Thanks to Dick and Mark for helping with all the organisation, to Dick for taking people for reccys, doing the whole day and knowing all the routes of the Legs and roads.
Thanks to everyone who supported - on such a hot day it was much appreciated. Vanessa, Gill, Andy + Matt, Est + Steve, Andy Bray - Marianne and Matt and James were there all day, Berta, Gareth Jones and everyone else.
By the time we arrived at Seven Springs Colin, Andy, Julie and James had run Leg 1 – James coming 4th, Andy 23rd and Julie 2nd woman – a great start. On Leg 2 Rob G had been 2nd and 3.42 mins off the 10 yr course record. Star of the women’s team Marianne had come 11th and 1st Female. Paul L. ran well for the A team coming 17th. Dan Holland also ran well for the B team.
Even after the road works and few wrong turns Mark and I were still at the end of Leg 3 well before the first runners, and in plenty of time to cheer Nick, Sam, Gerry and Dave off on their start of a hot Leg 4.
Then we had a message from Dick saying Esther was injured , out of the race and he was looking for her . I felt so bad for Est knowing she would be beating herself up for being out.
But good news at the finish of Leg 3 Ivan was 3rd in and looking strong, happy but disappointed not to be second! I think third is pretty fantastic Iv . Next Chepstow runner in was a hot looking Gill reporting on the Esther situation almost before she had finished – ever the team player – thanks Gill. We just had time to say ‘well done’ before we needed to be off to find the Air Balloon for the promised road crossing assistance.
Nick came through soon after we arrived looking relaxed and thanking us. Sam was the first woman we saw; she looked determined, hot and glad of the water and sponge. As Dick was still on mission find Est we thought we would stay at the Air Balloon to give water to Gerry and Dave. It was so hot – Gerry said he was feeling it although he was doing well – so was Dave I think he did a pb for the course.
Finding Cranham should have been fairly straightforward but was a little strange – kept seeing signs saying Cranham 3 miles but getting no closer. Finally at the Royal William Nick had just finished in 2nd place - fantastic. We had missed the start of Leg 5 but luckily Marianne had collected Rich’s keys – thank you.
Dick met us here and estimated we would have time to see Sam finish before supporting on Leg 5. Nearly gave up on this ambition when a runner came in shouting to Steve ‘Sam’s lost’ but luckily although she missed out on first place Sam wasn’t too lost and came in seconds later 2nd Woman. Well done Sam .
Rich’s car was nice – liked the CD and loved the air con. Dick led a little convoy of our three cars through windy lanes, people’s gardens, across golf courses, through streams to be very shortly at the car park with the ice cream van on Leg 5.
Iv was here too – even more delirious and confused than me but good to see you though Iv. Rich soon passed looking good, next was Laura looking happy as ever, thanking us and saying she was staying to support after. Laura was closely followed by Niki looking focused and hot – pleased with the water and sponge. Now we had a dilemma - to see the finish or wait for Andy – we found a solution in Mark waiting while Dick and I drove back along the Leg to find a very hot Andy. After lots of water and abuse from Dick we were on our way.
At Ebley Mill Rich had already finished in 11th place and was sitting in the sunshine. Directed by Dick we followed the course to guide runners to the finish to our surprise Niki was finishing we hadn’t seen any other women so thought she must be first!! She was . Well done Niki – more champagne. Not far behind was Laura coming 4th Female after going wrong at the Three Bears Woods – poor Goldilocks – still smiling though and working out how to get to the drinks station on Leg 9 to help Niki and Syd. Thanks Laura.
Now Andy Stott was with us and eager to see Matt finish so we left Dick to see Andy in and set off for Dursely and the end of Leg 6. We couldn’t catch Matt who had finished 3rd – although not too happy as he had gone wrong and could have been second – still a good position though Matt! Dave Austin got a good 15th place for the A team. Helen had gone wrong too – as Tosh was there it was obviously his fault – still 3rd woman though – fantastic – does make you think what we could do if we all knew the routes! Dick was due to see Jan in so we dashed off to support on Leg 7.
When I say ‘dash’ that was after I was nearly reported for joy riding! Berta had kindly passed on Luke’s ‘key’ – credit car type? Was struggling to unlock Luke’s car when some non runner blokes came over
‘is this your car?’
‘no I think it’s the right one but I just can’t get it to open’
‘is it your key’
‘no never used one like this before’
‘it’s for a Laguna’
‘oh’ ( still trying to unlock said car)
‘this is a Volkswagen’
‘so it’s the wrong car?’
‘is there a Laguna here?’
(as one bloke started using his mobile)
‘yes there’s one over there – are you going to steal it – did you just find that key?’
– they were very nice and showed me how to use it! Luckily Luke had left me nearly enough petrol to get to Wotton without freewheeling too far which was quite tricky with the credit card system!
In North Nibley we bumped into Bram – At this point Vanessa was first female – fantastic – sorry I had to question you about you about bringing the boys! Saw Becky too who had not gone wrong even without a recce! Left Bram with water for Brenda and went on to the finish just in time to see Vanessa flying down into Wotton asking ‘which way?’ so that was good timing? Luke had finished 13th and Vanessa 1st Woman and 17th overall – more champagne and more great results! Becky and Brenda both had good runs too – well done.
After handing over the stolen car I needed to get Dick to his start. So sadly we missed seeing Stevie C. Come in 3rd, Heather 2nd Woman (22nd overall), Martin 23rd and John Thomas feeling the heat. But was sending you good vibes – good running + congratulations. Thanks too to Gill, Matt, Vanessa and Est for supporting on Leg 8.
Dropped Dick off in Old Sodbury to finally race Leg 9 that would complete the set. Spotted Andy C. warming up then headed to Cold Ashton for our start. Thanks Vanessa for supporting Leg 9. Another leg of tragedy for Nathan – after battling for 2nd place till a mile from the finish the heat hit him and he collapsed. Poor Nathan – it feels really bad when it’s a team thing – luckily Niki and Andy found him and took him home.
Andy C. Got another great position for the A team – 17th, Lorna was 2nd Female, 21st overall. Dick got the highest position for the B team – 27th – under 3 mins behind Lorna.
In Cold Ashton it wasn’t – it was hot too hot. Even so thought I would warm up and check out the opposition on the little hill up to Leg 9 finish. This was a little daunting – as I slowly jogged up two fast girls bounced by. Lots of Harriers seem to arrive at our start which was nice. Then we were off – until the first climb all went well – after that it felt like running through hot syrup – weird and slow! But support was great and kept us going thanks Dick, Gill, Matt, Vanessa, Est and Steve. When finally all the up was over I felt better and started to enjoy it!
Poor Mark had suffered in the heat and wasn’t doing well at the finish – seemed better after a pint though. Andy Stott was 21st for the A team and Ian 37th for the B.
It was good to have finished and great to have a shower and a pint. There was a good crowd of Harriers at Bath RC sitting in the sunshine. It was a lovely surprise that our women’s team had won! I obviously suppressed my excitement in order to look cool – not – well done team – brilliant. Think the loudest cheering though was for the ‘King of the Cotswolds’ – congratulations Dick.
The Men’s team were 4th, A Mixed were 5th ( just 28 seconds behind 4th ) and B mixed 24th from 34 mixed teams. So pretty good results all round.
It was a great day - looking forward to next year .