Despite the weather, the young athletes did us proud - again.
Winning at home felt good, but there was always the feeling at the back of the mind that it would be a different story once we had to travel. Especially to Bath, who are the next best team in the division. That seemed even more of a struggle when the wether forecast turned against us, and then some key athletes developed problems that kept them out of Sunday's competition.
But we needn't have worried. The rain mostly held off until later in the afternoon and the kids did us proud. From my position on the timekeepers stand it looked more doubtful. Victories on the track were few and far between. The exceptions when they came were rather wonderful.
Abdi looked supremely relaxed in taking the 800m from a Bath boy who is not all that used to losing. But Poppy in the u13 1200m took the race by the throat and stretched out from the gun. When a runner that young does that, the wise old heads watching always say, "Gone too fast. Watch them pull her back." But they had not seen Poppy in action before. At the end of the race, she seemed barely to be breathing harder than if she had been sunbathing for a few minutes.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Timekeeping is a real pleasure when surrounded by experienced officials who know what they are doing and who enjoy a good chat between the races. Chatting so much in fact that I missed most of the announcements of how we were doing. In the end we won by a clear 35 points. Congratulations to all.
Particularly the team managers - Lesley and Sam. They have taken on board the insight we brought back from the AGM that the team that wins is the one who fills most spaces in the competition.
How different - how very different - from Thursday afternoon's effort when I was assisted by the PE department from Brimsham Green. But I will come over as bitter if I say more about that......
Writing about Mark Lodge's experience at the Invictus Games was a real pleasure and I was delighted that the Gazette published my report pretty much in full. Less delighted when the sports editor put his own name to it and managed to mangle at least one of my sentences and reduce Lodge to lodge.