So the magnificent Massey 9 made it safely to Smethwick yesterday (a collector’s item by many accounts) for the joint event with Worcestershire. There had been races since 1100 hrs with U13s and upwards taking part all the time until the men started their 10000m run at 1430 hrs. The race before ours was the ladies’ event over 6000m and almost every club in the 2 counties was present but not a single Red and White in sight. Come on ladies-next year is a “must do”.
So 289 of us stood on the start line in what was a really beautiful wooded parkland area with no houses in sight. Then the gun went and within 5 seconds Daniel and I were the last 2 in the field. And it continued like that for the next hour!
However the 3 lap + one small lap course was as tough an event in the XC calendar as I can recall anywhere. Plus none of us had ever run there before. Each lap had 4 hills so with the small lap that was 14 climbs. The rest of the course was mud, more mud, woods and parkland (and considering it was not too far from God’s Wolverhampton Ross!!) it really was a superb venue. The valley and hill course meant that the spectators and earlier runners in their club gazebos could see most of the course and runners all the time.
Again I decided to be sweeper so that as the Massey leaders saw me in the distance in front of them before lapping me must have thought “hey who’s that Massey runner in front of me-must speed up and overtake him”. So I helped speed up our leaders didn’t I? Team tactics or what?
The support round the course was great especially as you passed the tents and finish area and overall it was a day well spent.
We had decided to meet at the Dog Pub on the A456 afterwards. I got completely lost and was heading towards the darker depths of Smethwick when I asked a guy outside his house where the pub was. He said it was not easy to find so he said “follow me.” He jumped into his car (guess it was his) and got me to the pub 5 mins away where the Massey mob were pints ahead of me. I invited the guy in for a pint but he declined saying he was driving. Hmmm so I thanked him enormously.
So all’s well that ends well.
Results: (Warwickshire positions shown not positions in event).
47 Dean Clarke 37.16
52 Mick O’Shea 37.44
70 Ross Cooper 39.15
101 Simon Brown 40.32
104 Tony Hoy 40.37
151 Martin Smith 46.04
156 Pete Paprcka 47.01
191 Daniel Connelly 59.59
193 Dave Phillips 64.08
Teams positions: (4 counters).
Massey A team 9th out of 16.
Massey B team 9th out of 10.
Hat Trick: For the 3rd successive year in this joint match with Worcestershire I’ve been Sweeper (for reasons stated of course).
So I’ve been the slowest runner in both counties. Can anyone beat that? One Leamington wag said “good job it wasn’t a 4 counties match with Staffs and Leics Dave”. I knew what the B****** meant!
Hill reps Wed it is then for main group. I’ll get my own back!
Race report by Dave Phillips.