Men’s Surrey League, Div 1, Race 4, Wimbledon Common, 10 Feb 2018

A Big Scare, But Div 1 status remains


Arne Dumez reports:

After a record-setting show of force by Sophie and the Belles in Richmond Park, the men started to trickle down to Wimbledon Common where the scene of our last stand was beginning to take shape. As Kent, the Chasers and Hercules gathered around their flags with close to 50 runners each, the brave Bels put on their game face with 12.

A fast and furious first mile dragged elbows into the equation as the slow starters campaigned to carve a comfortable spot in the pack for themselves. The Ugandan Lion spearheaded the troops and tried to keep Maud and Gilbert company under the deafening cheers of the Chasers cheerleaders. He eventually crossed the line in 8th position, but we’ll admit the cap probably cost him about 15 seconds, with the drag and whatnot.

With PO all decked out for a round of golf, spotting other Bels is tricky, but there are two more if you look real close.

Not far behind him, the cap’n and Nick Bundle – who decided to keep us all waiting until a minute before the start just to make an entrance – were inseparable. Ed eventually shook off his pursuers with one of his signature kicks and left Nick to finish just outside of the top 50.

Our fourth scorer was Arne a.k.a the ‘big, fat Belgrave lad’ who, after a terrible start, mechanically worked his way across the field from gun to tape. Charlie’s commands to ‘stop smiling and get moving’ couldn’t wipe the cheesy grin off his face as he managed to slip his ‘big, fat’ figure into the top 90.

Meanwhile, Ross once again proved himself to be an indispensable addition to our ranks by planting himself bang in the middle of our scoreboard. Despite his tired legs, he laboured through the mud and showed division 1 what a real hill runner looks like.

You can always count on Patrick to remind you that mud is all in your head. He came storming through the line not far behind Ross as the undeniable 3rd V50-55 in the whole damn league. Well played, sir! However, he had Alex’s hot breath on his calves. The young buck was not to be outdone by his elder and performed an admirable rendition of Andy Fyfe’s famous ‘last lap burn-up’, giving the onlooking crowd a tasty preview of the incoming battle at the London Marathon.

The Cockerpillar managed to find his happy place after Bundle’s diva antics and a manic first half mile and ended his day less than 30 seconds behind Mr Mills. While his race had gone well, there he was still biting what was left of his nails and eagerly observing the flow of incoming athletes.

The scoreboard came to a close with the strong strides of Roband Will with Scott as a safety net. They had all shown themselves capable of a strong run during the Battersea training sessions and once again delivered.

And what about that relegation battle!  With SLH, Ranelagh and Clapham all having incredible days, we chose a bad day to amass an eye-watering 651 points.  But the boys still had the gall to deny our competitors the satisfaction of another Belgrave relegation by 14 points. Leaving it a bit close lads, but we’ll let you off the hook this time.

A special thanks goes out to club legend Frank Ward who came out in the freezing wind and rain to lecture us all on how to sport a proper moustache. To be fair, he did have the spiffy vintage vest to tie the whole look together.

Although it was not an easy day at the office, it was one that had us all looking forward to the fast-upcoming national championships on Parliament Hill (some more than others)  and the road relays soon after that. Bring it on!

1 A Maud 27:49; 8 P Owor 29:15; 49 E Auden 31:12; 51 N Bundle 31:17; 89 A Dumez 32:28; 110 R Finlay 33:19; 118 P McDougall 33:35; 131 A Mills 34:00; 142 W Cockerell 34:27; 171 R Norville 35:31; 174 W Johnson 35:44; 199 S Mills 36:53; 217 F Ward 38:33.  244 finished.

1 Ken 176; 2 HW 213; 3 RAN 391… 8 Bel 652.

Final standings:

1 Ken 921; 2 HW 947; 3 THH 1499; 4 HHH 1763; 5 RAN 1942; 6 SLH 2016; 7 BEL 2120; 8 CC 2134; 9 RPR 3038.