A Halloween Hundred and Muddy XC Fun

This weekend, while most of us enjoyed a bonus extra hour of sleep, Martin Croucher was completing his first 100 mile event. He travelled to Kent to take part in the Halloween 100, something he has prepared for meticulously for many months. Who better to tell the story than Martin himself.




“Like most races, when you sign up for them months in advance, it seems like a good idea. This one was booked around May last year when things looked like they were opening up, however when October came around, although the race did indeed take place, I decided against it. So this race has in fact been about 18 months in the planning. During this time, I have totally changed my running philosophy and training regime and this was the first race where I have had chance to put all the hard work into actual practice. During the week, I kept looking at the weather forecast and it didn’t look great. High winds and rain for the duration of the weekend. As it transpired we got kinda lucky. The winds on top of the cliffs at Dover were though gusting at around 40mph which made even walking a challenge for the first 4-5 hours. Rain wise, just one complete drenching during the morning for about 10 minutes. The rest of time just windy although it did threaten to rain during the night but luckily came to nothing. The only downside to it being so windy was an enforced route change so we had to endure 16x1.84 out and backs underneath the cliffs. Added to the 7x6.55 laps above the cliffs and a smaller lap to finish, that made up the 100. The laps above the cliffs weren’t too bad apart from nearly being blown off your feet at times. But with the shorter ones below, it seemed ages to start making inroads into that number. There were plenty of times during miles 55-80 that it seems like the end would never arrive. My plan throughout was to run/walk the entire race. I had practiced the ratio so was confident this would work. But how would my legs and body feel after 70, 80, or 90 miles. The answer. Pretty amazing to be honest. I could run when I wanted to at all times with the only discomfort being general tiredness and aches from running that far. Having my amazing Mum to help crew me a saved me so much time. All the prep work for food and drinks could be done before I arrived plus the aftermath of tidying up after my fleeting visits without any time wasting for the race!! Needless to say, I didn’t go hungry and the fuel strategy worked amazingly well. My expectations for the race changed over time. Initially I thought 28 hours would be a realistic possibility but as my training advanced, I thought a sub 24 hour run would be amazing. As for the result, 22:25:39, beyond my wildest dreams. Over the final 6 hours when I had just a marathon to complete, it became a possibility and the maths could be worked out. The only question was whether my legs and body would continue to run as they had for the previous 16 hours. The answer was most definitely yes. Throughout the race, I could run when I wanted to and needed to. Definitely a tick for my new training technique.”


Huge congratulations to Martin on his wonderful achievement. 30th October, Halloween 100, 100 miles, trail

1 James Bennett (Unknown) 19.12.24

6 Martin Croucher (Cirencester AC) 22.25.39

32 finished


The club played host to the first race of the cross country season in the glorious surroundings of Cirencester Park. Liz and James Thomas, cross country experts, summarised a successful and hugely enjoyable day.


“It was a wonderful sunny day for the return of the first fixture in the Gloucestershire XC league series, with the course organised by none other than our very own coach Dorian! The course was very hilly with plenty of mud in true cross country style. The men’s field was very strong with over 172 competitors making for an exciting mass start and some tough competition. Our first finisher for CAC was Bill, back from injury with a bang to claim 15th place overall and coming 3rd in his age group. Followed closely by James T in 20th place who had a good race just two places ahead of Aaron Willis who also achieved a 3rd in age group placing. Tom P followed on with a fantastic sprint finish taking several places on the line. Luke Campbell was back racing for CAC again, followed by Ian B who placed 4th in his age group. Tom H, Dave Musgrove, Neil C, Andy Fellows, Graham B and Ionel were also competing and completed a really strong turnout for the CAC men’s team. These excellent performances leaving the first team in 4th place overall and the male vets team in 3rd overall.

In the MU15 category Nathan Govier was competing for Cirencester. In the MU11’s, who reportedly all had a great time, we had Joseph Stickney in 10th place overall, followed by Ernie Hayward, Sebastian Compton-Evans, Robert Stickney, Joe Cook and Rory Brown who was competing against boys over 2 years older than him. Great effort boys!

On the girls side we had three competitors in the U11’s with Isobel Daniels, Lucy Laight and Ellena Daniels all completing the course together, well done girls!

There were 169 women competing on Saturday and three Cirencester ladies turned out to join in the melee! Nea, despite having run a great parkrun time that morning went on to lead the women home and came in 45th place overall with a speedy time of 34:39. Just 5 minutes later in 100th place was Jo Roberts who came 7th in her age group, and Liz Thomas following less than a minute behind in 112th place after losing a few places in the last 200m – let that be a lesson not to go haring off too fast at the beginning! It was a fantastic course, the women completing two large loops and negotiating tree roots, mud, puddles and of course the hills.

In this edition of the report special thanks go to Dorian, Rupert & Tim for organising and setting up the course and to all of the marshals and supporters who cheered everyone round and made the day possible. There was lots of positive feedback from other clubs who really enjoyed the day, so it seems like the cross country season is back with a bang! If you haven’t tried it before, come along next time to enjoy the famous cake and camaraderie!”

30th October, Gloucestershire XC, Race 1, Cirencester Park, various distances

Senior Men & Vet Men <65, 10km

1 Dominic James (Western Tempo) 35.59

15 Bill Leggate (Cirencester AC) 39.44 – 3rd MV45

20 James Thomas 40.39

22 Aaron Willis 40.44

36 Tom Purnell 42.25

47 Luke Campbell 43.10

51 Ian Barrett 43.24

54 Tom Hunton 43.34

85 David Musgrove 45.51

99 Neil Corbiere 47.25

124 Andy Fellows 49.55

138 Graham Blackburn 52.04

151 Ionel Iancu 53.23

172 finished

Standings - Team Open - Men

1 Western Tempo (A) - 77

4 Cirencester AC (A) - 191

14 Cirencester AC (B) - 651

18 finished

Standings - Team Masters – Men

1 Western Tempo - 92

3 Cirencester AC - 142

16 finished

Junior Boys – Male Under 15, 4.5km

1 Harry Maxwell (Team Bath AC) 17.45

20 Nathan Govier (Cirencester AC) 24.21

23 finished

Junior Boys – Male Under 11, 2km

1 Fletcher Rogers (Tockington Manor School) 8.43

10 Joseph Stickney (Cirencester AC) 9.22

13 Ernie Haywood 9.34

20 Sebastian Compton-Evans 9.38

24 Robert Stickney 9.57

25 Joe Cook 9.58

41 Rory Brown 10.48

43 finished

Standings – Male Under 11

1 Tockington Manor School (A) – 13

2 Cirencester AC (A) – 43

7 Cirencester (B) – 90

9 finished

Under 17 and Under 20 Ladies, Senior Ladies & Vet Ladies & Vet Men > 65, 6.5km

1 Julie Emmerson (University Of Bath) 27.32

45 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 34.39

100 Joanna Roberts 39.59

112 Elizabeth Thomas 40.49

Standings – Team Open – Ladies

1 University Of Bath (A) – 8

24 Cirencester AC – 257

37 finished

Junioir Ladies – Female Under 11, 2km

1 Martha Marsden (Cheltenham & County Harriers) 9.10

36 Lucy Laight (Cirencester AC) 14.15

37 Ellena Daniels 14.20


Numbers were low at Cirencester parkrun on Saturday, maybe due to the atrocious early weather and many club members being involved in the cross country later on.


Tom Payne had a fine run despite the soggy conditions underfoot, finishing just 10 seconds behind the winner in second place. Ionel Iancu had a warm up for cross country, as did Nea Sneddon-Jenkins at Tetbury. Rare parkrun appearances from Rachel Barrow and Liza Darroch brought Rachel a new parkrun PB. Rachel Ranger was tailwalking, keeping up the CAC presence on the essential volunteer team.


Ollie Campbell was an impressive, and very close, second at Coventry.