VHI Results 2012 – NORTHERN IRELAND
Total Individual (Men & Women)
Course 1 – Two Men and One Woman
Course 2 – Two Women and One Man
Total Relays (Course 1 & Course 2)
The Rosebowl for the winning nation in the Individual: England
The Quaich for the winning nation in the Relays: England
The Wooden Trophy for the overall winning nation: England
The Stonewall Trophy for the leading overall points scorer between Wales and Ireland: Wales
21 June 2012
The VHI were held over the same weekend as the Jukola relays and every country had someone absent from their VHI team as a result which helped test the depth of ability within each country. The English team only had one known runner in Finland yet there were 6 new faces to their team that went to Northern Ireland. Travelling to this destination always provides extra challenges and serves to reminds us of the efforts those from NI and Ireland go to in order to compete in Mainland UK.
Long standing team manager Sarah Brown felt unable to take up her place in the team due to health issues and she shouldn’t add to the costs by travelling as a non-runner. However Sarah did fully co-ordinate and administer the team up until the weekend with Quentin Harding acting TM over the weekend itself.
The individual event was held over some of the northern foothills of the Morne Mountains near Meerlodge, an area of mainly open fell. By holding the event in June the organisers were trying to avoid a repeat of their experience of the VHI in this area 20 years before when hypothermia and a broken ankle resulted, but the again weather was trying to intervene with heavy rains in the days running up to the event. Come the morning of the event, the rains were still falling and the state of the streams was causing concern and the organisers should be congratulated on keeping the event on track. By use of a manned roped fording point marked on the maps and descriptions by hand, a quick piece of course editing and briefings from the team managers the event managed to continue safely alongside the insistent rain.
England came away from the individual with a good lead of 20 points over Scotland. Only one age category had yielded full points to England in W55 by Jackie Hallett and Vicky Thornton, yet there were also individual wins for Steve Watkins M40, Charlie Adams M45, Quentin Harding M50, Andy Hemsted M60, Sarah Noot W40, Inara Gipsle W60 and Hilary Palmer W65.
The relays were conducted under the new format devised by Rob Hickling that had not been properly tested last year. In a parkland area it provided some good close relay competition that the spectators could follow and was thought to have been very successful. While England drew with Scotland in the Man/Woman/Man category, there was a convincing win for England in the Woman/Man/Woman category such that England won the relays by 118 to 100. England won the overall competition with a score of 258 to Scotland’s 220.
All in the England team played their part well and appeared to enjoy the experience.
As ever the hospitality in Northern Ireland was superb and one can only marvel at how they could make a BBQ in a marquee in a damp field enjoyable. While we should be grateful to all in LVO who helped stage the event, Harold White deserves special mention, he superbly co-ordinated and seemed able to handle every question asked of him.
Until next year in England.