Men's National XC Champs - 25th February 2017
Eight of the BRAT men's cross country gang rounded off the season at the National Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham over a tasty course full of challenges. The best mud of the season was saved until the end, and with the senior men's race being the tenth and final event of the day, the soft and wet areas of the course were nicely churned up even before the race began. After the opening short loop the race took in four laps, each bigger than the previous one, to make up the 12.5k distance. Several of the guys were running in their first National and after soaking up the atmosphere and supporting the BRAT women's team, it proved a memorable race for all members of the team.
Simon Lanckham lost a shoe on the opening loop and so remarkably ran the remaining 12k with just one shoe. He was still the first BRAT home, finishing in 404th position out of 1762 finishers. Next home was Jon Undy in around 694th (sadly a timing chip malfunction meant he was not recorded in the published results, though the organisers ECCA are trying to look into this). Then a bit further down the field came a steady stream of BRAT finishers: Andy Piddington 980th, Huw Jones 1044th, Nathan Smith 1092nd, Martin Ludford 1153rd, Ming Nham 1229th (despite having to recover and replace a shoe 3 times!) and Owen Doherty 1393rd (in borrowed vest and shorts - thankfully you remembered your spikes Owen!).
In the team results we are showing as 99th out of 131 teams, though in reality we should be a dozen or more places higher if / when the results are eventually corrected.
Well done and thanks to everyone who committed themselves to run these Championships for the Club. It was great for team bonding and I'm sure you will agree well worth the effort! Thanks also to the BRAT women's team who supported the guys round the course.
Thanks again to all, it's been a good season – many new faces, lots of old faces, good turnouts, good team spirit, and even a bit of silverware!