My first XC! – Mid Lancs Cross Country League, Wilsons Playing Fields Hyndburn on Saturday 16th January 2016 by Paul Walker.
Ever since joining Harriers I have been told about the cross country races and how good they are. Quotes from Dave like “get a few XC runs under your belt and you will be fit as a butchers dog”. To be honest I have promised I will come along ever since, but this time I was committed to going. I had my excuses as I was working in the Netherlands the week before, but I was starting to worry I would never make one!
Once we had got through the pre-race banter of running vests in the cold and what undergarments were acceptable, we had a quick warm-up and then off to the start. I have run in a few races now for Harriers and really enjoy the nerves and excitement on the start line. For those of you who have not yet raced, get involved! I promise I had thoughts like “I don’t want to look stupid against all these amazing runners”, but so far in over 10 events they have always been mixed ability so just turn up for the experience, it’s fantastic!
Anyway back to the XC, Dave had said Hyndburn was his favourite, so I had high expectations. It started off around a football pitch which was pretty flat, the odd ditch, which caught a few by surprise but not too slippy, so as usual I set-off far too fast with the adrenaline surging and realised that if I could still see Gary Fitzpatrick I should slow down…. I had seen XC on TV before and it always looked quite easy, this was tough! Three laps up into the woods, ankle sucking mud, ice, up and down hills, crossing a stream and a near vertical mud hill climb, it was great 😀. The support was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last year I paid a crazy amount for Tough-Guy as a challenge, this was just as challenging but free! To make things even more interesting it started to snow on the third lap! I hope everybody who reads this is encouraged to attend, for those of you not yet sure, we all finished up by going for a coffee and cake (some of us two cakes Mike!), hopefully that will convince you!
Editor – check out Paul’s smile!
Collins and Harris give the thumbs up for a new XC recruit!