In a race over soft and slippery ground that Mike Blenkinsop dedicated to the memory of the recently departed and much lamented Mick Ligema, Couriers were not at full strength but still performed well. It was mild with the drizzle clearing before the start. The men took 3rd spot remaining close-up 4th over the Series while we had two women in the top 12 but no third runner to clinch what would surely have been a decent team score. County Champs results are not to hand but with Welshmen in front of them on the day, both Tom and Matt have surely won county medals.

Without Eliot or Charlie, it was left to marathon man Tom to lead the Couriers’ charge and he took an exceptionally fine 6th place, only just over a minute behind winner Tim Davies. The ever consistent Matt finished strongly in 7th with the redoubtable Russ 21st and yet again 1st V50 and Sam a fine 26th. We swept the board in the V50 stakes, Richie coming home 28th and 2nd in the category and Dave 34th and 3rd. The course suited a tough guy like Mike who is beginning to recapture some of his old form and he was 41st ahead of 1st junior man, Ross in 48th whose natural speed was somewhat neutralised by the sticky conditions but who battled all the way. It won’t be long before he is right up there. As ever, Kev charged across the pasture, this time putting bullocks to flight and breaking a stile, coming home in 82nd with strained hamstring and a punctured ankle holster.

Doesn’t a red vest suit Naomi? On her X-C debut for Couriers she ran a strong race to finish an excellent 10th, with Amy not far behind also battling well in 12th. We have a good group of female runners now. Let’s hope we can again field a full team in the summer league.

But before then there is Presteigne, final race in the winter series, 5/2/17.

Steve Herington