TVXC 2015/16 Race 1: Datchet Dashers
Coasters start the season in third!
The first race of the Thames Valley Cross Country season saw a record number of Coasters turn out at Datchet and put in a cracking performance. A cracking performance that saw The Coasters finish the race in third position!
Datchet isn’t known as being the most exciting or the most interesting of courses however this year it did have some mud. Enough mud in fact to send three Finch Coasters slipping and sliding and ending up on the floor. At just shy of six miles, Datchet is also the longest race of the season but not long enough to put off 23 yellow-clad runners.
As well as the usual faces, were two of the Finch Coasters’ newest signings Matt Yarnall and Tim Elford. Also making her return, after recently giving birth to a gorgeous son Charlie, was Alice Albrow. It was two of those familiar faces who led home the male and female teams. Racing home in 6th place, and 1st Finch Coaster male, in a time of 33:34 was James Craggs. Just four minutes and nineteen seconds (37:53) later Carol Yarrow came speeding through the finish as the first Finch lady back and the third overall.
New scoring system
This year, the scoring system has changed, and changed in our favour, to give the ladies team more of a say on the overall placing of the team. With six men (including two vets) and four women (including one vet) scoring it is easy to think that if you finish outside of these places then your points mean nothing. However, this could not be further from the truth. Every Finch Coaster that finishes, regardless of whether you score, stops someone else from scoring and pushes other teams further down the table. So the more Coasters we can get running, the better we will do.
On this occasion, however, all our scorers were in the top one hundred with Damian Holmwood (16) and Andy Stay (20) joining James Craggs in the top 20. Coming in fourth for the men with a solid top 50 debut was Matt Yarnall (48) closely followed by Paul Mackenzie (52). Completing the scoring with a fantastic post-marathon effort, in 82nd position was Rhodri Jones.
In new-mum Jo Widdup’s absence, there was room for some different names on the female scoresheet. With a top ten finish, Vicki Taylor (9) put in an excellent run followed by Emily Marshall (21) and Mandy McDonough (35).
Two fourths make a third
These fantastic results, coupled with the rest of the 13 Finch finishers meant that the men and female team both finished in 4th position; with an overall team position of 3rd! This time last year, after one race, we were laying in 8th position! Let’s keep up the numbers and keep up the momentum.