By Marloes Peeters
Perk of being a vet: You get to do an extra XC race!
Downsides of being a vet: That XC was the muddiest/hardest one of the year and you get to walk around all day with a number showing your age…
The BMAF XC Championships were at the Rising Sun Country Park and therefore a local race. We had 34 runners taking part and entries in nearly every category; thanks to Dave Moir for putting the teams together and for encouraging me to participate.
It was a sunny day and for once, it was not bad to run in shorts. The women did 2 laps and while the route was relatively short (5.8 km), it consisted of a few inclines, a steep hill, and LOTS OF MUD due to the rain this week. As Rachel P said, “Really enjoyed it today, once we’d finished!” The same applied to me; I certainly won the “muddiest runner” contest after I was just behind someone who fell in a puddle (I don’t think the above picture does justice of how muddy I was…). But it was an enjoyable event with plenty of supporters cheering us on and great TBH performances from both the men and women.
For the women, there were individual medals for Katie Stevenson (1st F50 and 4th overall) and Alison Dargie (3rd F45). But the afternoon was made even more “blingtastic” by the galore of team medals. The women were the TOP LASSES in the country in both the F45 and F65 category, showing there is real strength in numbers! Moreover, a little birdie told me that two of the F65’s only just finished the c25k programme and this was their first XC race, making their achievement even more impressive. I was already home and ready for a nap when I got a message mentioning that we (Zoe, Rachel T and myself) won the F35 3rd team prize; I certainly was not expecting that and pretty chuffed to get a shiny bronze medal! The men also had a great day and bagged medals in the M35 (silver), M45 (bronze), and M65 category (bronze), getting TBH to an impressive total of six team medals.
What a way to finish off the XC season! It’s very tempting to not clean the spikes for another year but I might need them for the track season…