Presteigne 2 Rivers – 25th Sept

46 runners entered this one, quite a good turnout considering the race clashed with the Upton Bishop Big Dipper (which Kev opted for), the Swansea 10k (a Wye Valley favourite I believe) and also the Ludlow Sprint Triathlon. So Steve H, Neil L and myself turned up for this 8.3 mile cross country.
The race started and Jon Pullen lead from the off, I decided for a more gentle start and kept with another Wye Valley runner, Jim Hicks. After a mile of up hill I began to hunt Jon down and closed the gap to within touching distance only for Jon to pull away once more.
At the 3 mile point, I saw Jon standing in front of 2 pieces of red and White tape across the track, he waited for me and we confirmed which way to go, a sign pointing right was well hidden. From there on myself and Jon treated the race like a training run, we had a significant lead over the field, but more trouble was on the way.
After crossing the second river and began the hard mile of climbing we entered a downhill section of single track with 0.3 mile left to run, Jon had proved strong on the climb and edged away once more, the route came across a fork, with the option to go right or left but the tape was in the middle, so which way to go?! I went left (the wrong way) and finished in 57mins 45secs doing a third of a mile extra. I finished the race, a little annoyed, Jon Pullen finished 20 seconds ahead and had also gone left at the fork junction. We weren’t the only ones either, the major error was that for all the people that went left it brought us out onto the track we originally ran up and into view of signs we had previously come across, Jim Hicks and Neil Lewis both followed these signs and effectively began a 2nd lap of the course, race over for them and many other runners too.
Such a shame, because it’s a great course which I have ran 3 times in the past and never had any problems before, but many more marshals are required on this race for it to prove successful.

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