On 17 March 2016 In Running News

National XC Championship – 27th February 2016 – Women's Race

The National Cross Country Championships are the biggest race of the cross country season, quite literally. More than 700 women of all shapes, sizes and abilities toed the line at Donnington on 27th February to do battle among each other over the grassy, undulating terrain. The race director had assessed the going in the morning as “good”, so the hopes were high that there would be none of the mud of epic proportions that courses like Parliament Hill provide without fail.

Depleted by last minute cancellations due to injury and illness, a core team of just 6 women (Sarah Bakewell, Christine Bertram, Danni Bogue, Claire Capper, Sarah Wallis and Rachel Young) lined up at the start, some excited by the incessant buzz that hundreds of racers create, some nervous by what would lie ahead on the course that none of us had scouted in detail.

The gun went off and so did we, together with the stampede: spectators screaming, drums banging, trumpets blowing. The endless seeming snake of runners wound its way over grassy fields with the odd cabbage patch (no kidding) and a very short stretch of proper mud thrown in. We also realised quickly that even though the going was indeed “good”, once a couple of thousands kids have run over the course before you, it turns into something slightly less than good. It was a course for the strong women and the lightfooted with only the spectators really knowing where any of the runners were.

Throughout the race we had vocal support from the men’s team, family and friends which made a huge difference. And so our first 2 runners, Christine and Claire, finished well within the top half of the race in 217th and 226th, with Danni in 405th and Sarah W in 456th rounded out the counters, with Rachel in 494th and Sara B in 587th all having fantastic races and pushing counters for other teams back to gain us valuable points. The general post-race mood was upbeat and relieved with everyone having put their best race in and finished with a smile. The results show our team in 55th, but that did not include our first counter, and so we should really be about 10 or so places higher up. Overall, it was a great day out with fantastic results all round and the team already agreeing to line up in 2017.

Read 564 times Last modified on Friday, 18 March 2016 13:44