Let’s get the excuses in first, as a pained Mickey Stokes did when he joined us in the pub afterwards – it was dark, the course narrower than ever before, with more riders squashed together as there were no heats. Plus young Mick had got up unfeasibly early in order to go on the Phill Upton breakfast show, he got a plug in for BiNS – but not without first having his mic switched off (was he committing the cardinal sin of local media and revealing our URL?).
Stokesy had also made a special trip to walk the course beforehand, a glutton for thorough preparation – his supporters were having nothing of preparation and were treating the smoking area of the Rep Bar as their own private box (£3.10 a pint!).
Airbiscuit’s first mistake was not being in the front line at the start – one trip from a horse in front and you’d be over. He went well, for a bit.
I think he fell at the second, but by that time he’d merged into a foaming crowd of people. I thought he’d come in fourth, but when he crossed the finish line again in fourteenth I realised why I’d never make a sports journalist.
What better way to drown our sorrows, and avoid the disastrous jocularity that comes from wacky charity events, than to slope off to watch England Vs Austria in a local hostelry. We chose The Hill (formerly the Factotum and Firkin), mistakenly it seems. The place is seemingly run by people that think the young can’t have too many stimuli – a post MTV generation pub – for when beer, the terrible service, the booming shite techno and England Vs Austria aren’t enough stimulus for you – out comes the karaoke. This fella did a storming ‘Wonder of You’, as Crouch’s goal went in.