Llanthony Show   Sat 7th August    Results

Llanthony showgoers seemed amused by the record field of 40 seniors and five junior runners weaving their way through the horseboxes and the beer tent on the way out to the 1,000 ft climb of Hatterall Hill and the Offa's Dyke ridge.

A cool drizzle set in as local 20 year-old Max Murdoch led M40s James Wrench of Brecon and Neil Lewis of Mynydd Du through the damp bracken and on to the open mountain.

A few places behind another young local athlete Aly Rowell was holding off Lewes AC's F40 Maria Judd (who having been brought to the show by friends she was staying with for the weekend, decided that morning that she'd like a run on the Monmouthshire hills) and Griffithstown's comeback girl Emma Bayliss.

Meanwhile, halfway up the hillside the sound of the starter's pistol releasd the five juniors from their starting trap by the second ash tree. 14 year-old Charlie Sapwell (also staying with friends, and up from Kent in his case) and 13 year-old Sadie Melhuish from the Forest of Dean club led Beatrice, Jo and Indigo in the traditional chase to get back to the arena before being swallowed by the peloton. Only Charlie managed to stay away, but Sadie made the tete de la course work hard.

Tony on the loudspeaker kept the spectators informed of the race progress in between commentary on the gymkhana and the under 15-inch dog race (photo finish between a whippet and some sort of terrier it looked like), Coming down through the final fields Max was being rapidly overhauled by Neil, while Maria had also passed Aly on the descent.

Thanks are due to course markers and marshalls Lou Summers, Mark Harvey, Sue and Gerry Ashton, all provided free by Chepstow Harriers, and to our Llanthony Show hosts.

Dick Finch