The Builth guys cooked up a tough course, very well signed and organised and threw in some lovely Welsh weather to help us all on our way. Although overall numbers were a bit down, the standard was pretty good up front. We put on a fairly decent performance in the men’s team event, taking third but being much closer to Croft [who won] and Wye Valley this time. This was largely down to two top 10 efforts by Eliot, our lead man yet again, in 7th and a fabulous 8th by Rich Hughes who, on his low mileage diet is improving all the time. I can see him beating the excellent Cliff Berry of Ledbury [leading V45] before long. Max wasn’t too pleased with his run but still notched a valuable 14th. Perhaps if he focussed on the event rather than doing Norman Wisdom impressions for the camera beforehand, he too would be taking his rightful spot in the top 10. Our final scorer was gutsy skipper, Dave Williams, still not completely over his achilles injury and short of training but battling all the way for 25th. Pete ran his usual strong race for 29th, the Christmas puddings a distant whiff in his salivary glands, with Steve Herington being blown round the course like a dead leaf in 35th. By contrast, Kev did not achieve take-off but, in a desperate finish, ploughed a visibly deep furrow through the marshland section round the lake, which the conservation officers are now having to repair. Preventing himself from actually being swallowed whole by the bog allowed him to cross the line in 42nd. This was 6 places ahead of Rich Wall who had made the big mistake of listening to Max and doing a brutal spinning session less than 24 hours before the race. So much for the Norman Wisdom book of “Best Training Tips for Athletes.”
Fortunately this manual had not been consulted by either of the two women Couriers competing, who both registered fine top 10 positions, Nikki, back from her Bath holding camp, in 6th and Amy 9th. Such a pity we didn’t have a 3rd runner as we could have been well up in the team race. Perhaps at Presteigne on 27th ?
It was good to see Geoff Kay at the event acting as consultant to the men’s team captain. We should have him back in the spring after
a stint of warm weather training in Cairo.
Courier Cups Page Updated too.