshalling duties today. Graca, who staffed the much appreciated water station at the finish line explained: "We like to suport the Walington 10k as Gus and his team are a friendly bunch who organise their events for the love of running, rather than as a money making excercise. With a £4/£5 entrance fee (and a free pint at the local thrown in!) this is by far the best value for money event in Oxfordshire (outside of our own Blackbird Leys Mile) and this is why we try to support the Watlington XC team when we can".