Eliot and Matt take Couriers well clear in the Series

As the cold wind blew across the Siberian wastes of Ufton Court, a depleted Couriers’ squad stamped their authority on the Series contest, coming second on the day with the same number of points as victors, Ludlow [who I don’t remember ever winning a men’s match before] but increasing their overall lead ahead of new boys Maldwyn to a bloated six.

We were missing Dima, Russ, Tim, Dave and Tyshane but still had the fire power in a competitive field to extend our lead over our nearest challengers. Eliot ran a superb race, sticking with international mountain exponent, Tim Davies till the final mile and finishing less than half a minute behind him. What a performance! As usual, Matt was right up there too taking a fine 5th spot. We had a bit of a wait then before Rich [20th and second V50] and Mike [25th] closed in the team. Both normally finish a good bit higher up the field and were disappointed with their runs. On the other hand, this is an indication of the improving quality of the League with plenty of new names vying for glory.

Which brings us to Geoff. Not that he is new but that he ran a particularly canny race in 31st, overtaking the fast improving fellow V60 Ashley Robinson of Croft in the latter stages to register his second successive category triumph. Equally canny was his earlier decision to send Mike Warrick complimentary tickets to see Pink Floyd in Berlin the same week-end. Good planning, good execution, Geoff.

Still troubled by his achilles finn tendon, Kipper scraped round in 41st [1st V65] ahead of Neil [60th] whose only training has been running up and down people’s garden paths, Kev [65th] and Nigel, not fit but making his season’s debut in 70th.

In the women’s event, the red banner was again carried aloft by Ali, our sole competitor, who finished a storming 12th and second V50 in a field of around 50.

I believe most Couriers missed a ceremony conducted with less fanfare than it deserved in the cavernous barn after the race. Here, our own Kevin was called forward by Mr Williams of Hereford and County AC to be presented with a shield marking his extraordinary performances in track and field for the Club in the season just passed. Never one to duck a challenge, Kev put himself on the line in numerous events, scoring consistently on tartan across the Midlands over the summer. There were, hardly surprisingly given the demands made of him, one or two periods of confusion as when he pole vaulted over the high jump bar and put the discuss, but this must not detract from the legend’s achievement. Well done, Kev! Athlete supreme!

Thanks to Nicky Goodwin, her fellow Triers, Mike, Tony and, of course, Clive for orchestrating another fine race.

Monkhall is Sunday 11 Jan. Never mind Christmas.

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