The Off-Road Series is Getting Serious!

The Off-Road Series – some trail blazers and a relay round up.

by James Bell

Blimey, it’s nearly July and already we are seven races into the off-road series. I can say with confidence, there have been some stunning performances and the attendance at most events has been amazeballs. Of course, the majority of athletes have done Rushmere parkrun, and just behind that in terms of attendance has been the Greensand Ridge Relay. Although both events are always popular, some of the front runners in the series have yet to grab some points at Rushmere, take note Ruth Mitchell. That said, Chris Dimmock, Matthew Brooks and Sam Dear are the only ones to have done all three park runs to date and all of these are sitting pretty in the top 10, so it’s worth completing these for the points.

The main man, Chris Dimmock. Mr Greensand himself.

Let’s just tip our hat to the aforementioned Chris Dimmock who successfully completed the whole of the Greensand Ridge Relay’s 34 bone-shaking miles. Tough on a hot day – respect. Also, there was a tiptop performance by the crusty old veterans in the Despicable Knee team too; they scooped both the Greensand Shield and Running Man trophy for first across the line and fastest team respectively.

One very proud owner of the Running Man Trophy doing his best Victorian athlete impression, although there’s some disappointment that Ian wasn’t wearing breeches, a waistcoat and pumps. The team agreed that Ian was best placed to look after the classy trophy 😉

In that team Ian Grimshaw (leg 4) and Simon Coombes (leg 6) maxed out and got age-group course records, and, Andy Inchley won his leg with 8 mins to spare on his handicap – well done chaps. Liz Miller was also an age-category leg record holder too. LBAC’s A Nike’s Tale, led out by Amy Farnfield and finishing with Amy Inchley won the fastest mixed team; in that team Stuart Read cranked up the pain and won his leg.

I have not yet mentioned Rob Elmore winning some hard cash at the Hardwick X-Stream, the big turnout by the Tuesday night B & I group (Alison Bell, Mandy Clay, Chris Dimmock, Sue Johnson and Danielle Vaughan) at the Marsworth 10k, nor how Jo SharplesSam Dear  and Pete Mackrell won the DDR relay, and I also nearly forgot the horrendous weather during the 16 miles around the Ashridge Boundary run which blew me and other runners (Ruth Mitchell, Katie Stanton and Jane Sauer)  off course on the Beacon. Best of all was the Aldbury 5 in which pretty much everyone compromised their race with rookie navigational errors or medical conditions.

Jane Sauer at the Ashridge Boundary Run – all the more impressive because there wasn’t much running in Jane’s legs prior to this very tough course. Credit:

Excluding parkruns, there are 10 races to go and to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you just have to turn up and run in your LBAC vest. Err-hmm, with shorts of course – we have standards because nuddy racing isn’t a thing in Bedfordshire. Who’s winning at the moment I hear you ask? Well I can’t say but in the mix is an awesome M50 who is really an outstanding athlete, two B & I runners, one very much related to that handsome M50 and two girls who are almost inseparable, let’s call them trail twins.