Great Western Runners

Saturday 2nd February - woke up to a gloriously sunny morning, no snow, no ice, no rain.....surely too good to be true......let's head to Gloucester and see if our luck holds.

This was the final of the Gloucester League 2012/2013 series of four races and Plock Court is the flattest of the lot - simply a massive field next to a tennis centre on the outskirts of the city.  As we drove in we noticed that one end of said massive field appeared to have become a lake complete with its own ducks!  Needless to say this required a bit of course re-jigging by the organisers and the outcome was a shortened course consisting of three laps for the ladies (usually two suffice) and four laps for the chaps (usually three for them).

It has to be said that this is probably my least favourite course of the League - if you like road running/track running/pancake flat courses this is right up your street, I prefer a hill - or several - and possibly a stream crossing for a bit of variety so the thought of three laps filled me with horror!!

It was also freezing!  The gentle breeze and sun of Bristol had become a slicing wind by the time we had got some way up the M5 - we jogged a circuit through the remarkably sticky mud and delayed removing layers until the absolute last moment...thanks to Chris Bennett for turning up to catch our kit and keeping it clean.

It may have been the last of the series and a slightly smaller field than normal but it was the fastest of the season and incredibly competitive, although, to be fair, we have all had a season to practice so should be getting quite good by now.  The third lap was quite a psychological challenge, the last 300m of the gluey mud into a headwind could best be viewed as character-building.

Race finished we did the usual quick change to go out a cheer on the men who looked to be enjoying their extra lap as much as we did!

The results ran as follows:

Senior Ladies: Emma Oughton, Tor Thompson, Veronica Ford

Senior Men: Phil Chan, John Hargreaves, Liam Scanlon, Terry Fenton, Chris Bennett

Overall the team results were the Senior Ladies were in 13th place (first actual team to score for ages so a cracking result!) and the Senior Men were in 15th place.

The series awards were presented and Veronica Ford scooped the 3rd V50 prize - go Vee!  As you can see, she was pretty pleased.

In the cake tin today I had double chocolate and oat cookies and Veronica had baked an apricot crumble cake - sampling is the best part of the day!

Next week we are off to Team Bath for a Gwent League fixture - if you were gripped by Superstars over the Christmas period come along and see where it was filmed.......