I’m sitting here on a Tuesday afternoon with the rain pouring down outside thinking “Weren’t we lucky with the weather over the last three days of events”.
The triple series started with the Southampton City Race on Saturday, based in a very futuristic-looking Solent University building called The Spark. It was a great event, favouring competitors who could actually run (unlike me – a plodder) and the times reflected that. The winning time on my course (Womens Super Vets) was 28 minutes for 4k. Needless to say, I was nowhere near that time, but I felt that I’d navigated well (apart from going the wrong side of a wall, at one point) and couldn’t have run any faster. There weren’t a lot of WSX members there (saving themselves for the Club Championships!) and there were no Top 10 results.
The following day, though a bit nippy, was bright and sunny and there was a good club turnout to the November Classic at Highland Water. Due to the heavy rainfall on the previous Friday, the entrance to the parking field was a bit of a quagmire, but SOC coped well by placing metal netting and wooden boards down. It was good to see Frida again as she has moved up Farnham way (or is it Fareham?) and she hasn’t been seen since! It turned out not to be a great day for her, however, as she locked her keys in the car and then, no doubt distracted by this problem, managed to punch the wrong first control on her course and was hence disqualified! What a nightmare.
The courses were all extremely challenging. In fact, I haven’t heard from anyone yet who had a clean run. I certainly didn’t: three horrendous controls going round like a headless chicken and not making sense of the map. (My GPS record looked a bit like a demented snake in places!) And most of the other controls I rarely found cleanly. So I staggered back to the finish having covered over 8k, when the course length was 5.4 in a time of over 90 minutes! But it turned out that many others had had similar experiences and some of my rivals who would normally beat me by quite a margin, actually only JUST beat me.
Anyway, others in the club did have good runs – the most notable being Lyra Medlock who came 1st 0n W10A (beating her ‘arch rival’ Grace French from WIM by 10 seconds!) and is hence the Southern Champion in this age class. What an excellent year she’s had. Brilliant.
Lyra’s sister, Esk, also won her class, W10B – losing her shoe in the mud on the way! And while we’re on the Medlock theme: Jolyon won M40S and Rebecca came a creditable 6th on W40S. So a great day all round for the family.
Other top 10 results for the club were:
Alan Blanchflower 10th on M21L and James Crickmore 2nd on M21S
Well done all of you.
As you all know, the November Classic is used for our Club Championship, but results only count if you ran your correct course (e.g. Long, not Short). Much as we expected, John Cook retains the Men’s Championship for the 3rd year running – no mean achievement. But coming in 2nd was Peter Suba, followed by Tim Houlder.
On the Ladies Championship, it was no-contest, really, with Lyra Medlock winning by a long way, with myself 2nd and Nicola Brooke 3rd.
So a huge congratulations to John and Lyra!
The third event in recent days was the SARUM urban event in Salisbury last night – the 2nd event in the Wessex Region Night League. As usual, it was a very sociable event based as it was in the Pheasant pub. The score event was made slightly trickier by adding a rule which involved three groups of controls which you couldn’t mix. The key to success was in deciding when to change over from one group of controls to the next. I clearly failed miserably in this as I finished with over 8 minutes to spare but no more accessible controls for me to get! I’m never very good on the strategy-side of things at these events – but it was great fun, nonetheless.
Top 10 results were: Peter Suba 2nd; Alan Blanchflower 8th and Tim Houlder 10th. Full results will be on the website soon.
For the REALLY keen Night-O-ers, there are two more Night League events this week – Winchester on Wednesday and Portsmouth on Thursday. Don’t think my legs will manage them both.
And after that, there’s yet another Night League event next Monday at Avon Heath Country Park, organised by WIM.
So lots of chances to get lost in the dark! Have fun everyone!!