Marianne Hensman reports: Hooray for Cross Country
A small intrepid band of ladies set out for Stafford Common from Rowheath on Saturday. It was my first race back after injury and really the first foray into cross country terrain since Leamington back in November. The ladies team was made up of myself, Linda Howell, Leonie Clitherow, Jude Glynn and Sara Roberts. Our brilliant team captain Nicola Cumley was also there providing much needed support.
Despite the recent snow and rain, it was a bright day with blue skies. We arrived and I felt quite nervous seeing the field of mud and snow before us. However the race organisers had sensibly decided that there would be no ditch in the race. I decided on my tactics:
1. Try to stay upright and run without stopping but take a walk break if needed 2. Enjoy the race – hmmm, snow and mud – a small voice in the back of my head was saying “remember Alton Towers”…. 3. Think of Joe (and of course Jess) – much missed on days like this. We wouldn’t be there without their support at the Midlands Counties in previous years and so many other races.
2.25 and we were off. Our little pocket of teal soon disappeared and I was left to focus on the task in hand. Keep going though several inches of snow and mud for 6km. It was tough but welcome support on the way round was provided by the men’s team, who had arrived and were warming up. Brian and Izzy Pearson also carried out their regular roles as BvH cheerleaders. Matt Slater had a smile and plenty of encouragement and Nicola found several good vantage points to cheer including one where you could see the finish but weren’t quite there. I could have stopped and hugged each of them….
The ladies put in a great performance with strong runs from Linda, Sara, Leonie and Jude. I was quite a long way behind them all but finished the race in a much better mood and without walking. The laps of the course also meant we could watch and be inspired by the strong men’s team racing after us. All in all a great race, excellent goody bags and new and bargainous hoodies all round to remember the day (I’m still wearing mine). Thanks everyone and hooray for BvH’s cross country team – I missed you. Roll on Cheltenham.