Well this was a baptism of fire for all the newcomers to cross country. The conditions were the hardest I’ve ever witnessed, with ankle deep mud for 90% of the race. The only rest bite was at the start of the race which was a boggy school field!!!

The weather for the third Gloucester Cross Country league race was nice and sunny with little wind and not too cold. Both races were longer than the other fixtures with the ladies running 7.4km and the men running 10.3km.

We were able to field a ladies team for the first time this season which was great. I know that a few of the ladies were a bit apprehensive before the start of the race as they were going in to the unknown. But as the results will prove they put in a great effort and came back with a great team performance. I think all the ladies will say it was very tough but enjoyable once they had crossed the finish line.

Overall the ladies team came 12th out 21 teams in the open race and the ladies vets came 9th out of 10. This was a great effort by all involved especially as many of the ladies have not run Cross Country for a long time…

Ladies Senior/Vets (full results)

Pos     Bib      Name                             Club                          Category                Time

27        416     Julie Gerrard             Black Pear Joggers                         LV35/6           36:55

40        430     Rebecca Hardie       Black Pear Joggers                         SL/15              39:30

60        429     Julie Hall                   Black Pear Joggers                         LV40/10         42:39

62        89        Lorraine Westcott     Black Pear Joggers                         LV40/12         42:50

As for the men’s team we were again able to field a strong team for the third fixture.

The first circuit of the school fields lured us all into a false sense of security – it was wet and soft underfoot, but nothing unusual for x-country. However, once we crossed the footbridge into the farmer’s fields we were in for a major shock – the course was ankle deep, thick goey mud, at least it was on the bits that weren’t completely under water.

Normally on x-country you get a few muddy patches which sap your energy until you hit firmer ground again, but here there was just no let-up, the whole course was just one huge mud bath.

By the time the men got to tackle the course it was getting very sticky underfoot. The first circuit across the school fields led you into a false sense of security as what lay across the foot bridge were farmers fields that were ankle deep in mud. The whole course was one leg sapping event. There was no let up once you got out on to the main part of the course. By the third lap you knew you had been in a tough race as your thighs were screaming at you to stop!!!

But even with these tough conditions the men’s team really excelled in the race, with Darren and Bart leading the way for BPJ’s. Overall the Team pulled in a great performance and finished 4th out of 16 teams in the open race and 4th out of 18 teams in the men’s vets. Black Pear Joggers should be very proud of these results as we are competing against very established teams and are not only matching them but beating them as these results show.

Well done all…

Mens Senior / Vets (full results)

Pos     Bib      Name                             Club                          Category                Time

11        7          Darren Salisbury      Black Pear Joggers                         MV45/1          40:54

14        492     Bart Thomas             Black Pear Joggers                         SM/10             41:31

41        533     Leonardo Taggio      Black Pear Joggers                         MV45/5          45:35

54        434     Chris Attwood           Black Pear Joggers                         SM/26             46:20

65        83        Chris Harris               Black Pear Joggers                         SM/31             47:37

72        511     Clive Andrews          Black Pear Joggers                         MV45/7          48:02

107     427     Nick Toy                     Black Pear Joggers                         MV40/22        51:59

134     452     Paul McGinnes        Black Pear Joggers                         MV45/16        55:55

135     495     Richard Kemp          Black Pear Joggers                         MV50/20        55:56

The next fixture is on Saturday 2nd February 2013 @ Plock Court, Gloucester. Details of race times to follow.

We are also putting teams together for the Worcestershire County Cross Country Championships which will be held in Malvern this time on Saturday 5th January 2013 @ 14:15 for Ladies and 14:45 for the men’s.

Entry for the County Championships is £5 and all names have to be sent off by WEDNESDAY 12TH DECEMBER 2012. So I will need names and money a week prior to this date.

The men’s team consists of the first six to cross the line but we want as many people as we can get as most teams were putting out up to three teams.

The ladies team only require three ladies, so I’m sure we could easily put out three teams as we have some good quality ladies at our club.

If you require any further info then contact Chris Harris (Cross Country Organiser) via Facebook or e-mail bomber7863@sky.com.