The first Herefordshire Winter League fixture saw an ageing group of Couriers helped from their vehicles to stretch their creaking limbs on a course provided by Malvern Joggers, not used before in the League.
Without Eliot and Luke to supply the sparkle of youth, the old men did as well as could be expected to take 3rd place while the women were 5th, an improvement on last season when we couldn’t muster a full team at the first fixture. We were all blessed with the presence and support of Nigel and Kev, both unable to take part following an embarrassing accident at their Zumba class. Clive, nursing a calf injury, was also on hand to count us out and back in….eventually.
For the men, Rich Hughes had a storming run in 10th with Mike 15th, the returning thoroughbred, Russell a most encouraging 19th and Neil a powerful 24th. The combined age of the scoring quartet was around the 175 year mark. Beat that, Wye Valley!
Next man was Geoff [35th] running his first race in over a year and wearing his 58 years like a light cravat as he strode clear in the closing stages from pensioner Herington [36th]. Not far back from these two was new ‘boy’ Mark Worthing in 48th, leaving nearly half the men’s field in his wake.
While we might all wish to be younger, the bright side of the ageing process is that we COULD, injuries permitting, have a damned good 45-55 relay squad come the spring with Max, Dave and A N Other joining Rich, Russell and Neil. BMAF Road Relay Champs [Sutton Park] are in May.
For the women,it was no surprise to see our oldest athlete, Alison, now with 50 summers behind her, leading the way home in 5th on the same 7 mile course as the men, with Sally Bliss 9th, an excellent showing given her lack of training. Completing the team in 44th came Sally Worthing, battling her way round with Holly, the two of them coming in together.
While the course was mainly dry, there were some testing, if short, climbs and descents. Some runners disliked the amount of road but others like Rich thrived on it. However, Malvern Joggers should be congratulated on putting the event on at short notice and organizing it so efficiently. Thanks as always to Mike B. His results service seems to be getting ever quicker as the fields expand. If we get another 50 runners, expect the results to be waiting for you as you cross the line!