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.
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.
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)
|Senior and Vet Men (about 10700m)
|Veteran M65+ (about 7000m)
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.