The Veteran Home Internationals is a competition between the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Like me, you may have be aware of this competition, but not know a lot about it.
Similar competitions include the Junior, and Senior Home Internationals.
I was asked this year to join the Welsh team.
I qualify to run for Wales because my mum was born and was brought up in Betws-y-coed.
The event weekend was based close to Dorking/Gatwick, with an Individual race on the Saturday at Winterfold and the Relay event on the Sunday at Glovers Wood.
Each team consists of 24 runners, 12 Males and 12 Females taken from age classes 35 to 65.
One runner for age classes 35 and 65, and two runners from age classes 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60.
Team accomodation was available, but with taking the dog, I stayed at the Travelodge at Gatwick.
I drove down early on the Saturday morning. It was great to meet the rest of the team, I picked up my Welsh kit, and we all got ready and started heading for the start, which was almost 2km away.
The start was not taped but we were provided with a map extract to navigate to the start.
I was running a short blue course, and all competitors on this course were a minimum of 3 minutes apart.
This meant I had a very quiet time in the woods only occassionaly seeing another competitor.
I made a couple of errors on control 3 and 4, number 4 I was in the correct area but just couldn’t see the control.
After this things went really well and I finished 5th out of 7 on W50.
Later that afternoon the teams all met up in a local village hall for Tea and cake, a social and evening meal.
England were presented with the Lagan Valley Rosebowl as winners of the Individual event.
Sunday was the Relays. There are two classes, WMW, 2 Women and one Man, and MWM, 2 Men and 1 Woman. 4 teams from each nation run in each class with the best 3 teams from each nation to score. The combined ages of the runners in a team must be 145 or greater.
I ran the first leg in the WMW race, the wood was fast and runnable and included several stream crossings.
I was neck and neck with a Scottish competitor but managed to loose her at control 9. I handed over to Alun. Sian was my other team mate and we came in 11th overall.
England took the Quaich trophy as the overall winners of the relays.
England also took the Mickelgate Bar trophy as the overall winners for the weekend.
Wales retained the Stonewall trophy as best scoring team between Wales and Ireland.
Thanks go to SLOW club for organising the weekend in just 7 weeks after the original venue for the events was cancelled.