HEREFORD X-C LEAGUE RACE 1 Fforest Fields 19/10/14


Something about the leaf-drop and golden tints of autumn seems to breathe fresh life into the limbs of young and ancient Couriers alike. For, just as we did last year at the same venue, the squad utterly dominated the event, the A, B and C teams all topping their respective groups and the B team taking 4th overall ahead of new boys, Maldwyn A’s and Wye Valley A’s. The message has assuredly gone out that we mean to defend our League title even if the Luke James-reinforced Monross have pretensions to challenge.

As ever, Eliot led the team home in fine style, shaking off the home challenge of Tim Iveson to win by almost a minute. In the light rain and blustery wind, it was a tough course with a fair bit of climbing though half a mile shorter than last year and Matt showed great strength to take third, less than two minutes down on Eliot. In 5th Dima [1st Junior Man] demonstrated what great talent and potential he has and was not going to be outkicked by the wonderfully refurbished Rich, flying at 50 and well clear in his new category, notching 8th, just 11 seconds behind our young speedster. To make it an incredible 6 Couriers in the top 11, Mike, shimmering with his recent obstacle race success in Ibiza, claimed 10th spot [3rd V40], one ahead of Russ [1st V45], clearly returning to form.

Marathon man, Dave was 20th [2nd V50], probably still recovering from his recent fine performance over the 26.2 miles. In 30th, the colt-like Geoff, revived by a week at his Turkish training camp, romped through the field to take 2nd V60 behind the stupendous Mike Warrick who, after a category 2nd in the London Marathon, has been sweeping all before him on the ultra distance circuit this summer. Geoff was not expecting the end of the race to come so soon and was annoyed to finish with fuel left in the tank. He was nevertheless well clear of Steve, 36th, [1st V65] who has lost some of his summer form. Neil came home in 45th after another long sabbatical, just ahead of new boy, Ty, 49th, who chose a particularly hard course on which to make his debut but showed enough in the early stages to suggest that he will move far higher up the field once he is race fit.

After a good 1.41 in the Cardiff Half, Kev, 58th, was expecting to make his presence felt at Builth, but not in quite the way he did. He finished with a heavily grazed shoulder after a collision with a tree.

“The bloomin’ thing came straight at me …he didn’t slow down a bit…..he musta seen me comin’…. Anyhow, he came off the worse ..I shattered a couple of his lower boughs, the silly bugger.”

Our sole representative among the women was the perennially reliable Ali, who despite injury, finished well up in 14th. Such a pity Bev, who came to support the team and Sally who has been getting back to training were not in a position to run. That threesome would surely be up there challenging!

Thanks as ever to Clive for sorting us all out. We’ll have him racing too one of these fine days!

Less than a month till Croft..keep the pressure on!