And the time came around again for the 2018 edition of the Northern Cross Country Championships… and a hardy bunch of runners turned up in force again!
There was an unusual start to the day:
· I turned up early to the rendezvous with plenty of time to spare (New Year’s resolution still holding strong)
· Even after flying in from sunny South Africa the day before!
· And we were ready to go… ON TIME!
Sound unbelievable? Well there was the traditional pre-XC parkrun warm up, proving this was no alternate universe. And yes, that was just me.
And we departed as planned at 10:15 – wonders never cease – our litter of excited puppies were off to Harewood House, Leeds – our first XC away day of year!
The journey flew by, with one pit stop at Wetherby Services… sadly too early for the Whaler ☹
Our good deed for the day was complete when, after bumping into to a couple of tent-less Elswick Harriers we offered to share ours so they could get changed / shelter.
After a short while we arrived with plenty of time to survey course - some of the kids who’d finished didn’t look too muddy – things were looking good! Karma perhaps from our generosity.
The ladies were off first and there were some great runs for 4 heroines, however the rumours of a mud free course were sadly unfounded.
Some things we noticed on the course… Vicki likes to have her own space (read this as “likes the whole course to herself”) and was bothered by other competitors discussing stitches and other ailments. How very dare they!
So, the course – well it was good fun with some very claggy sections. A nice long drag downhill and just two laps for men. This bodes well if the rumours are true that next year’s Nationals will take place at the same venue.
Heard on the course:
Alan shouting “Bet you wish you were still in South Africa!” Me, (freezing, muddy, knackered): “Yes. Yes, I do!” (with all my energy) – yeah, thanks for the reminder, Alan!!
Seen at the finish line: (demoralising to realise the trophies were being handed out to the winners as we were still finishing). Must train better! They were practically washed, changed, probably showered, maybe had supper, checked and verified their results too!!
To compound the misery for one of our chaps (Steve), his considerate wife was munching on a cheeseburger and delightfully told Steve this good news as he crossed the line. Justice was done, dear reader as she spoiled herself as couldn’t finish her chips & gravy on the way home.
Which is a nice segue way to the best part of the day, or any Low Fell Running Club away day for that matter – a trip to the Wetherby Whaler. Even better, it was a (mercifully) short trip to said Whaler. Yesssss!
Quite rightly, we chipped in to buy Alan’s fish – he was an absolute hero again for driving the mini bus – and we decided he deserved something called a “Whaler”. It was huuuuuge. At least his meals for the next week were sorted. In fact, I understand he was still having it for his tea last Wednesday.
So, a fun day was had by all. If you haven’t done one of these road trips, they come highly recommended… in the main due to the essential visit to Wetherby’s favourite chippy.