HILLINGDON Council unwittingly robbed Thames Valley Harriers of a gold medal on Saturday.
The runners from the Shepherd's Bush club hit various council repair works on the roads leading to the Middlesex Masters Cross-Country Championships at Mad Bess Woods - and one of their best was left to play catch-up long after the starting gun at the Ruislip-based course.
Phil Wetton did his best to cut down the added deficit. But the best the M40 runner could manage was 30th in the M40-49 category - well short of his expected place.
TVH still managed team bronze courtesy of Steve Norris, Ash Khan and John Husbands. And Norris wasn't far away from an individual medal in a field that saw a number of additions to the masters (vets) ranks since last year.
Lee Benjamin led the M50-59 Valley runners to team silver in an excellent overall 13th place, with Mike Wilson and Simon Maddison, while Kathy Davidson made a solitary showing for TVH women by coming 23rd.
RESULTS: (TVH only) Middlesex Masters Cross-Country Championship 8K, Ruislip 4 S Norris (M40) 27:36mins; 7 A Khan (M40) 28:23; 13 L Benjamin (M50) 29:35; J Husbands (M45) 30:53; 30 P Wetton (M40) 31:09; 36 M Wilson (M50) 31:59; 42 R Bell (M40) 32:37; 55 R Hooley (M45) 33:48; 66 S Maddison (M55) 35:27 M40-49: 3 TVH (4, 7, 27) 38pts M50+: 2 TVH (13, 36, 66) 115 WOMEN 23 K Davidson (W55) 47:30