Sunday September 29th.
Summer Series, race 15.
I understand that Richard Coen was on his way to a race in Preston, heard the weather had caused it to be cancelled, turned round, came to Woodford, entered, and took first place.
Our weather forecast had been awful, heavy rain from 8am onto an already sodden ground. I don’t mind rain in the race, it is in the warm-up and particularly in waiting for the start that I hate it. We, however, were in luck, no rain and warm sunshine at 9:30, although we were warned the downpour would come during the race (in fact it held-off until 1pm). The Race Director in his pre-race briefing helpfully told us that he had been round the course and it was definitely a day for trail shoes, Roy and I looked at each other and then our road shoes.
Nic, who only last month had her first win, did it again and was first in the Ladies race. She with Diane and Louisa won the Ladies prize for Wilmslow. The Men were beaten by Stockport.
Rob finished 5th. Jim won here last year but this time was 12th., a reflection, I think, on the improving quality of the field rather than any decline by Jim. James was 14th., Richard Harrison was 17th. Jarrod was 22nd. Andrew, another who had woken with different plans for the day, entered and, despite being determined not to aggravate his recovery, finished 24th.
Matt was 26th. I talked to Matt in the warm-up. Woodford, he said, had been his first ever race (2011), he had run 53 minutes and I had beaten him. Beating Matt, something from a different era.
Richard Lawson was 27th., Tim 28th., Graham 32nd., Paul 46th and Louisa 60th.
Rob was first M55. Jan was first F50.
Ian and Trevor triumphed in the less competitive M70 and M75 categories. Well maybe the competition is getting to the start, rather than finish.
Second in their age categories were Jim (45), Tim (55), Di (45), Paul, always the bridesmaid,(60) and Roy (70).
Third were Richard (45), Jarrod (50), Louisa (45) and John (65).
Di was first in League 2, the 60 points will take her to the top of the league with promotion to League 1 beckoning. Ian Smallwood was second, Craig third. Colin’s brave attempt to storm League 2 having been promoted from 4 and 3 in successive years has lasted a long time but sadly come to an end. Fifth was Ian Roberts.
Jan does not do off-road but she won League 3 as well as F50. John was second, Catherine third and Patrick, still struggling with injury, fourth.
Rachael was first in League 4 as she has been in all her four races but life’s other commitments mean her abilities will not give her the league title her running deserves. This could have been the key race of the season with only a point separating Sue and Ian at the top of the table but Sue was a non-starter which is likely to leave Ian as winner, a Foinavon moment for those with long memories of the Grand National. Roy was third and, after a struggle with injury that was looking to be terminal, Trevor returned to the fold.
Mark kept appearing on the side-line and encouraging. Thanks for your support, I’m assuming you are injured?