Yorkshire County AA Cross Country Championship Report by Stuart Jones

Race Date: Saturday 5 January 2019

Race Report by: Stuart Jones

Things we learnt:

  • Heels hurt, not hills – especially if, when wearing borrowed spikes, you rub twin heel-sized blisters on your heels.
  • Siri does not know ‘arm sleeves’ – but apparently they make you so slip-streamed and aerodynamic that you finish first Strider.
  • The official Millennials’ Costa Travel Cup (£19.95 on eBay) does not fit under the Costa Express machines in WH Smith at Wetherby Services – but this hardly matters as that will be our last visit this season.
  • The Brownlee brothers are not actually fictional characters – one of them turned up this year, and finished top three.
  • You ‘hum’ into the wide end of a kazoo – and Jingle Bells sounds a lot like the theme to Robin Hood.
  • Dry conditions underfoot lead to two minutes off previous times – no mud to speak of.
  • Things are better together – we had thirty six runners out today, and a bit of a party on the coach there and back.
  • Oxygen tents don’t work – our resident expert in hypoxic generation tells us not: you have to actually live at altitude (not just temporarily visit).
  • Crop top running vests are out of fashion – unless it was just too warm for them (hardly any were being worn).
  • The ground does not know if you’re wearing brand-leader spikes or Decathlon.
  • Though certain fast lads may not love running off-road, they are still fast when off it: and a bacon bap from a road-side Greasy Spoon after Parkrun does nothing to slow them down, either.
  • Cross Country distances have not been gender equalised for this year, despite a popular petition and a Committee vote on the subject: it was felt that increasing participation shows that current arrangements appeal and are inclusive.
  • Fastest Female Strider on Fell = Fastest Female Strider at Cross Country. (The same is not true for men!)
  • You can take a football rattle to Cross Country even if you can’t take one into a football ground.
  • Running runs in some families – and so we have a new, totally unofficial, category: the Family Pairs Championship (see later).

You get the idea – we had a really good day out at ‘Yorkshires’. After a Parkrun warm-up (or not) a bus-load travelled up together in the usual cheerful, comradely atmosphere.

Before any competitive running, we had a simple medal presentation to the Women’s Team from their success in the South Yorkshire League 2018. Whoop, indeed.

There is a whole programme of races but, as grown-ups, we are only there for the sharp end of events. Women go first, a measly four medium laps including the same steep bank on each lap, running a little over 8 km. Leeds and Rotherham were most impressive as teams. Barnsley were simplest and crudest in their response to being urged up the bank (think raised middle digit). The Senior Men’s Race was the last of the day, running pretty much the same route (one medium and four larger laps – five times up the bank), a little over 10 km. Normally this would be churned up and made wet by the thousands of feet that have gone before, but not so today.

Senior Women’s Results:
Place: Time: Runner:
1 27.57 Claire Duck – Leeds City AC
26 31.24 Caroline Brock
62 34.19 Fran Cummins
82 35.35 Nicola Galley
86 35.59 Leisha Shiner
106 37.23 Poppy Tovey
135 39.22 Caroline Rowena Greenough
167 43.49 Carol Beattie
177 44.51 Naomi Dawn Rabin
198 54.46 Gayle Dooley
DNS (Spectated on crutches) Laura Howarth
Women’s Team Placings: (35 teams)
1st Leeds City 26 points
10th SCS A Team 256 points
33rd SCS B Team 585 points
Six Clubs got out more than one Women’s team; Steel City Striders, Bingley, Holmfirth, Hallamshire, Ilkley and York Knavesmire.
Senior Men’s Results:
Place: Time: Runner:
1 32.15 Emile Cairess – Leeds City AC
60 37.03 (Joe Sweetnam-Powell)
65 37.25 Thomas Halloway
90 38.27 Benjamin Lewis Jones
120 39.45 Thomas King
124 39.50 Ronan Charlton
126 39.56 Hal Roberts
137 40.36 Rob Pilling
145 40.52 Paul Middlemas
159 41.37 John Lea-Wilson
164 41.44 Malcolm Baggaley
178 42.14 Christopher Guy
180 42,21 Tim Holt
181 42.24 Simeon Cotterell
182 42.24 Alasdair Menmuir
205 43.53 Chris Lawson
225 45.22 Nick Kirk
231 45.38 Doug Banks
235 45.46 Terence Byrne
236 45.46 Martin Robert Greenough
240 46.02 Chris Hodson
252 47.16 Simon Ross
262 47.39 Mark Platton
273 48.17 Stuart Jones
295 50.35 Richard Adrian Pegg
304 51.57 Andrew James Pembroke
308 54.18 Phil Dooley
DNF but DS (Sensibly) Andrew Woffindin
Men’s Team Placings: (38 teams)
1st Rotherham H AC 51 points
14th SCS A Team 662 points
25th SCS B Team 1007 points
31st SCS C Team 1314 points
37th SCS D Team 1626 points
Most Clubs only got out one team. The only two Clubs with four teams were York Knavesmire and Steel City Striders.
The ‘Fam Cham’
Minimum 2 to count Combined time Fams
1st 1.25.08 Greenhough: Caroline & Martin
2nd 1.28.44 Jones: Ben & Stuart
3rd 1.49.04 Dooley: Phil & Gayle

There are no medals or t-shirts to every finisher at these races (but then the entry fee is covered by the Club), though you can usually pick up / buy a great sweatshirt at the nationals. What there is is a great level of challenge, physically and mentally, balanced with a marvellously supportive atmosphere where every runner, Olympian or not, is cheered on without a trace of patronisation. The fellas cheer on the ladies, and the ladies cheer on the fellas in turn, and we all stay until the very last is done.

There are three more Cross Country events this winter – Northern Counties at Pontefract later this month, Nationals at Harewood House in February, and, for the older member, Veterans in early March (tbd). I whole-heartedly recommend these races to all our members.

One last point – if the organiser of the RRC 2019 would just like to scan over today’s results he / she might want to revise (yet again) which division certain runners are placed in!

The start of the women’s race – you can see the gun smoke rising!

Yes, it is at THE Lightwater Valley. No, we didn’t run up and down the rollercoaster.

Attack and drive after the steep bank.


There are lots more photographs on the Facebook pages.

Results in full available here:


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