Cross Country in Leek

On Saturday 9th December it was the last cross country race of the North Staffs Cross Country League (see which was held in Leek. For the last few years Walton Chasers have entered a team with varying levels of success.

The course was extremely muddy and very churned up in places (see photo!) because of the previous races. It was quite a hilly course which when combined with the mud proved to be quite technical. Although I never like muddy and hilly courses I knew that I could be in for a good race as for some reason it doesn't affect me as much as others.

On the first lap I just tried to run at no more than 90%, but seemed to be well placed. Towards the end of the lap I picked off a few individuals which is always a nice feeling. On the second lap it was just a case of finding a rhythm and again I managed to pick off a few more runners. I seemed to be slower than quite a few others in my group on the flat/descent and would often drop back by 15m or so, before regaining that distance on the following climb. I don't remember too much about the third lap other than I was starting to feel it a little, and on the fourth lap I got overtaken by a couple of runners. By the fifth and final lap I was really beginning to feel tired and got overtaken by 3-4 more runners, but by this stage there was nothing I could do about it. Towards the end of the lap I caught sight of a team mate, Ray Collins and I made it my target to lap him. I managed to do with with about 40 metres to spare.

Overall I was well chuffed with the run, coming in 41/179 which I think is probably one of the best runs ever by a Chaser in a time of 44.26. If only all cross country races could be as tough as this one!


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