Tuesday 7 August 2012

All about Andy

A few anxious faces watching the race in the village pub
(photo courtesy of Viv Dawson)
Most other happenings related to our North Yorkshire village paled to insignificance in the light of what happened last Saturday morning at the Olympic rowing venue of Eton Dorney. Our local hero, the blonde haired Andy Triggs Hodge, brought home the bacon when he and his team mates in the men's coxless 4's once again beat the Aussies to strike Gold - just as they did in Beijing 4 years ago. However, there were some tense moments for the crowd of spectators gathered in the local pub to watch proceedings on the large television screen. 

Our Andy (right) and the victorious crew
Towards the end of the race the camera angle made it appear that the Aussies had inched ahead, and looks of concern spread over anxious faces glued to the screen.  But screams of joy broke out as the camera levelled on the Finish line to record our crew winning by half a boat length. Four years ago Andy fell back in the boat totally exhausted after his epic row but this time he punched the air in triumph. We've never seen him look so ecstatic but, judging by the raucous reactions of everyone back in Hebden, filmed by a local TV station, his joy was well matched by us all. 

That Gold letter-box
Less than 24 hours after his great victory the village letter-box had changed colour - from red to gold - and on Monday morning postage stamps were on sale with a picture of the four winning crew members in their boat.  I've no doubt there'll shortly be a big celebratory gathering and a meal to welcome Andy and his Gold medal back to Hebden - just as there was four years ago. Bring it on!

Out of the bloomin' way, and let somebody run that can run.....
My own puny efforts this week are hardly worth mentioning; nothing quite so exciting has happened to this old codger but I keep myself reasonably fit in hopes that it might.  Obviously the Olympic selectors haven't heard of me yet but I'm sure they'd have been pencilling in my name if they'd seen me racing a herd of cows and their calves around Mossdale last Monday - and beating them - midway through a ten mile training run!  Cows can become mighty frisky when running loose on open moorland in all weathers, besides being naturally protective of their calves, but they seem to know when they've met their match.
And where was Seb Coe, or any of his scouts, to witness my blinding speed while streaking past a young lady cyclist (with a Jack Russell in a basket) up a steep hill back into the village at the end of yet another ten mile run?  They're never there when it matters. Ah well, I can live in hopes!


  1. What 4s did the SA team win? I know nothing about rowing... but I saw them pick up a gold?

    1. South Africa won the 'lightweight' coxless 4's last Thursday. Lightweight signifies that male rowers must be under 72.5 kg (159 lbs) while the crew average must be 70 kg or less.

  2. The rowers were just incedible in these games. I think they are perhaps the most impressive all-round athletes, and Team GB did so well. You never know, maybe Seb Coe or his scouts are hiding in the hedges spying on you running through the fields?

    1. Hi Liz, dunno about the rowers being the MOST impressive. Other Yorkshire athletes like the Brownlee brothers in the triathlon, Ed Clancy in the cycling and our Jessica in the heptathlon were pretty good too! And Nicola Adams will be going for gold in the women's boxing. They're all incredible!

  3. Well done to the British Olympic Team - they have been fantastic, and the entire games are a real credit to your country. They all have the spirit of the running fox!

  4. Kauri Coast Hasher26 August 2012 at 21:59

    The Olympics as seen from NZ was a great tribute to the UK. We all pigged out on the TV coverage and of course the NZ rowing team did a great job too! After the Queen's jubilee also, the UK has a very high and favourable image in this part of the world right now. A good 4 mile time for you Gordon - you will be pleased. I took on board your comments about intervals and speed work. It is just too easy to run endless miles at no effort and then wonder why our times in races are not up to our expectations and also risking injuries. Love your Website.