McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge – 16th Jan 2011

Barrie Roberts reports: Hundreds of runners braved the torrential downpours to take part in the 15th annual Cardiff Cross Challenge (incorporating The Welsh Masters Championship 2011) on Sunday 16th January 2011.

About 1,500 people descended on Blackweir Fields (adjacent to the beautiful Castle Grounds of Bute Park) for what is one of the most prestigious cross country events in the UK. European junior champion Charlotte Purdue won the Senior Ladies event and Frank Tickner won the Senior Men’s Race. Cardiff is the third fixture in the 2010 – 2011 McCain Cross Challenge Series which also includes races in Liverpool, Birmingham and Antrim in Northern Ireland.

I was competing in my third Welsh Masters Championship meeting within the space of fifteen days (I would have preferred them to be more spaced out!) .The Masters Race started promptly at 1510 and was the last of 14 races held during the day which had included a range of men’s, women’s and young persons’ races. The distance to be run was 6.8 km.

The Course was marked up to national standards and comprised of three laps described in the race publicity as being a mixture of flat fast running and interesting woodland and riverside sections – I may well have run 7+ km before finally crossing the finishing line. I prefer not to run in treacle and tried to avoid or run wide at some of the worst churned-up sections of the Course. I feel sure that it is probably a wonderful course to run in dry weather!. Without long spikes I would not have been able to get around and stay on my feet.

I have been told that I will get a Bronze Medal for my endeavours in the M65 age cat. Chip Time 00:39:23. I did as well as I could on the day but was just ‘off the pace’ and can only hope that improved fitness, health and preparation will make the 2011 Spring/Summer campaign more successful and fulfilling.

There were two other BvH runners present at the Cardiff Cross Challenge. My wife Katie, who is getting used to my ‘failed world record attempts in bad weather’, and Linda Howell who was having a post-injury (big toe) training run. Linda was running in the Senior Women’s Race and taking all things into consideration, completed the 6.8 km Course in a very respectable 00:31:42.

Full Results. (Excel spreadsheet)

One Reply to “McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge – 16th Jan 2011”

  1. Well done Barrie – it was a pretty churned up challenging course by the time the rain had started to fall.

    What Barrie failed to mention was that I came last but two, & was hobbling in the pouring rain when we bumped into each other – trail shoes were not a good idea!

    Having said that, I will definitely consider going back next year if I can avoid dropping large pieces of wood on my foot. The course was really good, the marshalls and supporters were very supportive despite the weather and my position (by lap three they seemed surprised I was still going, and the support grew), and when else can you run in a high class field for £6?

    I was participating, against doctors orders, because it was race two of the McCain Cross Challenge. This comprises of four races; the first was in Liverpool at Sefton Park, where I had the fantastic support of my sister, brother-in-law and niece; the second in Cardiff, which Ric and I took as a weekend away opportunity; the third is in Antrim (which is a bit far and only a week after Cardiff). The final race is part of the InterCounties in Cofton Park in March. You have to complete two of the first three to take part in the fourth.

    I’m not entirely sure how this works out on the day, but I hope I can run alongside Marianne and Sara, after their potential to be running for Warwickshire at the same meeting.