Race Date: Saturday 25th November 2023
With a bevvy of would be internationals seeking selection for the European Cross Country Championships in Belgium in December, this event harkened back to the olden days when everybody, including internationals, wanted to run cross country. To give an indication of the standard, most of the leading women also ply their trade on the track with pb’s of fifteen minutes or quicker for 5000m.
It is against this background of fast women described by our lone Steel City as “ridiculous, but inspiring” that Abbie Pearce found herself lining up against some of the best in Britain. With a slightly downhill start, followed by a sharp left turn, the strategy was to go off fast to avoid getting trampled on and stay upright on that turn. Abbie suspects that this may have been a pb for 200m but after that things settled down to a more manageable pace. The course was fairly flat (55m of ascent according to Strava), so actually very flat when compared to Yorkshire cross country and more akin to the type of course to be found on the continent. This race doubled as race two of the Liverpool and District XC league and the British Athletics video reveals lapped runners taking detours to avoid some particularly boggy spots. Other parts of the course were firm and fast whilst sections of tarmac were treated with chippings to let them take a spike.
|Liverpool Cross Challenge Senior Women (inc. U23 Women’s European Trial)
Abbie confessed to a touch of ‘imposter syndrome’ but a top 100 finish in this company was a fine result. Link to the full results Liverpool Cross Challenge 2023 with details of the stars including winner U23 Megan Keith (Inverness) 26:02. There were 424 finishers in the women’s race the last of whom was a septuagenarian from Clayton le Moors Harriers who took just over 65 minutes.