Veteran Home International, North Norfolk: 5 and 6 October 2013

This proved to be a very sunny week end for England in all senses of the word as not only did we bask in sunshine on both days, we also enjoyed glorious success in the two competitions; the relay and the individual and thus we once again won very convincingly The Micklegate Bar as overall winners.

Most of England team

The relays were held at Kelling Heath Caravan Park. Much of the terrain to the south was fairly runnable with a good network of paths and little opportunity for shaking off the opposition. In the 2W 1M race, after the first leg the 4 teams came back fairly close to each other. The main gap developed over the next two legs with our winning team (Liz Godfree, Quentin Harding and Sarah Rollins) finishing 6 minutes ahead of the remaining three England teams all of whom came in with 90 seconds of each other. So we took the top 4 places (although only 3 of the 4 teams count).
The 2M 1W race was also close and although the longer courses also used the undulating slopes to the north of the site the times were nevertheless very fast. Our winning team (Andy Hemsted, Jackie Hallett and Nick Barrable) built up a lead of 5 minutes, and then our remaining 3 teams came in quickly behind one another only this time a Welsh team sneaked into second place so our teams were positioned 1, 3, 4 and 5 (again the top three in each nation count.)

2 men + 1 woman
We were delighted with the convincing relay win. England 128 – 48 points ahead!

The individual event was at Sheringham with all the VHI runners setting off from 09.30-10.30. Watching from the start lanes, it was evident that the undergrowth was making the forest running quite tough and although I have enjoyed Noel Coward’s line ‘ Very flat, Norfolk’ for Amanda in Private Lives, I don’t think it refers to Sheringham as very flat it is not. The courses were challenging and there were both some good route choice problems and plenty of opportunity to make mistakes.

Luckily the result board soon showed that the team had delivered in spades with wins in 9 of the 14 classes (W35, (Sarah Rollins);W45 (Vicky Thornton); W55 (Jackie Hallett); W60 (Sarah Brown); W65 (Liz Godfree); M35(Nick Barrable); M45 (Alan Velecky); M50 (Clive Hallett); M60(Andy Hemsted) and maximum points with either a first in classes where we only field one runner W35, M35 and W65 and a first and second in W45 (Vicky Thornton, Sara Campbell), M45 (Alan Velecky Jon Cross), M50 (Clive Hallett, Quentin Harding), M60 (Andy Hemsted, Ali Wood) plus second places for Rob Parkinson (M55), Tony Thornley (M65), Anja Stratford (W40).

England total 149 – 51 points ahead!

So over the two events everyone in the team made a significant contribution and we were all delighted. It should be noted that the Scotland team were missing runners for a number reasons so they were somewhat under par, but Wales then seized the day and beat the Scots in both the relay and the individual event. Next year should be very exciting indeed.

England: 277
Wales: 178
Scotland: 149
Ireland: 118

First leg runners pass the time
The north Norfolk coast is absolutely beautiful with pretty countryside, attractive villages, many quaint building and gorgeous seascapes and we all enjoyed the little we saw. The YHA at Wells has been newly refurbished and apart from some slightly irritating noisy catches on the doors, is to be highly recommended.

We welcomed three new runners for England this year: Sheralee Bailey, Sue Harding and Jon Cross. My thanks to them and also to the rest of the team who always impress me with their focus, professional approach and great team spirit.

Thanks to Norfolk for taking it on and giving us a splendid two days. We look forward to the challenge of the Forest of Dean.

Sarah Brown
Team manager


Overall Points
Winner England 277 receiving the Wooden Trophy
Second Wales 178  
Third Scotland 149  
Fourth Ireland 118  
Individual Competition
Winner England 149 receiving the Rosebowl Trophy
Second Wales 98  
Third Scotland 89  
Fourth Ireland 76  
Relay Competition
Winner England 128 receiving the Quaich Trophy
Second Wales 80  
Third Scotland 60  
Fourth Ireland 42  
Wales v Ireland
Winner Wales     receiving the Stonewall Trophy

Full Results (link to NOR website).