In warm, dry conditions, our men produced some fine individual performances, with Brian Wilder, Mike Boyle and Steve Knight all achieving gold in the M40, M50 and M60 respectively.
Brian, who turned 40 just over a month ago, was an easy overall winner, as he finished in 33.54, over a minute ahead of last year’s victor, Stuart Major of THH. These were the fastest time and biggest winning margin for five years. The last HHH winner was Rog Alsop in 2005.
Mike Boyle is a former overall winner, but this was his first chance to contest the M50 category. He likewise took his opportunity as he finished fifth overall in 35.32, well ahead of his nearest M50 challenger. The race started late and Mike’s performance may have been inspired in part by his need to make it in time for the kick-off at Chelsea.
Before the day, I thought that our M40 and M50 teams might do well. As it turned out, Brian was well supported by Edmund Barrow (27th overall) and Mike by Tony Harran (21st). However, a variety of circumstances and ailments both before and on the day meant that we ended without three scorers in either case.
On the other hand, I must eat my words regarding the M60s, as Steve Knight (46th and first M60), Dave Wilson (74th) and Brian Shave (83rd) came home with team bronze. Brian also won individual silver as second M75.
Towards the end I was overtaken by the remarkable M75 Keith Spacie, who asked me afterwards whether I’d had a leg operation. Enough said.
In addition to the veteran men, Nici Cahusac won a silver medal in the W35’s and our W35 team of Nici, Rebecca Barrow and Sarah Guest won bronze medals..