Veteran Home International September 2018 Blaenavon South Wales

The gorgeous summer weather continued for us all for the VHI 2018 weekend, meaning that the open moorland of Blaenavon would seem friendly at least from a visibility and temperature point of view, even though the England team were fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead.

Thanks to a bold plan to book early in very reasonable accommodation in Pontypool, we only had a short drive to the individual event. It was then a long hike to the start, a bit nerve racking for me as team manager as I felt somewhat out of touch with the races while waiting to see the last starter off. Everyone in the England team, novices and ‘old’ campaigners alike, showed themselves to be the elite athletes they are. The results were outstanding with many class victories, some classes with maximum points and, overall a high score giving us a comfortable lead over Sco…ah no Wales.
It is true that Scotland were down by 2 people but also some of their runners mispunched so that was an extra body blow to their team.

I was absolutely delighted that virtually the entire team delivered great or good runs in the individual race with everyone contributing useful points. Most notably, in the men’s competition we came first in 5 of the 7 classes and had 3 second places. In the women’s race, we had 2 firsts and 3 seconds.

M35: 1st Richard Robinson
M40: 1st Nick Barrable, 3rd Andy Preston,
M45: 1st Andy Simpson, 2nd Peter Ward
M50: 1st Martin Ward, 4th Nigel Bunn
M55: 1st Clive Hallett, 2nd Quentin Harding
M60: 2nd Keith Tonkin, 3rd John Embrey
M65: 2nd Andy Hemsted
W35: 2nd Sarah Rollins
W40: 1st Kim Baxter, 2nd Abi Weeds
W45: 1st Emma Harrison, 3rd Amanda Crawshaw
W50: 2nd Lesley Ross, 3rd Ruth Ker
W55: 3rd Alison Harding, 4th Elizabeth Jackson,
W60: 2nd Jackie Hallett, 3rd Janet Rosen,
W65: 3rd Christine Kiddier

These top performances gave us an excellent platform for the relay competition the following day.
The weather was quite kind so it was possible to see runners all over the open moorland. The courses definitely had several navigational challenges but it was great to have England take positions 1, 2 and 3 with the MWM competition (Winning team: Quentin Harding, Ruth Ker, Andrew Simpson). With WMW, the teams also delivered great performances taking 1, 2 and 5 (Winning team: Jackie Hallett, Nigel Bunn, Kim Baxter)

Combined Total for VHI:

Relays 128 74 64 44
Individual 156 101 90 72
VHI TOTALS 284 175 154 116
  1 2 3 4

So this year we probably had one of our biggest victories: The Rose Bowl for the individual race, The Pewter Qaiche for the relay, and the Micklegate Bar for the overall competition.
Overall points: England 284, Wales 175 Scotland 154 Ireland 116

Our thanks go to Kate Balmond, overall organiser, and all the other event organisers, planners, controllers and helpers for putting on the events and welcoming us so warmly.

We look forward to Scotland next year and expect it to be a tough competition.

Sarah Brown

Individual Results
Individual Splits

Relay Results
Relay Splits
Relay Leg Results