Shaken Not Stirred: SYCAA XC Race 3: Winterhill

Race Date: Sunday 19th November 2023

Before the fun began, at the start of both the women’s and men’s races, race referee Keith Binney, who always likes things done properly, asked us to remember Judith Temperton who died recently. A name perhaps unfamiliar to many, Judith was a leading light at Northern Athletics and if you have ever run the Yorkshire or Northern Championships you will certainly have come across her or her work in some guise or another.

The terrain at Winterhill School, situated on a former pit, was testing. The uphill finish was spiteful but a fair course as with a mixture of terrain and surface it required ability at climb and descent plus longer more even stretches with good going where speed is favoured. There was the added bonus of a ditch to test both nerve and agility. Original reports from those warming up on the course were that the going underfoot was generally good with some tricky spots which one of our chaps found as he ended up on his backside. He reflected later that longer spikes were perhaps needed.

Tim Erskine takes a tumble on a steep descent on the first short lap and is in danger of being trampled by the mob. He recovered to finish ahead of Malcolm Baggaley. (Photo Rob Byers)

Another of the perils of cross country is fell running, or rather the FRA dinner the previous evening. Claiming that it was “only a small sherry”, one of our ladies discovered that these affairs can be detrimental to performance. It is a rite of passage to race when still intoxicated and DNF’s do happen but a word of caution here for there is a tale of one Steel City who, dropping out of a cross country race on Sunday, received a letter from his (former) club secretary on Tuesday stating that they didn’t want people like him in their club. (You can tell that this was some time ago as a letter posted first class actually arrived the following day). Another word of warning is to take heed of Keith Binney’s instructions before the race. For safety reasons we were advised of a course alteration avoiding a tricky electricity pylon so it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise to find that the both ladies (500m) and men’s (800m) courses were longer than advertised A double whammy for our club captain who didn’t establish how many laps he was supposed to do.

The vultures were in attendance at the ditch hoping for some action but Naeem Stevens demonstrates fine technique. (Photo Yasmine Chaffer).

First woman home was Natasha Hatswell (Roth) in 24:66 whilst Bertie Houghton was the first of a posse of Hallamshire young bucks in 36:36.

Senior and Vet Women (about 7000m)
4 Caroline Brock F35 28:47
8 Sarah Thorne FS 29:58
15 Yasmine Chaffer FS 31:34
28 Fiona Jeffries F55 33:24
31 Emily Green FS 33:52
36 Jacqui Herring F45 34:30
60 Kate Scott F55 37:58
80 Karen Clark F55 43:38
88 Finishers


Senior and Vet Men  (about 10700m)
27 Naeem Stevens MS 42:30
36 Seth Kirby MS 43:47
47 Louis Wood M45 45:36
51 Richard Carter M35 46:14
55 Tim Erskine M45 46:40
62 Malcolm Baggaley M35 47:42
66 Neil Schofield M45 48:02
68 Chris Lawson M45 48:03
77 Phil Gregory M35 48:33
82 Sergai Shkul M45 48:56
92 Ian Stinson M45 51:51
110 Keith Bell M45 53:30
119 Tom Cossham M45 56:04
129 Andrew Rowland M55 59:11
130 Peter Brown M55 59:32
135 Anthony Bell M55 01:03:24
139 Finishers


Veteran M65+ (about 7000m)
9 Chris Reece M70 41:52
12 Finishers

Final results on the link: SYCAA XC Race 3 2023 Winterhill  With the fourth and final event at Graves Park on 11th December our leading women look well placed for podium finishes in all categories. In the league, Steel City are third with only a few points between fourth and first so it’s all hands on deck for this one either as a competitor or supporting. Could be a good day.

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