The 19th annual TWH Club Cross Country Championship took place on Saturday 24th March at 10am in Hargate Forest for the 3-lap 5.1mile course.
The weather held off with a fine mist in the air but bright given the overcast skies. Spring has very much not sprung in any way, with the recent additional snowfalls further exacerbating the poor conditions. Tough, slippery mud and puddles were throughout the course, the only separation from a tough-mudder that we didn’t force anyone to swim under a net through ‘canal corner’,
Yet for some odd reason, we had a better turnout than last year, but it could always be better. The perennial question is probably on many a marathon-trainer’s mind – is it worth the risk? Do we put the race too close to marathon season? I don’t think there’s a solution other than to encourage more off-road running so those who stick to the roads can understand that its not as dangerous as it might seem.
I’m loathe to continue this report into the results, but there were some interesting battles fought on the course. I set off with the only tactic I had to try and out-pace James, but paid very quickly for it as Andy Howey caught us and paced James for the first couple of laps. Thus helping the stalwart king of cross country refusal obliterate me into yet another second place, on home turf! At least it did give me enough reason to push myself into such tunnel vision I missed Andy taking photos throughout the course.
Simon Howden and Nick Reynolds also had a good battle culminating in a close finish along the downhill sprint to the finish, with Neil Clark close behind and desperate to get back to entertain his parents. However, with James taking 1st overall and M40 away from them, it was Simon Whitakers turn to take 1st M50. Mark returning to take the usual M60 prize.
With a limited ladies turnout there was no F55 prize this year, but captain Jillian Holford put in a strong performance to stay with the men instead and take 1st F45 and 1st lady overall. Former captain Lesley Mercer finished off the results to be 1st F35.
Thanks to those who came along to this silly (and tough) event we put on. Thanks to Andy Howey for course setup and to Simon and Mark for clear up afterwards. Thanks to Rich Carter for making an impromptu spectator turnout and thanks as always to the Woodland Trust for their support and allowing us to use the forest for the event.
Photos are here, thanks to having a photographer other than myself this year I’m even in some of them!
Full results below, I’m usually a bit rusty with the age categories so please let me know if anything is wrong.
|1||James Sarre||00:36:42||1st M40|
|8||Simon Whitaker||00:42:59||1st M50|
|11||Jillian Holford||00:45:51||1st F45|
|12||Mark Taylor||00:46:13||1st M60|
|14||Nick Pierce (on time this year)||00:50:29|
|16||Lesley Page||00:55:48||1st F35|
|Andy Howey (pacer, 2 laps)|
|19||Spud Taylor (2 laps)||01:06:38||1st M70|
And that’s it for another XC season!