Bournville Ladies team finished a very commendable 53rd out of 100.
Take 3 runners more accustomed to half marathons than anything, take them to Mansfield for a 3km cross country relay event and what do you get? A jolly marvellous performance and Bournville Harriers placing 53rd of 100 teams which included Bedford and the like.
Accompanied by team captain, Nicola Cumley, myself, Sarah Rock and Julie Delahaye-Slater ventured up to Mansfield for BvH’s second outing in the National XC relays. As Nicola was still thawing and drying out from the morning’s Cofton session we were glad to be greeted by dry, bordering on sunny skies at Berry Park.
A warm up round the running track, the donning of fresh new spikes and a quick appraisal of the start/finish/handover area and it was time to go.
I was out first and managed to get a good spot on the front of the start line. It didn’t last long as runners streamed past me, but my lack of sprint start was partially compensated for by endurance off the back of marathon training and I gradually pulled my way back through the field while thoroughly enjoying the course. Grass, a wooded section and firm under foot made for an excellent cross country course.
As we headed out of the woods and onto an incline a guy cheering on his club mate shouted “you only have to do this once”, good point I thought, so pushed on looking forward to the turning point and coming back down again. A slight hill to the finish sapped the last of my reserves and I was glad to see Sarah heading off for the second leg.
Sarah had an amazing run and knocked more than a minute off her time twelve months ago to hand over to Julie.
Julie had a look of pure grit and determination when I saw her through the wooded section, this was backed up in the last few hundred metres as apparently someone was cheering the lady behind her by saying they could gain an extra place….clearly they’ve never met Julie who was having none of it and pushed on to hold her off.
The day was topped off with the support of Paul, Helen and Daniel Foot, at 3months old Daniel wasn’t really aware of what was going on, but early exposure is good 🙂
It was a great way to start the cross country season, hopefully next year we can get more teams representing the mighty teal!
3x 3k relay:
Linda Howell: 11:47.10
Sarah Rock: 12:23.95
Julie Delahaye-Slater: 13:23.70
Full results here (PDF)
A few photos from the start line: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30936970@N04/sets/72157631923618947/