The local county cross country championships is an event I try to support each year. Normally I am the only VRUK member competing but this year, Chris Simms joined just in time to consider this event. Chris is intending to run the Wellingborough multi-terrain series over the winter so the 12K at Wing would be ideal. Having run a half marathon time of 1.24 at the Bedford event a month earlier, Chris would not be overawed by the competitiveness of the championships.
Held at Cottesloe School, Wing near the border between Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire, the start area was probably at the highest point and exposed to the westerly wind. Many of the participating clubs erected their tents as meet-up points, etc. As usual there were separate age group events starting at 11am with the men’s event the last one at 2.30pm. The start line was quite wide but I was in no mood to sprint off down the hill whereas Chris started quickly. There were 3 laps of 4K and from our viewpoint the course looked fairly dry, I had not checked shoes or legs of runners in earlier events!
Going through the gates between fields were the potential hazards with mud or other objects that could potentially cause a fall. The course was generally undulating throughout, the hardest climb probably at the end of each lap. In the early stages I was overtaken by many runners otherwise my position was stable for most of the event. The course covered about five fields with tricky areas at the gates between fields where the amount of mud varied and there were other objects that potentially could cause a fall. One guy appeared to have dropped his keys in the deepest mud and was searching with his hands.
It was a tiring race so was relieved to be running the final lap and appeared to save enough energy to put in a good finish. We had to climb another 20 metres or so shortly before the finish line so was exhausted. There were still some runners to finish otherwise was not expecting a good position or time, in fact I took 57.55 and was 51 / 57 in the Bucks Champs and 105 / 122 overall. More importantly I was 6th V50 in the Bucks Champs.
For Chris it was his first XC champs and with not much training after the Bedford Half, he did well to finish 32 / 57 and overall 53 / 122. The following weekend Chris runs in the 1st of the Wellingborough 15K multi-terrain series.