The start of the cross country season

Race 1 – West Yorkshire Wakefield – 2nd October

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Wakefield xc is always one of my favorite cross countries. I was very happy to of finished 10 places for my first xc of the season after a rough fell season and with a very strong age group. The Bingley u17 girls also find 3 teams.

Photo: Me and India Elliott on the first lap (taken by Matt)

2nd race – Northern xc relays – 22nd October

I had never done a xc relays before when my club told me we were doing the relays this year I was very excited. We ran at the northern xc relays in Sheffield. I ran 9:48 (17 places) for the first leg, passing to Eliza Findlay, she ran 9:41 moving us up to 13 places. Eliza passed on to Katie Smith who gained another place in a time of 9:53. So Bingley u17 girls finished 12 team, which was good for our first ever relay together.

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Photo: Bingley u17 girls team after northern relays (taken by my dad)

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Race 3 – West Yorkshire Nunroyd – 30th October

The second West Yorkshire was at Nunroyd Park, which is another of my favorite. The condition was good with the field being dry and minimal mud – just very leafy. I have a strong finish, putting me 8th in the race.

Photo: u17 girls start (taken by my dad)

Race 4 – National xc relays – 5th November

Following with the relays, Bingley also entered us into the National xc relays, this event was held in Mansfield. The u17 girls consisted of the same girls (me, Eliza and Katie) and we finished 53rd team. I ran the first leg again finishing in a time of 10:27. Then passing to Eliza how passed several teams and finished in 10:36. Katie was on the last leg and ran it in 11:12. Yet again we were very happy with our team effort at our first national xc relays.

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Photo: another classic jumping photo of the Bingley u17 girls after the national relays (taken by my dad)

Race 5 – British cross country Milton Keynes – 12th November

The British cross country stated with Milton Keynes cross country. At the start of the u17/u20 girls start there was a mix of emotions as we all remember the loss of two very talented athletes Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrow. This was a huge impact on the running community, but on the day of Milton Keynes xc there was beautiful tribute from athletes wearing black ribbons and a one minute silence before our race started to show respect and to think about the two girls. I found this race very fast as the girls who I was racing again was so good. I really enjoyed the course which had some short steep hills. Also, I got to meets some new friends from different parts of the country and see some friends from last cross country season.

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Photo: cool down group, loved meeting these girls (taken by my dad)

Race 6 – West Yorkshire Spenborough – 20th November

The 3rd West Yorkshire was at Spenborough. This was a new course to the championship and I was very excited. After having a look around the course I could already tell that I was going to enjoy it, there was a lot of twists and turn and even a small water jump and a couple of hills. I went on a steady warm up jog with Holly Kitching and got my self-ready for the race. I decided to change up how I usually run my race by setting of a bit slower and not taking it out from the start. The race consisted of 2 laps of the twisting course. I was able to stick will Holly for the most part of the race, we worked together around the course. around the last loop of the lap, Holly was able to pull away from me but I was able to push on and finish in a strong 11th.

IMG_0534 Photo: Me and Holly Kitching (taken by my Dad)

Race 7 – British cross country Liverpool – 26th November

The next weekend came the 2nd British cross at Liverpool. Waking up early to travel to Liverpool in the fog and cold. On arrival, I realised how cold and foggy Liverpool was that day. My dad, Matt, and Myself went for a short walk around the bottom half of the course to see what I was like before going to collect our number and then heading back to the car to get spikes and my kit ready. I then found Imani Wilson who I went for a warm up around the small lap of our course. The fog still clinging to the course making the air feel very cold, so having to leave my crop top in the bag and change into my vest. the u17 and u20 ladies were call over to the start and get ready for our race. I meet Sophie Tothill and Lily Higgins at the start, and we all had a minutes silence in memory of Lucy Pigott and Stacey Burrows. The race got underway, I took the start slow to give me more energy towards the end of the race. I was able to stick in a group of about 7 of us and being able to push each other around the course. I was able to pull away from some of the girls giving me a bit of a lead on them. I was able to push my self down the finishing straight to finish 71st. After my race, I caught up with Sophie and Maddie, and then found Imani to watch the U17 Men’s race which consisted of Matt Merrick and Alfie Manthorpe. Both had a good race and then we all got extra kit on and then we went for a cool down run.

Photo: Left – A section of the start line (taken by Sophie Tothill’s dad), Top Right- Eleanor Root, Briony Holt and Me jumping for joy after a very cold race (taken by Matt), Bottom Right- Sheffield, Hallamshire, Bingley and Scotland Athletes (taken by Hazel Bell)

Race 8 – West Yorkshire Keighley – 4th December

The last West Yorkshire was held at Cliff Castle in Keighley. This isn’t my favorite xc course as the mud can be very sticky and hard to run through. As predicted the course got very muddy very quickly. I went to watch the younger athletes race and cheer them on. about 45 minutes before my race I went to change my spikes and get my number on and ready for my race. I went for a warn up and did several drills before being called to the start of the race. The u17 girl’s race consisted of 1 small and 2 large laps. The start was very fast and spread out very quickly. I was able to stick with Laura Knowles and Tegan Knappy throughout with race and we worked off each other on the hillier section of the course. I had another strong finish to my last u17 west Yorkshire xc race. Overall I finished 9th and Bingley finished 3rd team.

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Photo: last lap of the West Yorkshire (taken by Woodentops)

My next cross country is not until January with the Yorkshire champs and more.

Until next time

Vicki x

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