Ay Okpokam and Michael Teasdale report on the opening Harrier League fixture at Wrekenton:
As cross-country novices, Tara and Michael and I arrived at Wrekenton with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Though it was sunny, there was enough of a breeze to keep things comfortable. All the club tents and banners on the field created quite the spectacle.
After the juniors’ race, it was time for the senior women to set off.
Two 1.8 miles loops turned out to be pretty challenging, thanks to a couple of hills. There were definitely less smiles 2nd time around! There was a decent turnout of Claremont ladies, with some strong performances as well.
All the pain was forgotten by the time we got back to the tent and had some of the lovely cakes!
We enjoyed this ‘light introduction’ (as it was dry and there was no mud!) to cross country and are looking forward to the next one!
And Michael writes:
When the senior men’s race started what caught me totally unawares as a novice I XC was how uneven the surface was underfoot and how much more tiring running on it is.
We had three laps of the 1.8 mile loop to run and Bill’s warning about the headwinds were by no means unfounded. You try to tuck in behind another runner but you don’t always find yourself amongst other runners whose statures provided the most shelter.
The women, refreshed and replenished with cake after their race, had taken up position on the crest of the last hill of the lap to cheer us on.
Unfortunately Daniel Mourenza had to withdraw early in the race and David Lydall had taken a fall but carried on – I encountered him being seen to by medics as I crossed the line.
Hills and headwinds are never fun, but I was pleased to have completed my first XC race.