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LCXL Round 1 – A view from the Vet50s race

So first day back to school after the long break,

what a cracking day it was the sun was shining lots of old and new faces and a fantastic venue, not been to this course before.

First the lower school raced and within the first 10 seconds a mass crash in the under 14/16 boys race, all looked to get back up and away for 30 minutes of racing. Both Daniel and Hannah came back buzzing so it must be fun.

Now for the upper sixth, big whistle blast and all the hopefuls crowd in around the start, gridding starts and I find myself alongside the head prefect, the off-road secretary. Listen to the brief from the commissionaires…no spitting, pinching or pulling hair….who in the 50+ still has hair to be pulled.

And in the next 30 seconds …whistle and we are off great start by all jockeying for position but be careful the straight narrows to a sharp left right….and we all make it. The front runners all move away and I am still behind Adrian, not for too long though as he gaps me on the twisty fields of cut backs. Past the auto jumble and into the woods and the ups and downs of dry mud section ….wow great fun…and back into the open…not for long as this soon heads back into more woods with cambers left and right, back out onto the finishing straight great lap is that all there is to it …no up the bank …run or ride…test the legs lets run, and round again. All of a sudden Andy Ayears overtakes, my nemesis from last year’s Misterton where he pipped me on the last lap – stick behind him and race. I didn’t listen to coach as twice I was to close entering the woods and traffic slowed me down and allowed Andy to gap me by 50 metres, encouraged by David Wilson on the open fields section to catch Andy back I did and passed, only for Andy to undercut me round the trees – he’s off again. Second to last lap and I am back behind and again pass on the grass can I hold him off, tyres kiss as Andy does not give up but one last effort and I manage to pull away again on the grass section, and finish just in front

Great day back lots of good racing, the front runners even forgave my poor technical efforts in the woods as they came past, plenty of banter and post-race chat, brilliant Sunday what more can you ask for…….. 3 big hills, 38 miles and that world famous Yorkshire hospitality ..??

Marc Henderson

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