Lesley Pymm reports: Well, it wasn’t exactly my finest hour! The final race of the xc season was held at the West Mids Police Training Centre at Tally Ho! I was there in good time and got warmed up. The race started on time and we were away, then around the perimeter of the playing field before turning left and heading over the drive and into Cannon Hill Park, I realised that my shoelace had come undone! I was last at this point, but just about hanging on and I had to stop and re-tie the lace! Mike was the marshal there and was saying something about ‘Poor preparation’.
I got back into it and was gaining on them again. We went along a track that is usually very muddy. This time it was very dry. Coming out of the woods we climbed up a steep bank and then into some more woods. A couple of the men in front had walked on the bank and I was gaining. A little dog-leg and then over a small ditch (there was a bridge and the man in front used that) and along a track coming out on the playing fields where some youngsters were having a different event.
Over another bridge and up by the triangle and along by the willow tunnell, a bit more woods and then the path before turning around the meadow and picking up the route again. We had to do a smaller loop twice more. It was on the third loop that I really had a problem. There was a man walking ahead of me with a really lovely looking dog. The guy that I was chasing down had just started the bank for the third time and he was walking. This was my chance; I really wanted to catch him. I went past the man with the dog and the dog moved towards me and gave me a nuzzle. I ran on and suddenly found that the dog had been allowed a long lead and had jumped up at me. I was almost knocked over and stumbled.
I was OK, if a bit shaken. I had to make a decision about whether or not to talk to the man or just carry on. I chose to say something. Of course, because he had headphones on, I had to shout to be heard. I asked him to please control his dog. He seemed to think that I should not be running in the park and, as his dog liked running after people, it was alright and my fault. Another runner (innocent passer-by) who had seen it happen came over and told the man that he was out of order and he was told that he shouldn’t be running there either.
I ran on. There was now no chance of catching up with the runner in front now! It was an enjoyable run and a shame that this one man could not control his dog.
The presentations were held at Tally Ho! It was a lovely event and a great atmosphere. I got 3rd V60 for the League (the masters categories are mixed). It was won overall by RAF Cosford. West Midlands Police were 2nd and Leicester Police 3rd. A great season.