So, Sunday 15 February was the final race in the Borders Cross Country Series. This was the day the boys finally got their hands on the coveted horseshoe. You see, Greig had promised us the best momento of any race possible and given it was the 25th anniversary series excitement was tangible as to whether the horseshoe would be polished silver this year to mark the date. Graeme had mentioned that he had already cleared a space in the living room to exhibit the prize.
The final race was at a place called Conundrum near Berwick. Now, I have never been good at the conundrum on Countdown, possibly because I am so focused on Rachel Riley. I was hoping today, in the town of Conundrum, and as a disassociation tactic, to solve the ultimate conundrum. A question so tough that even Stephen Hawkins has failed to resolve:
“Why is Davy’s hair more orange than oranges?”
My race tactic was to focus on that question and maybe it would spur me on to success in the race too?
The weather was as usual tropical. I arrived slightly late and realised I’d lost my number. Not to worry, the tattoo parlour in Conundrum was delighted to scribe my number on my chest and after a quick change I was ready to go.
During our warm up I was scanning the other runners to see if I could see Deep Sea Diver. They either had decided to take the day off or were having problems with the replacement canisters of helium strapped to the suit rather than the oxygen. An inspired feat of psyching your challenger out ( well kind off!).
It was during this process that I saw The Terminator. This beast was truly magnificent…..a real professional. Dressed in matching shoes, socks, shorts, racing vest, hat, gloves and sunglasses, he looked mean and ready to kick ass. When I grow up, I thought, I want to be just like you!
I mentioned to the boys that he was clearly the winner and that Grieg was now racing for the lower places…….no problems for me as I am always in that position.
The whistle summoned us to the start line. This gave Greig just enough time to take his last sip of EPO. I stared in awe as the majesticness of the Terminator muscled his way to the front. The starter gave us precise directions:
“You run up there, across there, through there, across the road, down there, up there, through a few fields, watch the electric fences, run down there, it’s quite muddy over there and you finish right there”
Brilliant….where can we go wrong?
The race started. We ran across a very flat section for about 100 metres and then bang…up a big hill. I settled in behind a group of boys watching Greig, Davy and Graeme running into the distance ahead. I just thought dig in…..oranges, oranges, oranges.
At the top of the hill I noticed I was right behind Graeme and the Terminator. What!? The Terminator? He must be taking it easy for now to give the front guys a head start. The hill levelled off and we ran through crop field after crop field.
Several times I overtook The Terminator but he always came back at me. At one point he even tried to take out Graeme but his dirty tactics failed. It was at this point I decided he was getting it……I was going to beat him! Oranges, oranges, oranges.
We ran up a hill to there and back down to there. The pace was relentless. Through one field down a hill and into another, a little incline to the highest point in the course and then down hill. Fast as I could, Graeme 200 yards in front of me with The Terminator right behind.
We entered another set of crop fields and then the pig farms. ….mmmm bacon…..no! Oranges orange oranges.
At this point it was time for me to turn on the after burners. I touched the electric fence and my pacemaker went into overdrive. As I cruised by the Terminator I could see the shock on his face, my freshly tattoo’d number glistening in the sunlight.
Less than a mile to go. It was undulating. Graeme was busy chasing down a couple of Dunbar guys in front of me. I worked hard to not let the gap between us grow.
At this point I could hear a roar “ Weatherhead your getting it!” At first I thought it was one of Messrs Moriarty, O’Connell or Reid after Davy’s busy day before, however I realised it was Graeme egging Davy to the line. What a nice guy! Oranges, oranges, oranges I thought.
I’m not sure what type of herbs they were growing in the next field but the smell made me feel as though I was flying. I chased hard to the line past the carrot fields and managed to pip one of the Dunbar guys on the line.
It was over……the series was done.
A magnificent end to a great race and brilliant series.
Greig finished 4th on the day, Davy 14th, Graeme 16th and me 18th…….The Terminator was also hammered.
Greig, Graeme and myself managed a 1,2,3 in the vet 40 category.
Greig also finished a fantastic 2nd vet in the series with Graeme 5th vet.
This was a brilliant series, challenging, exciting and everything you need in the build up to a new season. I can’t thank Greig enough for enticing us to take part.
As for the prizes…..the horseshoes didn’t materialise – scrapped 2 years before (the last time Greig did the series). Instead the boys settled for well earned buffs to display their hard earned efforts.
As for the conundrum…..easy ! Davy’s hair is more orange than orange cause he’s a carrot top!
(photo by Ian Beresford)