South Yorkshire Cross Country Race 1 – Norfolk Park

16th October 2022

Report by Laura Mella

Sunday 16 October was a day of many races, with Striders scattered liberally across a number of events in the region. Norfolk Park saw a healthy contingent of green and gold for the first cross country event of the season – the South Yorkshire XC League race 1.

It was an absolutely gorgeous autumn day in Norfolk Park, bright and sunny and fairly dry, which I’m told is not typical XC conditions!

As I arrived quite late, the park was already buzzing with activity, with tents erected for each team, the course laid out, and the junior races already underway. After discarding my jumper in the tent and the obligatory team photos, the women made their way to the corner of the field where we would start. The women’s route was three laps; one short lap followed by two longer ones, about 5k in total. The pre-race briefing was almost entirely inaudible – I vaguely heard something about not following a couple of runners who were only doing two laps, but couldn’t see who they were. I decided it wouldn’t be an issue as I wouldn’t be at the front, and that I would just follow the person in front of me. Suddenly we were off! The speedier people who’d positioned themselves at the front of the clump of runners were soon out of sight and I never saw them again.

The course was very undulating, with a couple of steep, grassy climbs, including one long drag back up to the top of the park, which really spread people out. These were interspersed with some flat sections and some nice sweeping descents where you could recover a little. The park itself is really nice, with amazing views over the city which looked fabulous in the sunshine surrounded by the autumn colours.

As I came round the second lap I carried on following the runner in front of me, who veered to the right, before a marshall started bellowing at me for not understanding the briefing (which I couldn’t hear) – it turns out this was the runner I wasn’t supposed to follow – oops! Another lap it was.

The ground was pretty dry and the mud bath I had been anticipating was nowhere to be seen. I was almost disappointed by the lack of mud – I’d just bought some new fell shoes which would double up for XC and they’re white (who buys white shoes?!), and I was looking forward to getting them dirty so I looked less like a newbie. That will have to wait – perhaps the relays at Graves Park next week will oblige!

Despite running on very tired legs, I really enjoyed this race! There’s something extremely liberating about launching yourself down a grass verge and then dragging yourself back up again, for multiple laps! I particularly enjoyed not looking at my watch or thinking about my pace, and just concentrating on staying upright and getting up the hills. It was also really nice running with lots of women from other clubs. Everyone was giving it their all, but it still felt friendly and supportive, and there was lots of cheering and encouragement from people spectating too.

When the women’s race finished, we also got to hang around and be the cheer squad for the men’s race. I really enjoy a bit of track-side whooping, and it was great to be able to cheer on the men from the club as they ran, including Neil Schofield donning his tiny green shorts, which was an experience for all! 🙂

As I write this I haven’t seen the published results, but rumour has it the Striders put in a cracking performance, including a win in the women’s race from Caroline Brock! Apparently the battle for top spot was very exciting, but sadly I was too busy dying on the hill to see it.

Massive kudos is due to a number of Striders who spanned multiple events today – some running at one event before rushing to another to join the cheer squad, some cheering or volunteering at Steel City Trail 10 then running at Norfolk Park, and a handful (myself included) who were silly enough to run at two events! Runners are an odd bunch 🙂

37 Striders Ran.  The Mens Race was won by Euan Brown (MSen)of Hallamshire Harriers in 23:22.  The Womens Race was won by our own Caroline Brock in 19:44

Under 20, Senior Ladies and Vet Ladies Distance  5.7k
Pos Name Class Time
1 Caroline Brock FV35 19:44
3 Abbie Pearse FSen 19:49
8 Gillian Allen FSen 21:01
20 Sara Moss FV45 22:05
24 Sarah Thorne FSen 22:25
28 Fiona Jeffries FV45 22:47
45 Lucy Broom FV45 24:27
47 Laura Mella FV35 24:38
48 Kathryn Liddiard FB35 24:49
50 Harriet Davies FSen 24:57
55 Jacqui Herring FV45 25:02
56 Claire Wren FV35 25:10
61 Caroling Greenough FV45 25:21
64 Jennifer Simpson FSen 25:39
71 Kate Scott FV55 25:57
113 Vikki McAuley FV45 30:06
124 Jo Gleig FV55 31:47
136 Philippa Moorhead FV55 35:33
Under-20, Senior and Veteran Men U-65 Distance 8.05k
40 Louis Wood MV35 27:40
41 Paul Middlemas MV35 27:45
61 Daniel Bent MV35 28:36
73 Malcolm Baggaley MV35 29:15
76 Robert Cook Msen 29:23
77 Chris Lawson MV45 29:28
86 James Fulcher MV35 30:00
92 Neil Schofield MV45 30:08
98 Terry Byrne MV55 30:54
103 Tom Bassindale MV45 31:00
104 Sergei Shkul MV35 31:09
107 Ian Stinson MV45 31:13
136 Adam McAuley MV45 33:01
145 Paddy Treehowes MV55 33:54
148 Paul Remmer MV35 34:16
161 Tom Cossham MV45 35:38
167 Lee Mills MV45 36:15
181 Paul Chapman Msen 41:07
187 James Eberlin MV45 42:49




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