We may still be enjoying the last embers of an Indian Summer and basking in the fading warmth of Autumn, but it will soon be time to don 14 layers of insulation before venturing out of the door to do battle with arctic winds and all penetrating drizzle in the pitch black, hail swept emptiness of Wigan in Winter.
Time to stock upon Deep Heat, Vicks Vaporub and Vitamin D as the sun goes hiding for 6 months of un-interrupted gloom and persistent head colds, and going out for a run becomes a titanic battle of iron will versus couch dwelling self loathing. Jayne will insist we run round the DW dressed up like high speed lollipop men in hi viz, and the short sleeves and 3 inch shorts will become a sad memory.
The only glimmer of hope left to cling to during the unremitting darkness of the season and the soul is the joyous prospect of the cross country season. This is when we gather together in various mud trammelled and barren windswept playing fields across the North West to temporarily pretend its high summer by running around in life threatening temperatures wearing only a club vest and a grimace.
If you like changing in tents, mild hypothermia, frozen snot and are keen to join 30 or 40 fellow borderline masochists to represent the red and back of Harriers in the Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues you may be interested in adding the fixture lists now on the site to your own personal diaries of pain.
We will be kicking of the campaign at the Red Rose fixture in Leigh on Saturday 11th October, where thanks to global warming we may get away with only mild frostbite and trail shoes. If you start now in chiselling off the concrete hard mud that has set on your XC spikes since you threw them in the back of the shed at the end of last season they may just resemble running shoes in time for Leigh. Alternatively you can throw them in a bucket of water to soak off the worst of it, forget about them, and spend time chiselling through 4 inches of solid ice to get to them come November.
We are aiming for maximum turn outs and best efforts for the Mid Lancs League in which all our teams won promotion last year and need to work hard to consolidate our place. Expect team Captains and coaches to begin lying through their teeth about team spirit, camaraderie and the training benefits of beasting yourself repeatedly up some hellish hill in Hynburn as they press gang the unwary and the unwise into turning out for the club.
I love cross country.
I hope I’ve shared my enthusiasm and inspired another season of achievement for the club.
Why cant we just fly south like the birds do?
They don’t have hills in swimming – and its indoors….