I must apologise as Lorraine sent me the third Gloucestershire race report before Christmas but I have had so much going on, I have only just got around to posting it. Sorry everyone, here it is.

Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison

Last Saturday was our last Cross Country League fixture of 2016 and it was the third race of the Gloucestershire League. It also marked the half way point in the Cross Country season. Soian-x-country it was fitting that the BPJ Ladies and Mens teams were able to race at the same venue. As the last two races for Midlands and Birmingham Leagues, had meant us travelling to different locations.

Once again the race venue was a new one, out at Wootton Under Edge, which was 52 miles away. The course was around the school grounds of Katherine Lady Berkeley School, which upon first inspection didn’t look too hilly. It did however, look a bit uneven and muddy in places, so as usual there were challenges ahead of us. Challenges that we always quite relish (secretly).

claire-x-countryThe Gloucestershire League contains less runners than the Midlands and Birmingham Leagues (107 ladies) and (188 men), which meant that the start wasn’t quite as congested as our last two races. There were 13 ladies and 9 men representing the club. The ladies course involved 1 small lap and 2 large laps of the school grounds. The terrain was indeed uneven, muddy in places and we had a ditch to jump over, so the course provided variety but it was also very leg sapping. The distances advertised were approximate, so the 6.5km stated for the ladies race was more like 3.4 miles than 4. So the finish appeared on the horizon a bit sooner nic-x-countrythan anticipated and a few of us attempted a sprint finish (not that easy offroad).

winner-x-countryFirst home for our A team were Emily Seward (23.53), Jemima Lowe (24.21) and Victoria Watkins (25.07), our B team consisted of Nichola Robinson (26.00), Katie Downing (26.18) and Lucie
(26.43), our C team consisted of Helen Stanley (26.44), Rebecca Terry (26.52) and Lorraine Griffiths (28.02), our D team consisted of Claire Shacklock (28.48), Iwona Hudson (29.59) and Usha Hira (31.36) and Catherine Kelly finished in 32.40.
The mens race consisted of 4 large laps, which I can only imagine must’ve been hard going mentally and physically, and equated to approximately 5.2 miles. As there are 6 to a team in the menpaul-x-countrys race, first home for our A team was Chris Attwood (32.06), followed by Ian Wild (33.25), Paul Evans (35.30), Marcus Mingins (35.53), Derek Jackson (36.16) and Daren Thompson (36.22). Matt Moon finished in 38.32, Dave Bessant in 40.29 and Ashley Taylor in ash-x-country48.38.

Once again, the results for Black Pear Joggers teams were good with the ladies teams finishing in 6th, 17th, 20th and 23rd positions and our Masters teams finished in 2nd, 9th and 13th positions. Our mens team finished in 12th position and our Masters team finished in 5th place.

The Cross Country teams can now enjoy a mid Season break for a few weeks, before the County Championships on 7th January. The Championships take place at one of our favourite venues at Newbold Comyn, Leamington and it’s likely that some of our runners will get chosen to run for the County again, which is great for them and the club. Until then we’ll enjoy a well earned rest (apart from a bit of marathon training!).

Lorraine Griffiths, Ladies Cross Country Team 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.