Kinnersley Summer XC 18/6/14

Results: Kinnersley ORL 2014


With weather befitting midsummer and so different from what Merv had provided for the opening fixture at his hilltop farm, the Couriers presented themselves in a compact but explosive package. Having scratched a fourth team spot in the rain and wind a fortnight ago, we responded friskily at Kinnersley to the sun on our backs, taking a decisive victory in the orchards where ploughed earth had been harrowed to produce a bobbly, sinking surface demanding strength in addition to the speed more normally called for at this venue.

We welcomed Larisa Arcip for her first outing in the famed red and, despite almost no recent training, long hours of work and some tiring travel, she demonstrated her class with a well-judged race, taking first female spot, 26th overall, in 41.39. Larisa is a Romanian international with pbs of 2.03 and 4.12 for 800 and 1500 and only narrowly missed selection for the London Olympics. We all better watch out if she gets some training in! But she was not the only female in red. It was great to see Ali back, recording a useful 72nd place in 48.34 despite having had to cope with persistent injury. And Sheryl made a significant improvement on her Abbey Dore showing, coming 88th out of 104 in 52.09.

At the head of the race, Eliot did not really extend himself to win in 34.12 but was surprised to find on-form Stacy closing in second on the run-in. Matt performed well again, 4th in 35.06, getting the better of the ageless Jon Pullen who had beaten him by quite a distance in the previous Sunday’s Darrens Dash. The next man in red to cross the line caused some consternation and urgent whipping off and cleaning of spectacles among those at the finish as he had not been expected so high up the order. But Dave is training for a marathon and is priming mitochondria he didn’t know he had and in the process, recapturing some of his brilliant form of yesteryear. On this occasion he was a terrific 8th in 36.40, 1st V50, beating, for the first time in his long, long life, the legend who is Tim, who himself ran splendidly for 9th, 37.07 and inevitably 1st V55. The even older boys, Geoff and Steve had a good tussle, the former summoning his long kick in the last mile and striding clear for 1st V60, 21st in 39.56, leaving the gulping fish out of water to pant home 23rd in 40.14, 1st V65. Not a bad sequence for the more ancient reds. And for heaven’s sake, let’s not forget ever present Kev, fresh from Saturday’s Man v Horse, his nostrils flared, his piebald coat demonstrating a lustrous sheen, his withers wrung, pawing impatiently at the turf before the start and galloping to a commanding 58th in 45.45. ” I sweated up a bit, I’m afraid, “he said, ” and that bloomin’ offside front pastern is till tender. It’s just lucky I’m a vet, I suppose.”

All thanks to Mike Blenk for preparing single-handedly the testing Kinnersley course and for the rapid deep night results service.

Westhope next -up, Wed 9th July. Let’s go for it on our home course! Anyone who can help Clive either preparing the course in the afternoon or marshalling at the race, please contact him.

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