Thank you Lorraine for this fantastic first cross country race report. If you haven’t tried it, want a tough multi terrain challenge with some fun, barmy people, then get in touch with the lovely Lorraine Griffiths, ladies’ team captain or Chris Bomber Harris, men’s team captain.
Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison
This Saturday was the first fixture of the 2016/2017 Cross Country season. It was a Gloucestershire League race and at a new venue, Little Rissington, near the stunning Bourton on the Water. We had a fantastic team turnout with 10 men and 14 ladies, with quite a few runners trying Cross Country for the first time. Whilst it wasn’t even the slightest bit muddy, the feedback that I received (I was supporting due to the Great Birmingham Run the next day) was that it was the hilliest, toughest Cross Country race anyone had ever experienced. Whilst the setting was picturesque, there were 3 hills that had to be ran up twice, so within a 4 (ladies) or 6 (men) mile race, that is a significant amount of hills to contend with. Our new Team members were therefore, quite literally thrown in at the deep end but they didn’t seem to mind.
Although, everyone acknowledged how tough the race was, there was a general consensus that it had also been fun (this might’ve been a while after finishing) and that it was great to be running Cross Country again (or for the first time). There were 240 men and 148 women competing in the adult races and Black Pear Joggers did really well. Chris Attwood and Jemima Lowe were first to finish in their races. Our mens’ team came 17th and our Masters’ teams came 9th and 21st. Our 3 ladies’ teams came 9th, 19th and 26th and our Masters’ teams came 5th, 11th and 21st. It was a great team performance by everyone and the chance to run as part of a team certainly seems to be a factor in Cross Country’s growing popularity. The tougher the race, the more we seem to bond.
Black Pear Joggers take part in three Cross Country Leagues: Gloucestershire League (men & women), Birmingham League (men) and Midlands League (women). This season the men and women are only competing together at the Gloucestershire League races and personally I’m going to miss the men cheering us on at the Midlands League (I’m sure they’ll miss us too). The camaraderie amongst the teams is very motivating. The next race is a Gloucestershire League one on 5th November, so we all get to run, cheer, drink tea, eat cake and generally have fun together one more time before we go off to our separate venues on 12th November.
If anyone is interested in taking part in Cross Country have a look at the specific cross country information on our website and contact Lorraine Griffiths or Chris Bomber Harris. We can guarantee it won’t always be easy but it will always be fun.
Lorraine Griffiths, Ladies Cross Country Captain
Fabulous photos courtesy of Anthony Jones