4th Herefordshire League X-C Monkhall 8/1/12

Police are reported to have received a number of calls from alarmed Callow residents as they were preparing their Sunday roasts on 8th January.The earlier contacts related to the sighting of what was variously described as a tsunami / “huge water spout”/ “Icelandic-type geyser” “going off” on Mr Price’s farmland. A later wave of phone calls referred to “a hideous apparition in red” and “a dark-skulled alien, dripping slime”. Investigations were put in hand and, after detailed questioning of competitors, it emerged that the likeliest cause of the freak water turbulence was the bovine charge of Kev Barnes through the splash on the first lap, half-emptying it in the process and causing substantial crop damage. It is thought that the same athlete, on his second circuit, was responsible for terrifying residents who had emerged to assess the earlier incident. It is regrettable that the Club Chairman and his roadster were held for several hours at Newton Farm to help the authorities with their enquiries. Meanwhile Barnie was mystified that his post-flu 51st was attracting so much press attention.
Behind Kev’s son and heir, young Jon, who triumphed in commanding style, our own silver-footed youth, Eliot, took a wonderful 3rd place, reputedly skimming the splash like a dragon-fly. Just let him beat the old fox, Jon Pullen once and he’ll never look back. Also strong again in the top 10 was Mike in an impressive 9th. There was then a gap before our final 2 scorers, Russell, after a tidy New Year’s Day 10K, 27th and, one place behind, Neil who, like Kev, was laid low over Christmas with the virulent Peterchurch Mink Virus. 
Sporting a heavily-strapped thigh as well as the weight of 59 years, Geoff started steadily, worried about his leg, but then found that the splash was just the tonic required and, like a man in a leopard-skin tunic, gradually carved his way through the field, passing “The Pensioner” [34th] on the second lap to record 31st and B Team Lead. So enamoured was he of the healing properties of the water splash that he plans further nocturnal visits, “but only at the full moon, mind,” he adds, with a twinkle. Revelling in the toughness of the long course, Mark Worthing had one of his best runs, close behind the 2 old boys in 37th.
Sadly, the A Team recorded what is surely a PW, finishing only 4th. Admittedly we were missing Rich, Luke, Dave and Max [in the hills] but we must shoot for a better score at Presteigne in the last fixture on 5th Feb.
Even more sadly, yet again we failed to field a women’s team, with Ali once more our sole representative, as ever finishing well up in a remarkable 6th spot.
As far as the County Champs go, I haven’t seen the official results but it looks likely that our team of Mike, Russell and Neil [with Kev as spoiler] will be on the vets podium, probably collecting bronze…but this all depends on exactly who did and did not enter. But well done the 4 man team in any case!

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