On Saturday 11th December 2021, when most of the world were running to distance themselves from Omicron, our hardy warriors were racing against 38 UK alumni associations on the very muddy and slippery course which is Wimbledon Common. This was the 69th annual Thames Hare & Hounds UK Alumni Associations' cross country race and the UK ODU's sixth consecutive year of participation.
Because of Covid, last year's competition was run virtually and then 16 ODs, running all over the world, came in at 5th (out of 30 teams) our best performance yet. This year, with several of our key runners off sport or lost on the London Underground or just lost, we nevertheless ended up at a very creditable 18th, seeing off some stiff competition along the way. Although not raining, conditions were grim and in some parts quite treacherous, so our placing - for chaps more used to the balminess of a Cape summer's day - was not to sniffed at.
At our after-run debrief, It was resolved that next year we will build the numbers, stamina and post-match refreshment resilience. We have Eton in our sights!
In the meantime, to John Thuysbaert (W, 2003), Brendan Raubenheimer (F, 2005), Caelim Parkes (O, 1990), Chris McPetrie (M, 2010) and Ant Marten (S, 1990) well done boys. [editor's note: word on the course was that Ant Marten - who flew in from Chicago for the event - had probably outspent his closest rival by about 150% on race kit. Your commitment and sartorial elegance, Ant, are much admired].
Thanks must go to Adrian Kritzinger (F, 2006) and Dillon McEvoy (O, 2005) who were booked off so couldn't run but turned out to consult and motivate. And to Rowan Nicholls (O, 2010) who was beaten by the TfL and James Klatzow (K, 2008) who may have thought this year's race was, like last year's, virtual, we're counting on you for 2022.
The on-course support from Tara Berwin and cocker spaniels Lille and Kida (courtesy the Raubenheimer / Kritzinger kennels) was much appreciated.
Click HERE to view the photos
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