SKELETON SQUAD WORKED TO THE BONE
As the Chairman was helped from his limo to face the biting winds of mid Wales, the talk in the Courier Camp was all about being down to the bare bones. But he didn’t take it personally.
It turned out that we only had 8 runners of any gender but what was lacking in quantity was more than made up for in age, cussed determination and frank wiriness [Kev included, see below.]
The men certainly didn’t disappoint, gaining a fine second place again ahead of those fair weather Croft boys. Mike had a super run, revelling in the tough conditions, especially the mucky downhills, to finish an excellent 10th, for the first time in the League getting the
better of Rich who decided to give the whole field a head start as he stopped after 100 yards to attend to his laces and other matters of personal grooming. This did not prevent him registering another great performance just one place down on Mike and in conditions he literally abhors [as he told me at the start, instead of doing his laces up!]. Chastened by his over-exuberant Croft sortie, Russell ran an admirably controlled race to finish well up in 19th. Neil completed the scoring team in 22nd, somewhat frustrated by his inadequate footwear which compromised the normal headlong Lewis descents, which are such a feature of his game. Not far behind came the elegant Mr Kay [25th], sporting his nigh-on 59 years like the lightest of angora waistcoats, well clear of the rapidly ageing Lowry creation [31st] who is our chairman. Had his neck been less stiff and he had cocked a glance behind, Herington would have seen the driving run of Raging Bull Kev who had easily his best run of the season in 35th. Asked how he accounted for his improved performance, Kev described at some length and with excessive anatomical detail how he had been shot repeatedly in the lower abdomen last week on a paintballing foray. This had acted, he claimed, like a gastric band and has been restricting most meals to four or five courses. “I just can’t manage the cheeseboard any more” he complained, “and I have to push the port away when it comes round to me.” He is thinking of marketing this dietary innovation as “Gun Therapy.”
Sadly, we had no women’s team on the day but, as usual, Ali flew the red flag high, running a particularly fine race to beat the whole women’s field, apart from 3 youngsters.
Overall numbers were well down on the previous fixtures, which was a pity given the testing, well-signed course with its wickedly deceptive finishing circuit and Builth’s welcome hospitality out of the wind and rain.