Sheffield Open Cross Country
Incorporating Steel City Striders Cross Country Championship
Report by: Stuart Jones
Race Date: January 18th 2020
Men 10 km
Women 6.25 km
Basically, if you’re an adult female runner you run all the way down the field in front of the pavilion on Hemsworth Road (a drop equal to one Cobnar, the non-standard measure of elevation once very popular in this running Club), across the bottom and all the way back up, with a middle wiggle, to the wood in front of the entrance to the animal farm car park, sweep back round and then repeat that one and a half times more. An adult male runner does four big laps instead of two and a half. Muddy in places, firm in others, sunshine except under the trees, about half the runners getting lapped by the leaders. £7.00 entry, with a few entrants not actually members of any club. (That’s what an ‘open’ event allows.)
There were two big shiny cups awarded, with Striders just missing out on both – Caroline Brock was second female and Joe Sweetnam-Powell was second male. The women’s Steel City Striders A team (actually comprising not of a pre-selected group but just aggregated from our first three to finish) took first place and a running shop gift certificate each. Andy Buck was first male V60.
Now that’s all very well and good; but what about our own Club XC Championship? How many prizes? In which age groups? Can you win two categories? Do I stand any chance of a medal to match the one I picked up a couple of years ago from the Striders’ 10k (V50 Male)? So what age groups will apply?
The South Yorkshire County Athletics Association ‘Rules of the South Yorkshire Cross Country League’ state that ‘Individual awards will also be made in the following categories: Junior Ladies, Junior Men, Veteran Ladies O/35, O/45, O/55 & O65 and Veteran Men O/40, O/50, O/60, O/65 & O/70’, and that you can only win one prize.
Yorkshire Veterans Athletics Association CC Awards sees things differently:
Men M/35, M/40, M/45, M/50, M/55, M/60, M/65, M/70, M75+
Women F35, F/40, F/45, F/50, F/55, F/60, F/65, F/70+
For teams they do go to ten-year ranges, sort of, for both genders:
Men 35 -39, 40 – 49, 50 – 59, 60 – 69, 70 +
Women 35 – 44, 45 – 54, 55 – 64 and 65+
Masters Athletics is just slightly different again, with athletes from aged 35 upwards in five-year age groups for older athletes and they do let you run once you’re 33 – you just don’t qualify for prizes as you are too young!
Our own website, under the Cross Country tab on a drop-down menu, says:
The male age categories are: senior; vets over 40; vets over 50 and vets over 60. The female age categories are: senior; vets over 40; vets over 50 and vets over 60.
Trophies and prizes for the leading Striders in each category are be presented at the club A.G.M. in March following the race.
The AGM is in January this year, next week in fact. Will I get a prize?
The national Governing Body is UK Athletics. They have a rule in their extensive rule book that spells out what is what:
UK ATHLETICS COMPETITION RULES FOR USE IN THE UK 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2020
Whilst Rule 141.1 defines the age groups in a particular way, it is the regulations for each competition which determines which age groups will apply.
So I do not get a prize in the Sheffield Open because they awarded first place and first teams, male and female, and first in each of their age categories. Their age categories for female runners were on the 5’s – O35, O45 and O55.
But if the above is still true from our own website, then different age groupings will be applied and, in the Steel City Striders Cross Country Championship, we may see:
|Male Senior||Joe Sweetnam-Powell|
|Male Vets over 40||James Rose|
|Male Vets over 50||Stuart Jones|
|Male Vets over 60||Andy Buck|
|Female Vets over 40||??|
|Female Vets over 50||Carole Haste|
|Female Vets over 60||—|
And there’s the problem – impolite to ask a lady her age, Power of Ten only giving XC age category by UK Athletics ranges (O35, O45 etc. for females), overlapping age ranges…
Does Caroline win one Striders Championship – XC, or two – XC and Senior F XC, or two others – XC and F40? Is Caitlin to win Senior F XC? If Caroline is Senior F XC, does Lucy Broom or Nicola Ross take the F40 title? It can be someone in the background who makes that call!
Full results here.
First female: Lilly Fletcher – Hallamshire Harriers, in 26:58
First Strider: Caroline Brock (F35) in 27:00
First male: Dominic Brown – University of Sheffield, in 36:05
First Strider: Joe Sweetnam-Powell (SM), in 37:45