November Classic weekend
Bill wins major event
More impressive still, he won the Short Green course contested by 70 competitors, of which Bill was one of the oldest.
The occasion was the 50th November Classic, held annually in the New Forest. Runners from all over the UK enjoyed the mixture of wood and heathland, which was as runnable as ever, reflected in long course lengths: nearly 17km for the elite course, 10km for M45L and 4km for Bill's course. Jolyon Medlock of Wessex OC provides a highly readable account of the weekend here (link).
Bill boasted a winning margin of four minutes on the Short Green course, where competitors were generally in their 50s, 60s or 70s- and a few who were much younger than that! In the M80 class our reigning South West long and middle champion was 12 minutes ahead of the runner-up, Ken Williams of British Army OC. Bill was presented with his trophy by Mike Johnson, the organiser of the very first Classic back in 1968.
Brian Johnson of Wimborne OC, who was third on M65L, has put together a thorough review of his course. His mantra was: don't get lost! The reason being that relocating after going astray on the flattish and samey terrain so often encountered in the New Forest can be incredibly difficult. Brian's report has plenty of analysis and tips, from race strategy to how to approach individual controls. His comments are easier to follow if you have to hand a printed copy of his map (also viewable here on Southampton OC's Routegadget page)
Who went & how did they do?
|Bill Vigar||M80||1st of 10|
|Steve Robertson||M60L||25 / 60|
|Jim Mallinson||M65L||26 / 59|
|Jeff Pakes||M45L||16 / 25|
|Julia Robertson||W60S||5 / 15|
|Adele Appleby||W50S||12 / 16|
|Matthew Knipe||M50L||44 / 46|
Bill's result aside, Julia had an impressive outing - she was less than 9 minutes off a podium place. Brian Pearson was down to run but had a hamstring injury.
Urban race, Southampton
Andrew Page had a great race... until the penultimate control. Last year's champion (he won at Salisbury back then) was set to retain his crown with a winning time of 11 minutes and a winning margin of a clear two minutes. Unfortunately, he then did what several of us have also managed to do on our last-but-one controls... omitted it! These controls are usually just there to funnel runners towards the finish from a common direction, but can be infuriatingly easy to miss in the heat of a race. Unlucky, Andrew.
Andrew's mum Vikki continues to hold her own on the Women's Veteran's category and managed to finish some way ahead of the considerable experience of Adele Appleby, veteran of Scottish 6 Days and the like. Does ability in the wilderness transfer well onto the urban setting though? Probably not entirely! Though it would be daft to read too much into one result.
Jim Mallinson and Tony Hext were QO's other entrants, both on the Men's Ultra Veteran course. Jim was just outside the top quartile of runners, in 16th, while was Tony 35th (out of 60).
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