Dictionary entry – 2014: a Monkhall = any unpleasant experience, involving mud, water, slopes and any/all combinations of these. Dewsall Court = rapidly replacing Gordon Bennett as an expletive.
The heavy overnight frost was not enough to fix the mud, so as we turned into the first field we were slipping and squelching, trying to find the best route along the field margin. At the top end of the field it was a little drier, but the narrow, sloping ‘path’ was difficult to stay on in places; then down to the bottom, through the calf deep ford, along a muddy, slurpy track and up the 100m long mud track through the woods, where all (?) were forced to walk. Next was a long loop round a grassy field, before being directed back into the woods and more horrendously slippery, muddy tracks. More field then a climb up to last year’s finish, before dropping down again, in order to climb to this year’s finish, except it wasn’t the finish, not yet! More muddy tracks, a fast descent along a field margin to our second fording of the stream, second climb up through the mud, more mud as we descended into the penultimate field, with ‘just’ two more climbs to the finish.
So, well done to the ladies, and in particular Suzanne, who retained her county crown in some style, in the face of stiffer opposition this year, beating Katherine King by two and a half minutes and leading our A team (Sue D 5th, and Nicki 7th) to first place on the day, and overall, with just Presteigne to go, and the Tri Club are now 4 points adrift. Our men found the going harder: it was good to see Simon return to X-country, in 6th, with Mark and Stacey a little further back. Dave G completed the A team (3rd overall). Glyn (22nd) narrowly won the battle of the Williams, with Martin just 15 secs behind, and Paul P (36th) narrowly beat Paul G (38th), both doing really well in the conditions. Presteigne can’t possibly be as bad – unless it snows!