South of the Thames XC Championship
One of the many good things about the South of Thames races is that they are usually at a different venue each year which makes a welcome change for those of us who have been running cross country for longer than we care to remember. And so it was that we found ourselves pinning on our numbers in the shadow of the Wellington statue in Aldershot. This necessitated giving Tarbo a quick history lesson as he had never heard of the man, the Iron Duke seemingly not featuring very prominently in the history syllabus in Australia.
The three lap course of soggy fields and twisty woodland paths had plenty of interest: thank you to host club Aldershot, Farnham & District for laying it out, although it seemed to be a fair bit short of the nominal 7.5 miles. Scoring at this one is for teams of six, and that is exactly how many of us there were, finishing in 14th place, the same as last year.
To say that Aldershot is not the most salubrious town in Hampshire is something of an understatement but it does warrant one entry in my CAMRA Good Pub Guide, to which we made our way after the race before catching the train back to London. I had entered six, all six turned up, all six finished (at least two nursing injuries by the end) and all six made it to the pub so that is something of a record.