leam-xcExcellent account once again by our ladies’ cross country team captain, Lorraine. Even though they weren’t featured in Lorraine‘s report as the two teams were at different venues, I have included one of the men’s team photos. Well done everyone and thank you Chris & Josh Berry for the fabulous photos.

Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison

neaty-xcLast Saturday was the first race of the Midlands League. It was held at Newbold Comyn, Leamington, which is a big favourite with Black Pear Joggers because of its ditch, hill and woodland areas. However, in this instance there was no ditch to run through and potentially lose our spikes in! As it had been deemed unsafe, however, the course still offers plenty of variety.

The Midlands League is just for ladies (although Divisions 1 and 2 of Birmingham League also raced) and is huge. In our Division (2) alone, there were 220 runners and 154 in Division 1. We all run together so as you can imagine it can get pretty congested at the start. Once again we had a great turn out with 16 of us making up the team and, whilst the Black Pear Joggers mens team were racing in Nuneaton, we had a few supporters at Leamington cheering us on and taking great photos. It makes such a difference to have support when your legs feel ready to give up!

Well the race started with a sprint across the field and then onto a path, through a wooded bit and up a hill. The hill wasn’t particularly long but it was sharp, so quite a few of us felt as though we were crawling up it. The downhill bit after was quite uneven so we didn’t feel as though we could go for it quite as much as normal, but we were soon on the flat ground again and we went around the ditch (as opposed to through it). We then did a lap around another field and then onto the field we’d started on and did it all again! It was tough (isn’t it always?) but everyone seemed to enjoy it (well about 10 minutes after finishing anyway!). Once again we had a few members of the team trying Cross Country sarah-xcfor the first time and whilst acknowledging how hard it is, they all promised to come back for more.

First home for emily-xcBlack Pear Joggers again was Emily Seward in 27.57, second home was Sarah Kellett in 29.07 and third was Sally Dring in 30.49. It was Sally’s first Cross Country race for the team, so she obviously took to it straightaway. It was a great team performance overall, with every member of our team running well and we came 9th out of 26 teams in our Division. This really is amazing, as the Midlands League is such a competitive one.

Our next race is on 3rd December at Welcombe Hills, Stratford. It is another Midlands League race and a new venue for us. I’m sure we’ll put in another great team performance and the enthusiasm and camaraderie will be as good as ever.

A special mention goes to Lynsey Hall who stepped into volunteer as Funnel Steward, we are committed to providing a Funnel Steward at two of the races. It was even more remarkable as we learned that Lynsey isn’t even a Black Pear Jogger, she is a Pershore Plum Plodder, which shows what a lovely local running family we have.

Lorraine Griffiths

Ladies Cross Country Captain

For more information about events, leagues, costs, joining the merry band of cross countriers or even popping along to support your fellow BPJers (as all cheering is most welcome), please look at the dedicated page on the BPJ website by clicking this link.