We also missed out on the after-run Tea & Cakes in The Stott Pavilion and, even worse, The Annual Dinner in Kingsland House ! However, seventeen of the OSH Members did manage to hold The AGM on “Zoom” that evening, which showed that we are still determined to carry on and look forward to future events in 2021.
All was not lost for 2020, as the second big event of our calendar, being the Thames Hare & Hounds Annual Alumni Race, was to be held as a Virtual Race. The race organiser, David Jenkins of TH&H, made a decision that the 68th Alumni Race could be run, either on Saturday 12th December or on Sunday 13th December, over a suitably testing 5 Mile Cross-Country course, with at least 90 metres of elevation, preferably in muddy conditions (to replicate the Wimbledon Common course !). After their run, registered entrants would then submit and download their Garmin or Strava data to the “OpenTrack” race recording system, who produce results.
From late September, 2020, onwards, emails were flying to and fro, between organisers, Committee Members and The OSH Club Members. It took just as much organising as if it was an actual normal race in Roehampton ! However, it was so impressive to build a list of 22 entrants to the Race, which is the biggest OSH Team in many decades, enabling Team members to score points in each category of the event.
The race weekend arrived and, with constant monitoring of the OpenTrack Results Page, the numbers of race finishers started to increase over the hours and days that followed. Messages and a few photos also appeared in “Shrewsbury HQ”, demonstrating individual triumphant completion of the 5 Miles. Each time the provisional results were checked, our Team Members were “chalking-up” some really good timings and positions. It actually took several days of checking, to see many revisions of the OpenTrack Results to start showing more accurate results. It had become very clear that Shrewsbury had won The Open Race, which is the first time in 68 years. Since 1953, we had been 3rd once and 2nd four times. With four to count as team scorers, we had Ed Mallett (S. 2008-13 & Huntsman) coming in as our first counter, at 3rd Place, in 28:29 (and 4th place overall), then his brother, George (S. 07-12 & H’), at 11th in 29:55 (14th overall). Seb Blake (S. 11-13 & Whip) was 21st in 31:19 (29th overall) and Will Hayward (R. 12-17 & W’) was 25th in 31:30 (32nd overall). They enabled Shrewsbury to be the Winners of The King Henry VIII School “Old Boys Trophy” – Well Done ! Requiring three to count, our Ladies did a good job, taking 2nd Place in their category, being pipped by two points, by “St. John’s Leatherhead”. Liv Papioannou (EDH. 14-15 & H’) in 33:30, with Ali Ardissino (M. 17-19) in 36:47 and Flic Hayward (EDH. 17-19 & H’) in 40:43 made a good impression. Then, along came the V60 Category Team Members, who won with 26 Points, way ahead of Winchester’s 42 points, being David Thomas (Rt. 71-75), Tim Bedell (S. 74-78 & H’) and Michael Johnson (S. 55-60). Congratulations to them ! The OSH Members of the V65 Category had their glory snatched by Stowe, with only 4 points in it. Michael Johnson and Richard Hudson (M. 67-72) could have won with one more team member, which just goes to demonstrate that the more runners that join our annual Alumni Race Team, whatever age group, the more chance we have of winning the different categories. In addition, it was great to see a contingent of RSSH members enter the race (as guests) with The Huntsman, Oscar Hamilton-Russell (R.) come in 13th place overall (in 29:53) followed by Under 17 Will Singleton (R.) at 15th (in 30:17). The Full Results can be seen and analysed, by going to https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2020/GBR/thhar-20 .
Praise and thanks go out to all of our 19 OSH finishers and it is hoped that they will all be able to make the next Alumni Race even more exciting, by running in person at Roehampton in December.
Our OSH 2020 Stars of The Alumni Race are :- The Mallett Brothers ; The Blake Brothers (Seb & Kris) ; Brother & Sister, Will & Flic Hayward ; The Hon. Sec. Liv ; Edward Tusting ; Ben Hebblethwaite ; Piers Jones ; Ali A. ; Rupert Lougee ; The Hon. Treas. David ; James Humpish ; Passy Goddard ; Tim B. ; Michael J. ; Simon Pickles and Richard H.
You all deserve a big Thank you and Well Run, from me and all of The OSH.
Peter Birch. Chairman of The OSH Committee.