It was a great day for the Couriers’ men at Croft as the bright sunshine lent an added lustre to the succession of scarlet vests at the head of the field, highlighted as they were against the verdant green of the pasture and the magnificent autumnal hues of the canopy. Yes, it was muddier than it has been for a few years but this did not stop Eliot recording yet another fine win, some 40 seconds clear of John Pullen, after he had never been in any real danger of losing on this 7.4 mile circuit on which the slightest lack of fitness or strength is certain to be found out.
But this was only the first indication of the success to come as the A Team [with Eliot joined by Matt 7th, Luke, just 3 seconds behind him in 8th, and a resurgent Mike, who has a special liking for hills when they are aslop with mud, 10th and 1st V40] triumphed by a single point over the Valley.
Playing no small part in keeping the Blues at bay was Richie, who suffered a nasty gash to the leg after a fall on the first lap but still managed to finish 12th and first counter for the B Team who also won their section, with Russell a fine 14th, Max,1st V50 and now learning to run again without rigid arms, 16th and Neil finishing powerfully in 22nd.
Not to be outdone, the Cs also took top spot with Dave, a little down on his best in 24th, 2nd V50, Steve H 32nd 1st V60, Geoff returning from injury and coming straight from a male netball tournament 45th and 1st V55  and Steve L “where were the frigging hills?” 53rd and 2nd V60.
One man who has had decidedly better days at Croft was Kev who unfortunately recorded a personal League worst.  He had purchased a can of what he thought was a sports drink at Locks Garage on the way to the race but, after downing it in one, discovered that it contained astronomical properties. “It was full of dark energy”, he complained, “that’s the stuff which accelerates expansion, the last bloomin thing I need.” Whether or not this substance was responsible for his plunging fall and slithering down a sheer escarpment on lap one, which an eye-witness likened to ‘ a bullock crashing to earth ‘ is open to debate.
It is understood that Kev received treatment for a strained hock after the race.
Sadly, we had no women’s team out with only Bev and Julie sporting the red. Julie improved on her previous League outing to finish in 38th while Bev, slightly apprehensive about the course, which was new to her, perhaps started too cautiously though still finishing well up in the V40s in 23rd overall.
The men’s team is now top of the League with the Valley…..Hundred House 2/12/12 will provide the opportunity to get our noses in front by the year’s end. Come on you Reds!
Steve Herington