BDXC League Race 1

There’s always a bit of anticipation in the air for the first cross country race of the season, and this year the honour of first event went to the Booth Decorators’ Cross Country League and the annual race around Shipley Park. LERC was out in force, with a number of runners sporting brand spanking new cross country spikes, although a muddy course with some genuinely challenging and hazardous sections meant that by the end of the race their brightness was somewhat dulled. Nevertheless, a crisp autumn morning meant an atmosphere that was perfect for cross country running.

The course was slightly altered from previous years, although the route still began with a procession around some thick grass. The familiar two laps were ran in reverse, which some liked, while others bemoaned the fact that there was a long drag uphill into an uneven wooded area, before a clear run over a field that also featured a dense boggy area that it was impossible to avoid. Times compared to last year (which was a much drier day) suggest that whatever the reason, the course was running significantly slower.

33 LERC runners, 10 women and 23 men, took to the fields and the club was rewarded with a combined first place in the embryonic league standings, after the men placed a creditable 2nd and the women, with an excellent turnout compared to last year’s lonely 4, took the honours, beating Mansfield by a considerably margin.

Andy Peat, predictably, was first finisher for the club, taking 4th place and only two strong Heanor runners and former GB 800m international Oliver Teasel of North Derbyshire could get the better of him. Andy McNeill placed 15th despite “leaving his kneecaps somewhere on the course” and was first M45, impressive after having ran 10 miles just to get to the startline. Making up the scorers were the returning Rod Harris, who succeeded in beating wife Sarah by 7 places, Mark Boot, Rob Fox, Richard Howe and Pete Webb, who managed to arrive on time this year, having turned up half way through the race in 2011.

For the women, Sarah Harris lead the charge, while Sarah Terry also placed in the top 100 (77th) and Cheryl Brown ran a course best despite the poor underfoot conditions and the unhelpful route changes (something that Richard Howe also managed). Cath Rowe, Cath Benson, Rachel Argent and Carrie Chan also made the ladies’ top 7, the latter two breaking in some flashy new footwear.

Of course, cross country, and especially the BDXC league is not all about finishing positions and times, and the first race of the season reflected the camaraderie we’ve come to enjoy that results from running on these surfaces at this time of year. Roll on the rest of the season.

This report was brought to you by deano

Rob Fox wrote;  A great turnout on Sunday, and top team results. Our participation in this league dipped in the summer, so let's keep this up.

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