This was one of Merv Thomas’ renowned courses including the statutory water splash and a testing uphill gloopy section as well as some fast edge of field running.
Sadly, the Couriers squad was as threadbare as one of the Chairperson’s original 1970’s Helly Hansons. We only had 6 males and two females in action, which must be a team worst. Illness and injury were to blame for most of our absentees.
Happily all was not gloom as there were two outstanding performances from Eliot [4th in 49.23] and Rich Hughes with a remarkable 12th in 51.46, very close to top over 45, Cliff Berry. Luke, still suffering from a heavy cold, struggled on for 22nd in 54.37 while Pete, having used heavy marathon training to absorb a surfeit of Christmas puddings, mince pies and other seasonal delicacies, powered round for an impressive 26th [56.53] leaving Herington [30th 58.17] squinting to make out his rival disappearing into the distance. Kev, complaining that the water splash was much too shallow to make effective use of his front crawl, eased in in under the hour in 39th [59.41]. Our top 4 gained us 3rd spot in the team competition, a result that might have been even worse given our numbers.
Once again the women could not muster a full team but Nikki placed in the top 10 [9th 34.10] with Amy, not in her championship-winning form, in 15th [35.12].
Hereford goes to Wales on 6th Feb. Let’s hope for a better turn-out when we tackle what is reputed to be an “interesting’ course at Builth for the 4th race of this winter’s series.