First Herefordshire League X-C Moor Park 24/10/10
Thirteen fine Couriers were saddled up, girths tight, chomping at the bit, ready for yet another tough League campaign. It was a bright fresh morning but 4 laps of lowland course for the men were not an inspiring prospect for all. However, once it was over, the consensus seemed to be that the varied course [including 16 stiles, repeated river crossings and precipitous descents and climbs] had offered a fair and not derisory test.
The men finished 3rd team, nudged out of second on countback by Croft who were in turn put in their place by a Jon Barnes-inspired Valley….but wouldn’t red suit that boy better?!! For Couriers, Eliot had a storming run in 5th,close to 3rd and 4th. It is great to see him beginning to fulfill his huge potential. More to come, certainly. Behind him, the consistent Max notched 16th, 3 places in front of the improving Luke who put daylight between himself and 4th counter in 21st, Dad [Dave].
For the B team [2nd behind Croft B] Pete Carwardine had to get the whip out in a sprint finish to beat ‘Ole Creakybones’ as they took 30th and 31st. Behind them, Kev, in shiny spandex, having reared majestically at the barriers, found he was lacking in horizontal thrust, though his 37th was enough to take him clear of the explosive Nigel [41st] who has been posting superb times on harder surfaces. Simon eased round for 66th of the 85 finishers, which included a healthy dose of the new entrants, Malvern Joggers.
Indeed, It was a Malvern athlete who won the 2 lap women’s event, helping to secure their team victory over Couriers, title-holders for many a long year. Nikki led Couriers home in a splendid 4th place, using the power she had recently demonstrated at the Cardiff Half, after coming back from more knee
problems. Ali scored a solid 7th despite a nasty foot injury en route while Amy took 10th for final counter. It was good to see Holly back competing,finishing 41st, outpacing a large slice of the field.
So, not a bad start to the season, but we could do with some of our other thoroughbreds back for Croft so that we can make a realistic challenge for both men’s and women’s titles. New men’s Captain, Dave Williams promised that he would be “strengthening the squad in ways that will make Valley’s pips squeak.”