There are a few dates in the Couriers calendar that should not be missed by any Club member, least of all by a senior committee man. However, we are compelled to report – and the matter may well be the subject of bitter recriminations at the AGM – that, not content with opting out of the Cotswold Relay [a Club must-do event] in June despite all Max’s persuasive powers, our Chairman saw fit last weekend to take himself off to palm-fringed Italian beaches rather than lend a hand at the Club’s gold-plated premier promotion, the Harewood Hurtle. Some members may be reassured by the explanation/excuses Mr Herington has scrambled to provide below. Others may draw their own conclusions and reflect on how they propose to use their vote when Committee positions are keenly disputed in February.
THE WORLD MASTERS MOUNTAIN RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS 17/9/11 Paluzza, Northern Italy.
I went to these Champs this year not expecting too much, a] because this was my 4th year in the O60s category so that I was bound to be at the mercy of the young and hungry and b] because, unusually, the course had not only the normal amount of climb (this year over 1500 ft in 5 + miles) but also some very sharp descents, reminiscent of The Wrekin, AND some speedy road sections.
A further factor which we had to cope with was that we were in the same race as the male O55s so it was hard to gauge your category position.
I ended up 27th out of 73, my lowest position in 5 editions of the race but, as the 3rd England counter behind 4th placed Ben Grant [O60s English and British Fell Champ for the last 3 years] and 5th man, Jackie Winn, a new O60 with a top pedigree, I was piggy-backed to a bronze team medal as we closed behind Italy [totally dominant] and Germany.
Just as we finished, a few spots of rain began to fall and we heard thunder in the distance. But it was the poor old O65s and 70s who really copped it, the rain becoming torrential as an electric storm swept through the mountains, making the course treacherous in the extreme, especially for my Cheltenham mates who, to save space in their holdalls, had packed only racing flats! Despite the course being shortened for safety reasons, they both fell 4 or 5 times, poor old buggers!
I spent Saturday night in a steamy Yorkshire enclave but escaped before dawn, with a strangely light head….