Several lads challenge for final place in the scoring team – 4th position.
This was always going to be a difficult fixture due to the very early start plus the minibus requiring to travel from Keynsham the night before. So it was a huge relief when all 11 athletes, minibus plus our inhouse driver James pulled away dead on time at 7am.
After a very uneventful journey the joy of numbering up 11 very lively lads commenced along with ankle chips which takes some doing when time is of the essence. Before walking the course I bumped into an old racing foe who was acting as assistant course referee. She advised me due to wet weather & mud the course had been changed a little. As we were to find out later the mud took its toll for one particular boy.
For most of the team this was their first time competing at this level so it was always going to be a case of wait & see plus how strong would our rivals be on the day. As the race unraveled I could tell we were in with a shout of a medal but the results confirmed us in fourth position which although frustrating is probably a true reflection on the strength of the squad at the moment.
The scoring team consisted of the ever dependable Zac Cox (15) who ran a perfectly timed race. Ronnie Wilmott (22) who has been chosen to run at the intercounties started off with real gusto but just flagged a little at the end as Zac nipped past. Next was Alex Auton Green (39) who was a little disappointed with his performance but last year was towards the back of the field so this a big improvement. There was a fantastic battle between several of the group for the final place in the team & it was won by Joey Taylor (46) who has shown real commitment in training so this was well deserved.
Harry Harvey(48) in his first championship race is a real plus to the group & he has a lot more to give once he experiences a few more races. Right behind was Vijay Bakrania (49) who never gave up trying & is probably looking forward to some shorter track races soon.
Further down this large field came Felix Pearson (108) who now seems to have recovered well from a few niggles & so now can go forward with confidence. Training partner Max Finning(111) is always up for a day out & saves his best to the last 100m which I missed on this occasion.
Ben Pocock (121) rarely misses a race & continues to work at improving his performances. Like wise Walter Davies (129) who has recently joined the club & with some consistent training will rise up through the ranks next season.
So now back to the mud. Daniel Jarrold (130) must be named Man Of The Race. I waited for what seemed like forever for Dan to appear in the closing stages, clearly something had gone very wrong , so I was very relieved when he finally ran past & explained both his shoes had come off in the mud. Full marks for not only stopping to replace the missing shoes but for continuing to race although now at the back of the field. I am sure Dan will make amends at the next Gwent league.
After a quick game of football plus lots of cake we made our way back home stopping as usual for plenty of food as Alis Army clearly marches on its stomach.