Kevin Jones reports on his recent cross country debut

Had a good time on Sunday at the McCain Cardiff Cross.

My first ever cross-country and the weather was very kind – unseasonally dry and bright but chilly.

The field was intimidatingly talented with Frank Tickner and Jonny Hay finishing first and second about 12 minutes ahead of me.

The course was brilliant, winding through the many trees of Bute Park and over playing fields. It was flat and moist without getting really sticky and we had to do 5 laps, so we got used to the terrain.

Being a newbie to cross-country I wore different running shoes for the first time in a race and opted for Nike Zoom XC spikes – blue and yellow ones – which were ultra-lightweight and despite some worries I had about the instep, I got used to them and their amazing grip. Another lasting impression was the extra bit of fatigue you get from the terrain I suppose, having to watch every step to avoid the muck, trees and other runners, as well as the continually varying level of the ground compared to running on a flat road.

I finished the 10.1K in 44:52 in 71st place out of 88, though my Garmin says 10.45K, and with dry socks (hurrah).

Dave Breen also ran and seems to be getting back to form after illness which was great to see.

The overriding impression I’ll take away was that running through such cracking scenery on such a gorgeous day and with the devoted support of my cracking and gorgeous girlfriend Michelle is something I want to do again.

Everyone should have a go at cross-country!