Manchester Relays Race Report – 2013

Despite having graduated I somehow agreed not only to dust off my spikes for a weekend of Dossing about but also to get my pen back out and produce a race report. Considering I wrote more for race reports last year than I did for my dissertation, unlike every other job I apply for at the moment I’m definitely qualified for this one1.

I must start this report by mentioning a certain person’s car crash, and no, although there was a Buswell driving, the two were surprisingly not related. Coincidentally I received a text from Joe Vis (of Alehouse2 fame) which said, “If there’s any justice, you’ll crash on the M62. If not, I’ll have my wicked way with your ugliest fresher”, the M42 proved close enough and it looks like I saved Richard Powell from a close encounter there.

The race was a 3.010km route around a field in Manchester. Teams had showed up from the length and breadth of the country including the Haries from Edinburgh, Nottingham (although they lacked Dave’s favourite gymnast) and Birmingham made an appearance for the race but as their alcohol abstention for the season has already begun they weren’t allowed out.

Richard Powell showed the speed he used to get around during his freshers week with an excellent first leg for the A team bringing them round in third position, and set the fourth fastest time (8:43) of the day by anyone which means I have to declaire him as the best runner of the day. Considering the two fastest times of the day were set by the same person, it made RP the third fastest individual. Not bad for a fresher.

Alzheimers was next up; he managed to get in a decent run before forgetting his Doss allegiance and running for Notts oldboys. Callum Greenwood kept Doss in contention. The freshers then showed us old boys how it was done with Alastair Weymouth using the sugar boost from his blue WKD to clock a time of 9:13, with RP so far ahead I’ll give him the title of best of the rest. Unfortunately for us Alastair is following in the steps of Beau Smith (he even knew Beau’s boyfriend3) and has been selected for triathlon, this means it will be the last we ever see of him. An out of form Finn Brodie failed to break the 10 minute barrier but did break down some barriers with fresher Becca on their taxi ride home. Finally Linton “the love of my life” Taylor brought the A team home in fourth which I was so amazed by I want him to be my wife. Linton’s time made it three out of three for the freshers by getting round in 9:20 giving the three first years the three fastest Doss times.

As for the B team, Dave led off with a wholly impressive 8:24, according to Harriet Buswell at least, which was such an impressive time the girlfriend of a Brookes runner even shook his hand. He then handed over to an injury ridden Dan Whittle who moon walked his way around the course, had he been looking where he was going he might have seen the low hanging branch. Crizzle narrowly claimed his first of the worst title from new boy Simon Purser (not to be confused with Simon O’traitor). Some excellent second legs by RP and Weymouth resulted with a top half finish for the B team.

The ladies were missing their flag bearer Lucy “and she’s gone” Crookes4 to a race in Slovenia, the ladies weren’t the only ones missing her as most of the Alehouse men (especially Joe Vis) were broken hearted at the chance to see their favourite female Dosser. The rest of you ladies don’t be too disappointed by this; the adoration of the Alehouse men is worth about half a yen.

However this was a team event and it’s not all about one individual. All our ladies were evenly matched with a battle between Harriet Buswell and Joanna Rycroft on the first leg, I offered Harriet a hand, but it was alright as she had this fight covered, after all she is from Newcastle. However she could have done with that hand as Joanna won out by six seconds, still a cracking performance by the freshers. Second legs were taken on by Catherine Garbutt and Becca Pritchard who mainly ran fast as every step was one closer back to her own bed in Leeds. Finally Sarah and Amica took on the final leg and brought it home. With only four seconds covering Becca, Sarah and Amica, it looks like we could have a female version of the famous Dan vs Dave rivalry. The ladies teams finished 27th and 30th.

The evening entertainment began early as Finn dived into the depths of Manchester and found a dodgy social club to get a pint in. With everyone being a cross country runner we were able to make a quick exit when someone looked at a local the wrong way, an out of form Finn however got left behind.

We were staying at Simon O’traitor’s5 house and had a memorable bus ride to the curry house as we cracked out all our new Doss songs to show Simon. Some would call this hymn practice, but it was nowhere near as organised as an Alehouse session.

The curry and beer racing was as raucous as ever and despite having half the numbers of last year we were twice as loud. We were able to respond to the chants of “Leeds Leeds special needs” and “eight nil6” with our new song as well as the classics such as, “he’s half a boy he’s half a girl Joe Vis”, and “stand up if you hate Alehouse”; for a worrying moment it looked like Doss were going to be the only ones standing but some bridge, or more accurately wall building with real estate students from Brookes cemented the relationship, and soon everyone else followed. Another girl swiftly brought an end to bridge building with Brookes by announcing, “I know Phil Sesemann”, which was enough to make Finn and Linton run away scared. In response to a song about the lack of women in Alehouse they got some girls they picked up off the street and had dressed in orange to stand on their seats and look bewildered whilst the men chanted away. With Alehouse having more meat than an abattoir it sometimes makes me wish I’d joined Alehouse.

The beer racing got under away and saw the worst performance by a group representing Yorkshire since the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. A stunning first pint by Dan and a decent pint by Linton was a good start. Dave was the first weak link in the armour failing to get half way through before Linton decided to give him a shower. Finn tried to salvage the second car crash of the weekend and doubled up as captain Alzheimers only managed a sip. Dan’s second pint drew an end to the terrible proceedings. What followed though was more explosive and led to a bigger flood than the Dambusters raid. The ladies attempted to rescue some Doss dignity with Amica, Catherine and Sarah putting in a decent performance. After the almost customary banter by club members with the boys in blue7 we headed out to the nearest discotheque for an evening of dancing with refreshments.

We returned to Leeds, some earlier than others, for a lovely Sunday afternoon run on which I got more injured than in my 70mph car crash. Thanks to everyone that got involved in my Doss weekend I thoroughly enjoyed it even if it did nearly kill me.


Train ticket to Leeds: £56.25

Race entry including travel: £12

Social ticket: £10

Drinks for Dave and all the freshers: £36.10

Cheesy chips without the cheese: £3

Taxi back to Leeds: £120, discounted to £60 (good bartering Becca)

Cost of a new car: £5595

A weekend Dossing about: Priceless

1 Don’t think I failed my dissertation by writing race reports I actually got 69% and an award.

2 For all new readers I should point out that Alehouse is a collective name for a group of half-wit individuals who dress in bright orange and pour pints down the front of their tops. They are also either current or exstudents of some Lancashire based university known as Manchester.

3 As far as I’m aware Beau Smith is not in a relationship with this person, however I don’t know his name and I’ve always referred to him as Beau’s boyfriend. If they are in a relationship, Beau’s boyfriend was definitely cheating on him with a girl at the IOM this year.

4 This is a long standing tradition that whenever Lucy is mentioned in a race report so is the next line from Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The line “And she’s gone” was a coincidence but very appropriate.

5 Simon O’Meara used to be a Dosser but joined the ranks of the Alehouse men.

6 Eight nil refers to our terrible performance at the annual Doss Alehouse football match at the IOM, for full details please see the previous race report.

7 This refers to the face paint battle with Oxford Brookes.

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