The club was hosting again this year, to make sure the league could take advantage of Epsom Downs’ willingness to allow us to run on the Downs. The day was brilliantly organised and well marshalled and we were still able to turn out 17 runners, and improve our league position.
The 2 lap, 5 mile total, course was challenging enough, more so in terrain than in grinding hills, though Kevin Furlong’s welcome shout of “you’re nearly at the top” at least explained to me why I’d slowed down on the back half. We started on a long horse gallop, with a tightly packed peloton of runners, before cutting on to part of the Tadworth 10 route, sliding round a muddy turn and on to what everyone spontaneously called ‘Wilson corner’ – well done, the family that marshals together, er, struggles to find anything to rhyme with marshals together. The dry weather made it a relatively fast course, though it was definitely a grind up from KF’s point up to the next spectator spot before a long glide (ahem) down to the finish. Great to have so many spectators/marshals out, though; as you can tell, thinking of who was next kept me motivated through each section.
As a team we finished significantly higher in the league this time. Third on the day was good enough to move us from 8th to 6 (while also giving Tadworth and Wimbledon some daylight at the top of the league, but they’re welcome to division 2). More days like that and we should be more than safe in D3. Results-wise, there was an Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman. And then a whole pile of Englishmen who had forgotten, disappointingly, to bring a punchline.
Well run everyone. From my point of view, particular thanks to Kevin Parker for sitting near enough that every marshal’s shout of “well done John…Kevin” kept me honest, and to Luke for allowing me to pace him through the first couple of miles, ignoring the shortcut he pointed out and then galloping off confusing a Windmiler by chatting to him constantly.