Another race report from our ladies’ cross country team captain, Lorraine. This event took place at a very challenging new venue in Stratford and we performed amazingly as a team again. Just as an aside, but equally as relevant, the guys were brilliant at their Plock Court Gloucester venue too. They were first overall as a team, and means they are now third in the Midlands league! The b team would have been 6th team overall so shows that every point counts because it knocks down the other teams. Bring on the promotion push…

Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison

Last Saturday was the second Cross Country race of the Midlands League and it was at a new venue. The thought of a new race locationlorraine always creates feelings of fear and excitement, especially when the race information described it as hilly! The new venue in question was at Clopton Park, Stratford Upon Avon. Thankfully not too far away as we all had our Christmas Party to get ready for in the evening.

Once again, Black Pear Joggers ladies team turned out in great numbers and great spirits. There were 19 of us in total and we all got there in good time to survey the course beforehand. I think the general consensus was that it looked challenging. We all did a warm up and then lined up at the bottom of the first hill one of the 355 ladies taking part in today’s race (both Divisions 1 and 2).

jemima-0Well the first hill was indeed challenging, just when we thought we had got near the top, we realised there was more to come! When we finally got to the top, we had a bit of a reprieve as it levelled off before a lovely downhill section (you have to appreciate these little glimmers of relief in cross country). Before long though there was another uphill before we got out of the first section and across the common, which was very dry and uneven, causing many a runner to trip and stumble. We then headed downhill, uphill and then downhill before arriving at the first hill, ready to do it all again…

After just over 4 miles, the finish line was a welcome sight as we all gathered to discuss just how challenging we had found the course and race. There’s always a general consensus that Cross Country is never easy but we all felt such a sense of achievement to have completed another race, on another challenging course. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay to watch the mens race, which was Division 2 of the Birmingham League but we all felt respect for the men who would be tackling that course 3 times. Black Pear Joggers mens team were racing at Plock Court, Gloucester.sally-dring

The race results showed a great team performance as we finished sixth out of 28 teams in Division 2 and we were the second Masters Team. Our first four runners were Emily Seward in 29:42, Jemima Lowe in 30:11, Sarah Kellett in 30:34 and Sally Dring in 32:11. The first four runners’ times are what are used to work out our points but all the team contribute, as our placings in the races take positions from the runners in the other teams, causing them to score higher (less is more in Cross Country). So the higher the position that each of us finish in, the better and we are doing incredibly well, sitting in fifth place out of 25 teams in Division 2 after 2 races, with 2 more to go. There are currently 160 points between us and third place, which would mean promotion to Division 1…. We’ll just keep on performing well and see what happens.

The next race is for the Gloucestershire League on 17th December, at another new venue at Wootton Under Edge. It sees us competing at the same venue as the mens team, which is always good fun, as we’ve missed them at the last two races. If anyone would like to take part you just turn up and pay on the day for this one, just contact me or Chris Harris (Mens Team Captain).

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.