Race Date: Sunday 30th October 2022
Race Report by Robert Cook
The second round of the SYCAA 2022 cross country series at Cannon Hall served up some great racing on another busy autumn racing weekend!
The course is a pretty simple, traditional cross country course, lapping round the outside of the sloping parkland below Cannon Hall, and diving back down the middle for an up-and down extra loop. Compared with the previous course at Norfolk park which had multiple short, steep, punchy climbs through each lap this course offered longer, shallower climbs and a tiny bit of flat across the bottom by the start/finish line.
Personally I’d had a bit of a shocker at the last race and was keen to at least enjoy this one! The combination of the steep hills and a lack of training and sleep had contributed to a pretty horrible experience last time out, but I hoped with a bit less exuberance at the start and a couple of extra weeks’ training I’d be feeling a bit better.
After a bit of a stressful arrival due to the limited parking and a quick warm up to see the course and support the women’s race we were lined up and on our way. The course conditions were good, with little mud and lots of short, soft grass making an ideal xc racing surface! After a slow start and avoiding a faller, I settled into a much more realistic pace than last time and settled into the pace. Slowly through the race I began to lose ground to the people I had started with and gradually kept on getting passed, but felt competitive and wasn’t in freefall like the race before. It’s not the ideal way to run but did mean I saw lots of striders on the way round, with Louis Wood coming past me at the start of the 2nd lap, then Danny Bent a bit later on the same lap and finally Malcolm catching and passing me on the last hill. Overall though the race went much better for myself than last time out, a few places higher up and hopefully a good place to work from before the next race out at Penistone. Paul Middlemas was the first male strider home in 39th place.
In the women’s race Abbie Pearse took a well deserved and well paced win, following on from Caroline’s win in the previous race Striders are 2 from 2 in the women’s races this year! I only caught bits of the women’s race but it looked like a great, controlled effort from Abbie, maintaining a strong pace at the front to slowly wear down the competition and take the win.
120 runners lined up for the ‘Under-20, Senior and Veteran Ladies’ race at Cannon Hall, with Strider Abbie Pearse coming in first in a time of 23:50. Euan Brown of Hallamshire Harriers AC won the ‘Under-20, Senior and Veteran Men U-65’ race, finishing first of 182 runners in a time of 31:52.
Under-20, Senior and Veteran Ladies
Men’s Race Under-20, Senior and Veteran Men U-65
Full results are available on the SYCAA website.