The day began very positively, everyone on time, standing room only on the minibus plus lots of enthusiastic new members to the team proudly wearing their Bristol & West vests.
After an uneventful journey we proceeded to park & although this was not straight forward it bore no resemblance to what was to follow four hours later.
Being first race off at 10.45am meant we were blessed with perfect racing conditions.
Once the lads had eventually climbed out of a wonderful tree which they always manage to find the serious task of racing took over & I was really impressed how well everyone managed the change overs. Clearly practice makes perfect.
The first fixture is always very difficult to decide the teams & running order & this year although not perfect it could have been a lot worse.
The A team consisted of Zac Cox (14.45) running a remarkable first leg finishing in 12th position & so I had to leg it to the start to alert Joey Taylor (16.20) he needed to make his way to the line. Despite an unfortunate fall half way round & a bloody knee Joey ran a very strong race & is well capable of running close to 16 min next time. The final stage was down to Vijay Sanjeer (16.23) who has recently shown great promise on the track. Running a very senseable race he bought the team in for a very creditable 12th place overall. Considering the three members of this team have never competed at this event before I was delighted with this result.
The B team started with Daniel Jarrold (16.09) competing for the club for the first time plus young in the age group so he could not of wished for a better start. He ran with great maturity & was not phased by the fast pace in the early stages. An experienced Ronnie Wilmott (16.04) ran a very useful second leg picking up several places on his way as well as running 52 seconds quicker than last year. So the final leg was down to Max Finning (17.12) who is very new to the group & still learning how to train & race. He clearly was enjoying himself & there is much more to come form Max in future races. The B team finished a very respectable 20th
The C team was set on its way by Felix Pearson (17.48) who made the most of the competitive start & so running 41 seconds faster than last time which shows what a difference a year can make if you continue to train consistently. Likewise Ben Pocock (18.28) also beat his previous time & continues to improve as well as enjoying the occasion. Another new recruit to the u13 ranks is Barney Thomas (18.10) who showed real staying power right to the finishing line to bring our final complete team in 30th.
Apart from being the only club the to finish a C team we also started the only D team & this is thanks to Archie Green (19.21) who stuck solidly to his task on the first leg. This shows what remarkable team ethos the group has developed & everyone plays their part.
Overall the day went well from every perspective until we attempted to leave. As we approached the minibus it became very apparent we were well blocked in. However about half an hour later & 101 three point turns James Green our in-house driver finally made it out. The highlight of the day was probably the services on the way back but after such a fun day the chips were well deserved.
I am looking forward to our next away day again on Sunday 6th Oct, the National Road Relays.