Mark’s Run Report by Graham Bridges

It was a bright, breezy, cool winter’s morning as I walked up the hill to Wytham Woods, race kit in hand (basically a plastic bag containing the numbers, watches and clipboards).

We’re certainly a well-drilled bunch, as the first people to arrive were the various marshals and helpers, who were given their roles and in some cases driven to their positions by John, clearly enjoying the chance to use his Land Rover for its true purpose.
Having passed on the numbers, clipboard and hence authority to Richard, I was able to indulge in a bit of a warm-up and assess the competition – the usual suspects, unfortunately. At 11 we gathered by the tree for a group photo and, in some cases, to remember that Mark always enjoyed this race, although that may have been partly due to the fact that we used to decamp to the pub afterwards and chew the fat, not to mention the bacon baps.The race itself was actually just that for me, as I did my best to keep up with Chris on the flat and downhill sections, while hoping that the hill back up from the Botley Gate would be enough of a shock to put him off his stride. This proved correct, although that particular strategy could only work once. Up ahead Tom finished first and went a long way to securing the 20/21 Club Championship, while Kate A’s win in the women’s race maintained her chance of doing likewise. More importantly, everyone enjoyed their morning, or claimed to afterwards, which is possibly the best memorial to a much-loved club member and friend.