Our representation at Master’s events has been steadily increasing and we had 4 teams out at the British Championship X-C relays in Long Eaton near Nottingham on Saturday (18th of October). The atmosphere is usually pretty relaxed at Master events with a wide age range of participants and speeds present. This meeting was no different and was a grand day out.
The course was 3k around a couple of playing fields, through a wooded muddy section and then a long stretch on a raised bank straight into the wind. The difficulty came from having to run hard and fast from the off over such a short and flat course.
Although we had 4 teams starting, sadly two of them were incomplete. We were very close to being able to fill them so maybe next time we’ll get there.
The results haven’t been published yet but we do know that our F45 team of Clare Jolliffe, Tracy Allan and Sarah Everitt won their age category, again. Clare brought us home in 2nd place for the first leg and then our strength in depth told with Tracy taking the lead in the F45 race and Sarah securing the win.
In the same race, Rosey Mushens ran the first leg as the sole representative of our F45 B team and Tom Burgess did the same for the M65 team. Both of them ran well and in their age categories and all credit to them for making the trip but you can’t get away from a sense of frustration that they had no-one to pass on to in a club the size of Bristol & West.
We almost had an M55 team (4 legs), but when that didn’t quite happen combined three M55’s with two long in the tooth M45’s to get a 5 man team in the M45 category for the first time in a while.
Tony Roper led the team out in his usual hard and fast manner and was followed by Jon Goodland continuing to show what good form he is in. Mike Nutt was 3rd off, running on little training due to a calf injury that re-appeared late on in the race and gave him an uncomfortable journey home. Graham Crump was on a tour of the UK and after a sedate Parkrun in the morning with his wife Sylvia, made sure that the winning M35 whippets did not lap us with a spirited effort in the home straight. Steve Grant had a lonely last leg but was helped by Tony Roper popping on different parts of the course to give encouragement and keep him honest.
Our M55 team did lap one other team so if anyone is thinking that this competition is too tough for them, it isn’t. Masters only events are a real pleasure and suitable for all.