New Year’s Day Dirt Run
Croome Park was the venue for the next event in the ‘Pulse Pursuits’ Dirt Run series. Essentially, it’s an off-road race which tries to incorporate as much mud as possible. Alas, for Croome Park, it wasn’t especially muddy, it was more or less the Capability Canter course in reverse so it featured a minor stream crossing and one minor incline. It was more squelchy than muddy as the Park was subjected to heavy rain.
Included in Wez’s winter series, Tewkesbury had Vlad Venglar, Jude Rodrigues, Nigel Tillott, Karen Maber, Jon Mansfield and Steve Maber shivering on the start line – the start was delayed 45 minutes while some cattle were removed from the course.
From the gun Steve shot up the starting bank like a bullet and stretched the competitors out. Wearing running spikes, Steve made for the softer ground but some of the first mile featured garden path and if anything, hindered his footwork. Jon then took his place ahead of Steve as he was joined by birthday boy Vlad and Nigel. Jon found a fine pace over the flat terrain but he couldn’t do any better than 7th place and 3rd V40. Steve, Vlad and Nigel had a real humdinger and it wasn’t until the final few hundred meters that it was decided – with Vlad reaching the finish area first, Nigel’s arms started pumping and built a ruthless sprint finish to dampen Vlad’s birthday.
No one could have survived Nigel’s sprint.
However, for Vlad, he clocked another excellent race. Steve followed and admitted afterward that he hadn’t fully recovered from the Seven Sins – he got little sympathy as Karen (with two times the Seven Sins in her legs) came flying into the finish. Nigel claimed an excellent 2nd V50 prize and Steve was rewarded with 3rd V50.
Karen missed-out on a deserved prize as she was up against some exceptional talent. Jude had a tough day in the office; first to admit he is no fan of mud, wind and rain, he couldn’t wait to get away from Croome Park – to go to Prestbury Park for more wind and rain at the Races.
7th Jon Mansfield
15th Nigel Tillott
16th Vlad Venglar
19th Steve Maber
61st Karen Maber
79th Jude Rodrigues