Having two hours to spare, Churchillian runners out in force, Attingham Park being a glorious Labrador paradise a mere 15 minutes away, and A2 English coursework marking not an enticing prospect, my course of action seemed obvious. It turned out to be an amazing afternoon, watching the leisurely side-show at a relay, groups of boys and girls happily chatting, with a runner suddenly peeling away from the group, assuming a look of tense concentration, start warming up in preparation for their leg, and eight minutes later straining every sinew to remain abreast of the field.
In the company of my own erstwhile Huntsman, Peter Birch, in whose 1st VIII I was once many years ago an ‘also ran’, this was an opportunity to view at first hand wonderful camaraderie which PJM and IPH have built up in the RSSH, and the spectacular results of their totally professional training programme, with the RSSH dominating the field in every category. But it was Ben Remnant’s run, overtaking the LGS leader in the last 100m of the final leg, which will most stick in my mind, a dream moment for a proud Housemaster who found his own eyes pricking.
Some of you will remember a literary device from your English lessons called a ‘pathetic fallacy’, where the weather matches the mood. For much of the race the sun was hidden in thin mist, the pleasant cool producing perfect conditions for the runners. As it became clear that the RSSH was dominating in every category, the sun broke through to match the exhausted smiles on the faces of the runners.
To read Peter Middleton's full report on the afternoon's racing, please see: RSSH - Clean sweep at the Spring Relays