National Cross Country Champs – Parliament Hill Fields

Race Reports

I had a great race yesterday, wearing my Croft vest with pride. They had the biggest entry they’ve had in years, 861 senior women raced and 2005 men! The course was tough…dare I say tougher than Herefordshire courses! Three tough hills per lap and the women did two laps.The mud was over the ankles in places andwith the field of runners being that big, there was no picking your way, you just had to go for it. There were a few bodies strewn out in the mud, luckily I stayed on my feet. I was in a pen with two other clubs’ competitors, but I got a good position on theline as I was the only one from Croft. The first hill was tough and I didn’t get agreat start, 9mm spikes were a mistake, you needed at least 12mm. But over the 5 mile course I found my rhythm and made my way through the field finishing in 121stplace. I was so pleased to compete in the nationals for Croft. I had actually finished night shifts Friday morning, was up for 24 hours to sleep Friday night, so that wasn’t the best preparation for the race but never mind. I was 50 secs from making the top 100 so maybe next year…! The atmosphere was amazing, to have thousands of runners competing like that was inspiring.

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121st woman, out of 865 – a magnificent result, and Suzanne covered 5 miles of hills and mud in 36.17, at nearly 7 minute miles! Especially impressive after night duty (8 nights, of 13 hour shifts?), and getting up at 5.40am to train when on day shifts.The winner was Lilian Partridge in 30.07 – Guy

1 thought on “National Cross Country Champs – Parliament Hill Fields

  1. A great effort by Suzanne ; the “national” is extremely demanding in every way, just fighting for a position in the field is hard enough. Last time I ran it was in 1985 on Newcastle Town Moor, 9 miles knee deep in mud and snow in arctic conditions, have just about recovered thirty years on…recall that even in those conditions the race leaders ( Dave Clarke, Mick-the kick- Mcleod etc) ran the first 5k in about 14 mins !

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