Memo for 2016, final Sunday in November: Christmas shopping, or Ufton Court? There were many absentees for yesterday’s race, who may or may not have been doing their Christmas shopping, but had more than likely seen the weather forecast – 50mph winds and heavy rain. In the event, the wind wasn’t too bothersome and the rain held off for the race itself, but that didn’t make the last third of the race any easier, through glutinous red Herefordshire marl. Matt James returned to winning ways in the men’s race, but just 13 seconds ahead of Stacey who now seems to be enjoying the cross country running! Simon was forced to pull out early on, so despite Sam’s fine 7th position, we were a bit thin at the head of the field. Nigel (29th) managed to turn the tables on Greg (31st), who between them completed the A team, who still lie 2nd equal, only one point adrift of Wye Valley. Ben had a good run in 36th as did the two Ashleys (AC 49th, AR 51st and 1st MV65). Antony (63rd) stuck in there well, and it’s good to see Daren (65th) returning to form. Neil T, me, Frank, Tom, Brian D and Rob were scattered among the remaining places in the field of 110. 66 competed in the women’s race, alongside the men, with Sue D flying the flag for Croft in 11th place, and 1st FV50. Liz (1st FV60) struggled over the later stages, but still hung on for 14th place, just ahead of Sam (15th) who held off Alison by 1 second. Steph, also finding the last mile or two very tough, hung in there for 19th, while Carol, always smiling, was well into the top half of the field, beating off 5 close challengers to cross the line in 31st.