Coming through thick and fast, this is the most recent write up from Lorraine for the Worcestershire County Cross Country Championships. Bit of alliteration there without even trying Lorraine. mr-_smiley_face

Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison

Last Saturday the BPJ Cross Country team raced at the annual County Cross Country championships at Newbold Comyn, Leamington. A venue that Jo Xcountrythe ladies raced at in November. This time around both BPJ men and women were at the same venue, along with the new event tent. As previously, it seemed to rain constantly the day before. However, this time, the ditch remained part of the course (always a favourite) and the temperature was a balmy 12 degrees.

The ladies set off first for our 6km (approximately) race. With everyone spread out and just the right amount of runners, we all managed to get a good start across the field. Although we’ve raced at Newbold Comyn quite a few times now, the hill still seemed to appear before it was expected. It’s not the biggest hill we’ve faced this season but it is steep and sharp, so there is still a requirement to dig in. Whilst the ascent up the hill felt like a crawl, the descent was fast and ever so slightly out of control, so getting to the bottom was a welcome relief. The course then carried on around a very sticky, leg sapping field, before we headed back onto the field we started on before heading towards the famous ditch.

The ditch didn’t disappoint and as we approached the water tentatively, the main consensus appeared to be that there was no point dithering, the best way was to jump straight in and out and up the bank as quickly as possible. We then headed off round another field before our second (and final) lap. The second lap is always good mentally, as you know you’re over half way through but on Saturday it was tough physically, due to the consistency of the mud. Each step felt tougher, as the legs were now tired from the exertion in the first lap and we were also collecting mud on route, which made our feet feel like lead weights. Needless to say, the ascent up the hill felt more like a crawl and Anna and Jem x countrythe sprint finish was maybe not quite as fast as hoped but as we crossed the finish line, we knew we’d had a great race and workout. Talking of workouts a few of the ladies team had already done a tough gym session before the race, which is remarkable!

Once again, there were some great performances from the ladies with Jemima Lowe and Anna Borecka battling it out to be first BPJ lady home. Jemima finished in 29.20 and 11th position and Anna finished in 29.28 and 12th position. Victoria Watkins was not far behind in 30.11 and 14th position. Jemima, Anna and VicMike x countrytoria were also second team and Jemima was also second in the Master’s category. The rest of the team did really well with 5 of the team finishing in the top 20 and the other 12 putting in great performances too.

After the ladies had churned the course up, it was time for the men to set off for their 3 laps (approximately 10K). Although the men have to do an extra lap, it didn’t look like it phased them too much as they came flying past three times. A few of the men looked like they were a bit more reckless through the ditch, as they emerged covered in mud, all good fun. Once again there was a battle to finish as first BPJ with Paul Childs finishing in 41 minutes (22nd) and Chris Attwood in 41.13 (23rd). Chris Harris was next in 44.50 (42nd), Paul Evans in 45.12 (45th), Mike Lane in 48.38 (59th), Chris Berry in 56.36 (76th) and the team finished in 4th position.
So great performancPACmanes from the men and ladies.

It’s always more fun when the men and ladies race together but next Saturday we’re once again at different venues. The men have an important race for the Birmingham League, where they will be racing to secure promotion back to Division 2. The race is local at Droitwich, so if any men want to help the push for promotion,
contact Chris Harris (Mens Cross Country Captain). The ladies are racing at Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton, which is a venue we’ve raced at a few times and is another favourite. If any ladies want to join us for the first time, let me know by Friday evening (13th January).

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.