A perfect summer’s evening, dovetailing neatly with the World Cup football, saw a strong Couriers squad perform strongly but not quite strongly enough, finishing close up 3rd on the night. But before we get into details of the racing, let us pay tribute to Clive for producing such a great course. His nail-clippers were blunted by the painstaking paring of the glassy sward which he had set about early in the morning. Thanks too to the other Couriers and supporters, Keith the weightlifter, Sally, Eva, Max and Magic Sponge Man, Steve for their invaluable work on the night. As ever, Mike Blenk and Tony were on the line with Clive to count us all in before Mike spent a sleepless night producing the ‘pink ‘un’ [‘results’ in modern parlance].

It was warm racing and Eliot was affected by the heat but not enough to prevent him registering a hat trick of victories in 31.20 and the Series title to sit beside his winter triumph. What fine consistency! Matt too ran well for 5th in 33.30 with born-again Dave taking yet another top 10 finish in 9th and 1st V50 in 34.28. It was good to welcome back Luke to the fray as he produced his usual solid performance for 12th in 35.31. Behind him, Russell lost ground on the final hilly lap but, finishing 20th in 37.44, found just enough to hold off the rampaging Geoff [21st in 37.44, 1st V60] fresh from intensive work at his Bulgarian training camp. Kipper, with a tough 15 miler on Sunday in his legs, offered no resistance to his fellow sexagenarian [26th in 38.43, 1st V65]. Behind them, Kev clocked 42.39 in 52nd, having enjoyed the full gamut of track and field at the week-end.

“I might have gone quicker tonight but I forgot to take the bloomin hammer outa my back pocket. I wondered why me shorts were slipping down all the flippin time!”

We also had a new barefoot boy, Martyn Peters, running the League. He is more often seen scaling and careering down mountains shoeless but on this occasion dipped his Vibrams into the local fray, finishing 91st in 51.19. ” I thought Clive said it was hilly,” he muttered as he climbed into his sewing-machine to staight-edge it home.

We had 3 women running again but Larisa could not repeat her Kinnersley success, feeling unwell on the night and having worked some long shifts. Nonetheless she was close up for 5th woman, 32nd in 39.21 and could yet win the Series prize with a good run at Shobdon. Behind her we had Ali 67th in 44.51 and Andrea, making a welcome return from injury, with restricted training, 100th in 67.00. For the first time in the Series we thus had three full teams finishing. Things are looking up! Onward to the beautiful Shobdon course on the 23rd!

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