Lesley Pymm reports: Mid-week XC is a bit of a novelty. I had done this event many years ago and remembered that there was snow that year. Very kind weather conditions this year. It was muddy as you would expect, but the sun shone and it was not cold. This is one of those unusual XC races where men and women run together and the same distance – this one was advertised as 10k but turned out to be closer to 6.75 miles.
It is a three lap course of Delapre Park in Northampton. Starts off with a downhill over grass which gives us all a chance to sort ourselves out before we ran over a little bank and into a narrow, muddy path through trees. This was parallel with the road, but then we went around to the left and into woodland proper. At this stage it was good running. There was a tree across the path and, on the first lap, I went round it. It was very slippery so after that I stepped daintily over it. The next obstacle was a ditch. It was a wierd one – too wide to jump but too narrow to run properly through. It was a case of jumping in and scrambling out again. I did think I’d get a strategy sorted out over the three laps but no such luck!
After this there was a road section that those not wearing spikes were able to take advantage of. I had to run along the grass verge, then into a path where again I had to run on the edge as there was shale under a very thin layer of mud which wasn’t great with spikes. Another bank and then over grass to the start/finish area.
On the second and third laps I was able to reel them in a bit; some people did seem to be tiring. My time was 1.06.35 which I was quite pleased with over the course and distance.
Race HQ was at the local police HQ where there were presentations. Various individual categories and the Eric Humphries shield for the winning team. There was a team there from West Mids Police and I should be OK for a lift with them next year!