Welcome back to Lorraine Griffiths and her Cross Country reports for the whole club. She and Chris Harris do a fantastic job with the ladies and mens’ teams across two leagues. All the information you need can be found in a dedicated page on our website and also a list of upcoming events on the homepage.

Tracy Kennish, Marcomms and Media Liaison

It was the first race of the Cross Country season on Saturday and as was the case last year, the conditions were hot and dry underfoot. The venue was Crypt School, Blackbridge, Gloucester, a location that has been used quite a few times to host both the Gloucestershire League and Birmingham League fixtures.

It’s always more fun when men and women race at the same venue and despite the Beacon race and Birmingham full and half Marathons taking place that weekend, we had a good turnout of runners and Supporters. Many runners joined the team for the first time: Amy Stewart, Dominique Edwards, Donna Rushton, Rachel Booth, Jane Fairlamb and Richard Cranswick and hopefully they’ll be back!

As usual the ladies raced first and 173 ladies, and for the first time over 65 men, took on the 3.75 miles course which included 2 small laps and 2 large laps round the field, through the wooded area and around the running track. The course was very firm and not too hilly, which accounted for some fast times. First back for the Ladies Team was Victoria Watkins in 37th position overall, followed by Lucie White and Annie Bird making up our “A” team (9th overall). Jemima Lowe, Dominique Edwards and Nichola Robinson made up the “B” team (19th overall), Jane Fairlamb, Donna Rushton and Rebecca Terry were the “C” team (26th overall) and Amy Stewart, Rachel Booth and Cat Kelly our “D” team (34th overall). We also fielded 3 Masters Teams (over 35 runners) who were 5th, 14th and 20th.

Next up were the men who raced approximately 5.7 miles around the same course. 205 men took part in the Senior mens race, which included 2 medium laps and 3 large laps. The mens race is always engaging for spectators as because of the extra laps, there is always someone to cheer from each direction. First back for Black Pear Joggers was Ian Wild in 44th position, next was Richard Cranswick in 74th position, Chris Attwood in 80th position, Matt Moon in 107th position and Anthony Jones in 175th. Unfortunately, we were 1 short of a full team for the open category, as the men require 6 runners, but our Masters team (over 40 runners) finished 8th.

This was a very encouraging start to the Season and as the conditions get colder and muddier, the training benefits get even better (when you’re 20 miles into your Spring marathon you’ll remember the determination

you showed getting up that hill or through all that mud!). If you’d like to join us for the next race, it is another Gloucestershire League one and is being held at a new venue at Charlton Park, Malmesbury. Information and future fixtures can be found on the club website.

If you would like to join the team contact me for the Ladies Team and Chris Harris for the Mens Team. We’re a friendly bunch!

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.