TVXC 2015/16 Race 2: Sandhurst Joggers
What a difference a year makes
This time last year, the rain was pouring. Pouring so much in fact that Paul Mac was unable to write finish positions on the soggy paper. This year was cold but thankfully it was dry.
Many Coasters returned for their second dose of cross country action in two weeks; Ollie Hill and Lesley Williams made their Finch debuts and Tom Dawson, Nathy Feely, Pete Humphries, Darren Colebeck, Clare Bryant and Emer Moore made very welcome returns to the 2015/16 season. Although he once again missed the group photo, Andy Stay even made it (shoe laces pre-tied) in time to start the race with everyone else!
Ready, steady, stop!
The race got off to an unsteady start, with an unusual false start that saw the left hand side of the field running off. Once back together and starting in sync, the race could really begin.
Race 1 is all about finding your feet, measuring yourself against old rivalries, seeking out potential new ones and finding runners that you hope to finish near/ in front of for the rest of the season. It gives a taste and an indication about how your individual season could go. Race 2 is then all about trying to remember the people you were marking yourself against in race 1!
And whether you could remember your potential rivalries or not there were individual battles going on across the course. There are those who enjoy the uphill, those who feel strong on the flat and then those who steam ahead on the downhill. For some, the race is like a yo-yo where you are waiting for your preferred terrain and gradient to get back ahead.
One point where very few runners were getting ahead was the hill before the final turn for the finish. Discussing the hill at the end, many were remarking how they felt like they were going backwards; that another runner would overtake them at any moment… They then looked around to realise that everyone was feeling exactly the same and therefore their position was safe!
Somewhere where there was the potential for a change of position was the flat finishing straight. With fellow Coasters screaming encouragement on the sidelines, there were vital points gained with runners putting in sprint finishes that saw them both holding positions and gaining some.
And the results?
With some familiar cross country faces missing, The Coasters put in another excellent performance to finish the match in the top half in 7th position. As last week, the team was led home by the ever-consistent James Craggs (8) and Carol Yarrow (3) with two new signings, Ollie Hill (on his debut) and Matt Yarnoll finishing in 21st and 38th place respectively. Sandwiched in between Ollie and Matt was another consistent runner, Andy Stay (28), and then completing the scoring for the men was Paul Mackenzie (73) and Rhodri Jones (84). For the women, coming in second for Finch was Emily Marshall (24) followed by Mandy McDonough (37) and Rachel Morley (83).
For the benefit of any newcomers to TVXC, the lowest scoring match from each team is discarded. Therefore, after our 3rd place finish in Datchet, Sandhurst is currently the match points that don’t count. That means that we are currently looking good stood in joint fourth position.
In November, the races come thick and fast and next week is no exception. We’ve had a fantastic start to the season and we need as many Coasters as possible at Handy Cross to keep this amazing start going. Don’t let the hills of Handy Cross put you off. After all… the first finisher across the line last year was wearing the yellow vest.
So… who’s ready to make it two Finch wins in two years?