Bournville Harriers men and women had a strong turnout and achieved notable success at the Midlands Cross Country relays on Saturday 5th October 2013 at Walsall Arboretum. The men entered 2 senior and 2 masters teams (4x6K) and the women 2 senior teams (3x6K). The women’s A team finished in an excellent 3rd position and the masters (M40) A team finished 2nd. The results can be found here.
Each leg featured two 3K laps of the flat and often twisting course. The weather was bright and sunny and the ground, which was a mixture of grass and heathland, was firm underfoot and made for a pleasant introduction to the cross country season. There was considerable support around the course from team-mates, friends and family which really helped to push everyone around. The course was narrow in places which made it quite congested for the early legs and yet a bit lonely at times for those on the later legs when the field was spread out.
The highlights for the men’s teams included the second place for the masters A team and a number of cross country debuts (and a welcome return to the discipline by others). The masters A team was given a very strong start by Dean Parker who despite his concerns that the short length and flatness of the course would not suit his strengths still clocked the fastest leg by a BvH runner by over 20 seconds finishing in 20:36. The rest of the team gave some solid performances to finish in a safe second place behind a very strong Leicester team. The masters B team finished 10th out of the 14 complete masters teams.
The senior men’s teams required some last minute additions/rearranging due to injuries. Gareth Cadd led the A team out and finished with our fastest senior mens leg in a time of 21:21. The rest of the team maintained the good start and finished 14th out of the 36 complete teams. The senior men’s B team were not far behind in 20th position with Oliver Kirkland running the fastest leg in 23:31.
Overall a very successful and enjoyable event and possibly one to be a more permanent fixture in the BvH racing calendar for future years.