A tight bunch of Couriers headed out for the hills on a remarkably clement, if breezy, afternoon following downpours all week which made the course a bit slippier than usual. Up front, Mark Palmer, now 50, got the better of would-be Courier, Jon Barnes and though no official results are expected quite yet, we had some decent placings behind these two with Mike Link in fine fettle around 8th [of 82 finishers] but a bit peeved to be beaten by the Monross man he disposed of at Fforest Fields last week and Luke James performing well, albeit complaining of legs infused with lactic.

As so often, we had a terrifying over 60’s squad in action, with Steve L putting around 40 seconds into Steve H, Clive pelting down the final hill sending stones and debris among the spectators as he refused to be lured on to softer ground and Martyn, alarming fellow competitors and exciting the fashionistas with kit choice brighter even than the tie-die loons he slips into for an evening out. With the two Steves 1st and 2nd in the category, the Welsh challenge from Dai Smout and Phil Miles [the latter having beaten them both on the Coity back in June] was effectively snuffed out.

It was a shame Kev kept turning his head to the side during the race as it meant that he rarely took the most direct line on the course. “I don’t know what’s wrong with the bloomin’ thing,” he complained, “it won’t look ahead.” Some suspected that he was worried about being overtaken by Bev though she was not running. Nigel enjoyed his outing, ” It was a bit hilly but the air quality was exceptional.”