Thames Hare & Hounds Alumni Cross Country – 15.12.18

Race report by Dave Phillips.

The TH&H club was formed in 1868 and has its HQ alongside London Cornish Rugby Club on Wimbledon Common near Kingston on Thames. Most of its events are XC and they have loads of them each year. Check them out. Yesterday was its 66th Alumni race for former pupils from schools all across the UK. I ran for the Old Warwickians (5 in our team) alongside teams from Coventry (Bablake and Henry VIII), Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Westminster and many others. To the chagrin of Eton and Harrow, many teams (Cov’s Henry VIII included) had ladies running!!! Just “not on”!!

So I caught the 1014 train from Warwick Parkway and after the underground and a bus trip from Putney Bridge (start of the Oxbridge Boat Race), my friend Martin Garrett and I arrived the HQ. The weather was appalling with rain, wind, near freezing conditions-just what the 250 or so runners wanted for this very tough course (tougher than any of the League XC runs by a long way). Then the 1430 hrs start was delayed by c15 mins due to the race numbers getting “lost”. So with all the bad weather it was almost dark when we started but what a killer of a course it was. Non-stop mud, puddles, long slopes, many fallen trees to scramble over (or under), no open heath land as it was all in the woods and of course us lot at the back were on our own. Fortunately having done all 4 previous ones with the OWs I sort of knew my way around but we had to follow the white markers in the ground. However the last 2 miles were very dodgy as it was dark in the woods, very isolated and no dog walkers because of the weather, but at last the rugby fields came into view on the edge of the woods so just ½ mile to go-so I thanked my Maker!!

Then showers and bags of cakes/goodies/sandwiches a plenty for everyone. The results and prize giving take place in the nearby Telegraph Inn but I had to get back home so it was walk (in the rain), bus, underground and a very crowded train back to Warwick Parkway and home at 2000 hrs. That’s why we were not at Massey the dinner dance.

So what better way to spend 10 hours on a pre-Christmas Sat? Beats shopping any day.

So any Massey runners (all sexes welcome) who went to school in their youth (may be a few) see if you can scramble a team up for 2019. Check out the TH&H site and contact me also. More the merrier.

Result for me:

Dave Phillips 67.05 mins.