Many thanks to all the marshals who turned up. We just about had it covered, with most marshalling points reporting an incident free morning and afternoon’s racing. A few horse boxes, a few horses, but nothing we can’t gloss over.
My point at the Drift Road junction with Fifield Lane was a mixture of excitement every 20 minutes interspersed with not much happening. I found myself ruminating on the question of whether there is a formula for the number of sheep you need to keep a field suitably mown. I watched a beetle crossing the busy A road. It seemed to sense the car vibrations, and stop to let them pass before moving on. It got to the safety of the middle, advanced, then doubled back. A vehicle went past at speed, and the beetle had vanished – either into a parallel universe, or stuck to a Pirelli tread hurtling towards Windsor. Needed to work on its sense of direction and timing. A new feature this year was a piece of chalk found by the road, which I used to mark off the laps. I shall bring chalk always from now on.
The first race had passed without any problem, and I was all set to pack up for lunch. Then the race reached my marshalling point, and a wobble in the tightly-packed bunch caused a multiple rider pile-up. I was alarmed as it was right next to a row of concrete and flint blocks. A few injuries were apparent and an ambulance was called. I spent the next half an hour in an ecstasy of flag-waving and arm gestures, like the most extravagant Italian policeman in the middle of a busy intersection. Then I gave a guy training for an Ironman triathlon event a lift back to his car. He had broken a spoke in his Cosmic Carbons and faced a five mile push in his socks.
After the event, I saw the organiser paying a chap not to mention the business with the numbers. A rider was awarded some handlebars, in recognition of his steering abilities.