GIRL POWER Derbyshire and Notts County XC Championships 2024, Bulwell Hall Park, Nottingham

Race Date: Saturday 6th January 2024

The inspiration for this project can be traced back to the 2022/2023 season when our own Abbie Pearse not only got a Yorkshire vest but went on to score and pick up a team bronze medal at the 2023 Inter-Counties. Then in August, Simone Young-Alls, almost by an accident of birth, came third in the Notts Half Marathon Championships at Newark. This set the cogs whirring as, looking at previous results, Simone realised that she had a chance of doing well at the Notts XC too but we’’ll now let Club Captain Caroline give her side of the story.

I decided to run Derbyshire as I realise that I won’t have the opportunity forever and I want to make the most of it and get a county vest. We thought Simone could qualify too but we don’t really know the Notts women and didn’t know what her competition would be like. She was playing down her chances but of course did very well!! I’m excited to run at the  Inter Counties though I know I will be quite far back in the pack. It’ll still be a fun experience and even better to be able to share it with Abbie and Simone too. (Abbie isn’t a done deal yet and you can read about Abbie’s exploits at the Yorkshire Champs elsewhere. Decisions, Decisions).

The course was pretty flat, lumpy grass, some muddy/water sections and a few path sections which were not pleasant in spikes but at least the sun shone at times and it wasn’t raining. It was fun to run somewhere different, though I would say I prefer the Yorkshire Champs Lightwater course, as brutal as it is. It was also not quite as hectic a start being a smaller field. We knew who we were competing against as Derbyshire women had numbers front and back which were a different colour. The race was won by Lauren Heyes in 27:36 (Hallam) who like me doesn’t qualify to run for Yorkshire. Libby Cloleman (Mansfield) was the first Notts woman home covering the 4.6 miles in 27:58.

Simone and Caroline clutching their selection letters, handed out as they crossed the line.

This is all very modest as Caroline finished third, picking up a bronze medal whilst Simone, after trying to stay with Caroline for a little while, settled down and worked hard to finish seventh in her event and also get an invitation to run at Wollaton Park in March. Much has been said about differing standards between counties (99 finishers in the combined events, 89 finishers at the Yorkshire version) but Caroline brings experience whilst Simone has infectious enthusiasm.

As it is, Simone nearly didn’t run as she missed the entry date but after an email was allowed to compete. Simone is another inspiration juggling training alongside work together with taking care of a one year old daughter and you will often see her doing extra resistance work pushing the running buggy up the Porter Clough!

No struggling with the tent at Wollaton Park as the team managers will see to all that with our three Steel City lasses sworn enemies for the day.

County vests aren’t handed out just like that and not that long ago Steel City couldn’t get two or three women to even run cross country let alone compete at the sharp end. Our two (possibly three) all train together and know each other well so it should be fun to see them try to do each other in at Wollaton Park

Nottinghamshire County Championships 2024
Posn Name Cat Time
7 Simone Young-Alls SF 32:54

Notts County XC Champs Results 2024

Derbyshire County Championships 2024
Posn Name Cat Time
3 Caroline Brock F35 31:19

Derbyshire County XC Champs Results 2024

Postscript: Abbie Pearse received confirmation that she was indeed selected for the Inter-Counties so that’s three county vests in one go.


scroll to top