A brief summary of a great day out with some fantastic results from a strong team in black and yellow throughout the field.
We had a great team pic at the beginning – caption competition “Where’s Paul” was the winner – albeit not sure if that was a metaphorical question or a metaphysical one..
As we gathered in the pen for the start with the sun trying to shine through the only sound to be heard was the wind whipping through between the runners and Becky’s de-rigeur stylish black bin-liner.
A sole trumpeter played the Last Post beautifully and we all observed 2 minutes’ silence thinking of our families and loved ones and those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Then the gun and we were off. Alex G and Ben H were in the lead group of 5 who very quickly moved off from the rest of the field. Conditions underfoot were pretty treacherous on that first lap of the field and a couple of runners went over.
My first K was about 3:30 but I told myself it was flat / downhill and that it wasn’t too crazy a pace and to see how the race played out.
Windrushers featured throughout the field with some great tussles for places; personally I had seen a series of black B&B strips amongst the front pack and knew that I absolutely had to beat the scrawny lad in their strip about 50yds in front of me if we were to have any chance of a team win.
The race featured a variety of testing and technical surfaces and twists, a 20m scramble, lethal wet grass, stony paths and brambles a-plenty, with a brutal set of uneven steps to climb after a nasty soggy patch of grass at the end of each of the two laps.
In the ladies’ race Becky G led the team out despite being slightly jaded from the night before with pavement rash all over one knee with Lucy H taking a more measured pace.
With the various twists and returns there were loads of places to spot friendly faces and track their respective progress. I could see Ben and Alex still in the leading group on a couple of the switchbacks and it was great to see Haren and Dave S on the second lap where the figure of 8 crossed.
And then, mercifully it was the last couple of Ks and trying desperately to catch the B&B guy (#fail). Lucy took full advantage of Becky’s ailments and pounced past at around the same stage as Alex finally opened his legs on Ben and crept away..
Dave S wins the Captain’s award for guiding Haren with only a couple of tiny spills!
In total there were 23 of us out there representing with pride - perhaps a final time with a fond farewell to Harry V.
Followed by a lovely long lunch at the Milkwood who managed to somehow fit 18 people round a table only booked for 10 and still serve us with great food and lots of beer/wine/and of course Fireball..
Alex Green, 3rd overall 36.48
Lucy Hurn 1st Lady 43.31
Becky Goodwin 2nd Lady 43.45
Ladies team 1st (Lucy, Becky, Sara Roberts)
Yours truly – least slow old fart (1st V40) 39.06
Actually I thought Dave S did brilliantly acting as steerer round that particular course!
And only felt very slightly guilty sending Haren on his way with a "you'll feel better if you run it off" after a cursory damage damage inspection after coming across the pair of them at the bottom of a root strewn slope
....before settling back to a very steady jog in the general direction of the cakes while watching the two of them plough on to the finish - seriously impressed
Great race and a great report, only bettered by the post-race social. Props to our fearless leader and run captain Mr Lloyd C - An all round performance to be proud of, even taking charge of accountancy matters in Milkwood!