Twelve Massey ladies turned out for the first race of the Midland Women’s Cross Country League at Newbold Comyn on Saturday. After a few admin issues with race numbers we were all set to go and trotted off to the start line on the football pitches. There was a huge turnout from other local clubs and we just had time for a quick group photo before we started 2 minutes ahead of time.
All runners set off at break neck speed across the field to try and get in a good position, the ground here was fairly stable and easy to run on. Marie Edmunds and Paula Shore-Marston were ahead of me in the field of runners and Rebecca Raper passed me as we turned left onto the gravel path (complete with pot holes and puddles) on our way to the Beacon Hill.
A sharp turn right and the beacon was in sight up a short, steep hill. I don’t know what was worse – the uphill or downhill – the downhill having a steep descent and a turn to the left. Once down the hill we headed towards the car park area and along the edge of the field where the runners’ village was situated. The going was very soft to put it mildly. At some point Sara Habib (Kenilworth Runners) and Sue Gough (Sphinx) went past and we exchanged pleasantries.
I could hear cheering and splashing in the distance and knew that we must be approaching ‘the ditch’. Not wanting to come a cropper I took it steady on the downward slope landing one foot in the water (ankle deep at this point) and striding with my other foot on to the muddy bank. Great support here especially from the Massey contingent. It was an uphill from the ditch and a right turn on to the ‘airplane’ field which seemed to go on forever.
We were then heading back for a second run up Beacon Hill and I must admit I did have to walk part of this as my legs were getting tired, but I was glad for the downhill and let gravity take me down.
The ditch was not too bad the second time round – no mishaps as I strode through and up on to the bank. Unlike some of the other Massey runners – Jackie Schofield, Alison Lowe and Sheila Johnson who all took a mud bath – Jackie in spectacular fashion and Sheila giving another runner a helping hand out of the quagmire.
On the last leg now and a left turn back on to the football pitches where we had started and the support here was brilliant – cheered on both sides by spectators and runners who had completed the course. Teams of runners congregated and were having celebratory photos and showing off mud splattered clothing!
The weather held off for the majority of the ladies race just catching the last runners coming in and the ground was now nicely churned up for the men’s race which was due to start around 30 minutes later. A good run was had by all the Massey ladies even those who fell in the ditch.
Hopefully the photos and videos of the event will encourage other ladies to take part in the remainder of the league runs.
Team and Individual Results listed below: Remember the lower the points the higher in the league table you come
Team Standings – Out of 38 teams
|1st||41||Birmingham University AC|
Masters Team Results – Out of 34 teams
Massey Ferguson Individual Placings
Full ladies results can be found here: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16418&RId=197