HEREFORDSHIRE LEAGUE [incorp County Champs] Race 4 MONKHALL 11/1/15

Men’s Team take 2nd Spot to hold on to Strong Series Lead

With Eliot an enthusiastic supporter, still getting over his nasty Mortimers ankle injury and without the flying Dima and Rich, it was with some concern that the Reds lined up to tackle the new Monkhall course [6.1 miles] devised by Merv and Bousty and generally thought to be an improvement on its predecessor, though no less tough. We shouldn’t have worried. Our first four all performed well in the mud and wind and there were some decent results up the age categories.

Matt took responsibility for leading us home and was a fine 2nd getting the better this time of his Monross rival, Stephens. I will not dwell on the average age of the rest of the scoring team. Suffice to say that if their pension arrangements are not yet in place, they will struggle to adopt the stylish apparel of our present V65 representative when they enter this category. But all three ran great races, Russ really hitting his stride with a fine 10th place, Mike, despite his ballooning waistband, charging round his training ground in a super 13th while Tim ensured that the top four would not be without a Taylor, taking a gritty 25th. Only Maldwyn beat us on the day but they are overall 5 points behind in second with just the final fixture to come.

The Couriers’ age profile is not a matter for celebration but the fact that we took 1st V45 [Russ], 1st V50 [Dave], 1st V55 [Tim], 1st V60 [Geoff] and 1st V65 [Steve] may be toasted [for one night only, mind] with half a cup of Ovaltine. It was great to have the ever positive Dave back and though he is not in the form that took him to that splendid 2nd in the Hereford Marathon, he still performed well to notch a top 30 place [29]. Not so far back came the lean and resurgent Geoff in a wonderful 32nd, making a quicker start than usual but hanging in well.

“Have you tried turkey breast on Ryvita? …makes a satisfying festive meal if followed by Weightwatchers’ Christmas pud and a dollop of nettle sauce and a raw lemon.”

In 37th followed Kipper, being cruel to his Achilles tendon and possibly attracting the attention of the NSPAT. Neil was next man in 54th, explaining that Santa had still not sent him the training schedules he asked for. Having had a busy race schedule over Christmas and having lost faith in devices designed to keep garments in place, Kev, in his 30th Herefordshire X-C Champs, was somewhat displeased with his 70th position [out of 92].

” A man of my experience ought to be further up but I was a bit weary today and didn’t have complete faith in the drawstrings of my bally shorts. They can let you down, you know, like zips.”

He was also fuming about the lack of icy water in the water splash.

” It’s flaming ridiculous. I went crashing in expecting it to come up to me waist and there was only an inch of water. I heard the blessed concrete go and now Merv is suing me for repairs, darn it.”

As ever, Ali was our only woman but she is racing better each time out and was a gutsy 10th [out of 50 +] on this occasion.

It was great to have the support of Eliot, Bev and Sheryll….hope you’ll all be back in the fray soon. Which goes for Mr Rowberry too. But thanks as usual to him, Mike and Tony as well as all at WVR for the customary smooth running of another great event.

On to Presteigne…and Team Glory! [I trust].