The 20th annual TWH Club Cross Country Championship took place on Saturday 23rd March at 10am in Hargate Forest for the 3-lap 5.1mile course.
Another overcast race with an early morning mist leading to some pretty humid conditions, not that the course fared any better with the severe downpours leaving it as its typical mudbath in many parts. I was sure to capture the extent of the exfoliation after the race in both photographic and video formats (may need to turn your head a bit)
Turnout was fantastic and the highest in years, likely helped by the kind words by James Sarre and actually notifying people a bit more in advance (it definitely wasn’t due to it being on the website). Or maybe there aren’t so many marathon runners this year. Now if only we could attract more ladies and veteran men to make the competition tougher in the midfield!
Watching as a roaming photographer from a few different vantage points, there were a few chains of harriers winding their way around the course with the battle for the first few places settled by the third lap. Andy Howey came headfirst over a too friendly and unrestrained dog, sadly for James not enough to eliminate him from the race this year with Andy taking 1st M50 and James 1st M40. After battling Jillian for most of the race George Harris pulled away on the final downhill to catch Alan Collard in a sprint, with Alan just inching ahead. Hayden Thirkell finally found the race start a mere 15 seconds after it started and subsequently got a standing ovation upon his return to the finish line. Nick Pierce turned up on time for the second year in a row, taking 1st M60 as Mark Taylor was timekeeping. The ladies prizes were unchallenged, with Jillian taking 1st F45 50 seconds faster than in last years’ similar conditions and Sonja King taking 1st F35. M70 was then taken as customary by our own Spud Taylor.
Quite a few went head over heels, but finished in good spirits. After the wise words of Kelly Holmes, I served my latest fruitcake within 20 minutes and was sure to load it with nuts. It was even popular with another unrestrained dog that stuck its nose straight into it, denying JR the last slice.
Thanks to everyone for coming to our tough but fun finish to the season. Thanks to Andy for setup and to Nick Pierce, Mark Taylor and Simon Whittaker who helped clear up afterwards. Thanks also to Mark for timing and providing the clock – making it almost seem almost official.
As always, thanks to the Woodland Trust for their support and allowing us to use the forest for the event. Maybe we won’t have so many suicidal dog walkers next year.
Photos are all here
Let me know if anything is wrong with the results as they required a bit of detective work
|1||36.34||Andrew Howey||1st M50|
|2||37.46||James Sarre||1st M40|
|18||45.07||Jillian Holford||1st F45|
|21||49.52||Sonja King||1st F35|
|24||54.31||Nicholas Pierce||1st M60|
|26||1.00.18||Lucille Joannes||1st F55|
|28||1.09.48||Bryon ‘Spud’ Taylor (2 laps)||1st M70|