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Eastern Region Autumn 25 “Jack Covington Memorial” Trophy

The “Jack Covington Memorial” 25 was held on Sunday 3rd October, preceding the Lea Valley “Comet” 25. Several of us gathered at the Lea Valley’s “Comet” hut in Burton End, near Stansted Airport on the Saturday. The “residents”, Michael Keen, Frida Wezel; Ian Taylor and Alan Hedges were joined by Stan Broome and Regional Captain, Pete Martin. Martin Badham left his car, short of fuel, at home and caught the train from Norwich to Cambridge to ride his bike into the wind and rain down to Stansted, and National Chairman, Sid Charlton similarly combined train and trike to arrive through the rain. It seems its easier to get a trike on some railways than on others.

Frida served us up with some good fuel for the morrow, in the form of Spaghetti Bolognese. Friendly chat filled the evening until we slid off to bed, ready for an early start in the morning. Which started for some at 5 a.m. for Michael and Frida as they set off to drive the course to check whether the rain, yesterday had caused any of the flooding which caused the previous two editions to be cancelled. Thankfully, the early morning roads were dry and we got the race under way.

Chris Hutchinson appeared at the start and has provided some pictures. Martin was marshalling at Stumps Cross and saw Mark Vowells through on his way to a winning 1:06:19. Shortly afterwards, Sid Charlton came through hotly pursued by Lez Young. On the return through Stumps, Lez had dropped back a bit and deposited a faulty pump with the marshalls. These two fought it out for the remainder of the event with Sid getting to the line a few seconds before Lez. Lez – 1:16:54; Sid 1:17:46.

Lez taking the handicap award with 43:46.

At the finish, people departed according to Covid recommendations as the sun came out, and some of last night hut residents returned for a brunch. Sid and Martin packed up their machines and set off for their respective homes, Sid to ride all the way, Martin to retrace yesterday’s route to Cambridge and the journey to Norwich – but that’s another saga.

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