So as my cross country season comes to an end last month, I thought I’d look back at a very unusual season.
AoC Yorkshire trials – 04/10/17
My first xc of the season was at the AoC (Association of Colleges) Yorkshire trials at York University. My college took a rugby team to the trials and 4 runners for the cross country. We watched the rugby player warm up before setting off to go to the sports village where the xc was being held. I meet some of the other girls when we were there and we had a walk around the course and going for a warm up. We had a brief course meeting before the start of the race. There were 15 girls in the race with some girls who I have raced before at numerous races. I felt good at the start of the 3 lap course, with a group of 9 girls at the front. The groups quickly broke apart going onto the 2nd lap, putting me in 8 places. I needed to stay 8 to qualify for the Yorkshire team to go to the national finals. On the 3rd lap, I dropped into 9, where I finished. I was happy with my race but upset not to of qualified for the national finals. Matt finished 2nd in the boy’s race and was happy to of qualified.
Milton Keynes xc – 11/11/17
This was an early start to head down to Milton Keynes. Upon arrival, Me dad and Matt had a little wonder around the course before going to have a little look at the shop. Me and Matt then went to collect our race number before changing our spikes. I did end up falling on the floor in the middle of the British tent…opps. After that embarrassment, I went for a warm-up jog and did some drills. I then went to change my spikes and get ready for my race. I went to the start area and saw a few friends. I had moved up into the U20 this year but in this race, the U20 was still running with the U17. We went to the start line. I stuck with a group around the small lap and moving into the large lap. I stuck through the large lap pushing up the hills. I was so tired at the finish and was happy to stick it out the whole race.
Liverpool xc – 25/11/17
The weather at Liverpool was very on and off with rain and sunshine. I was very excited to be running but nervous as there were so many people in my race. I was on the second’s line at the start which wasn’t the best idea and I got splattered with mud. I didn’t feel my best at this race. I enjoyed the mud around the course but struggled to get through the bogs. However, I did push around the final section of the course and catch a few people down the final straight and into the finish. Which I was very happy with. I got to catch up with a few friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time, which was so lovely.
Yorkshire xc – 06/1/18
The Yorkshire xc was being held at Lightwater valley similar to years before, just with a little change to the start of the race. After being ill over Christmas, I was a bit unsure how I was going to do but still wanted to give it my best shot. As being a U20 I started with the senior but just did one lap less. I felt okay before the race and talking with my teammate in the tent. I changed my spikes and got ready to warm up. I went back to the start and did some drill before going to the starting pens. I ended up standing in the wrong pen, Matt ran down to the start to make sure I started in the junior pen. I got the junior pen before the start which was a relief. I set of quite steady, sticking in the middle of a group. It didn’t stay that way and I started to drop down. I ended up with Lexie Wilson who helped me around the bottom half of the first lap. Unfortunately… when I arrived at the start of the second lap, I felt very sick and couldn’t breathe. I was so upset not to of finished the Yorkshire xc again this year. Hopefully, next year will be different.
North Yorkshire schools trials – 13/1/18
The following weekend was the North Yorkshire school trials. I felt much better this weekend. This year race was in Knaresborough and on that day it was very windy. It was very sad as it would be my last school trials race as I’m going to uni next year. To get to the English school I had to come into the top 6 for automatic selection and then the following 2 got selected from the northern inter-schools where 12 runners got to go for each team. I loved the look at the course with a few hill around and a good decent. I watched the first few races and then started to get ready. I went for a warm up with a group of girls before changing into my spikes and doing my drill on the flat bottom field. The senior girls were then called to the start and then had the course explained to us. We had to do 2 full laps. We set off and a group of 12 was at the front for the first half of the race before breaking apart. I was at the back of the group and had to push to move up the group. On the second lap I pushed up the hills and was able to move up to places to finish 10, So I get to go the Northern inter-schools in a few weeks time.
Northern xc – 27/1/18
The Northern xc was at Harewood House this year and I was very excited to be running there. On arrival, the course looked really good with a few hills around it and as I was the second race the course wouldn’t be ridiculously muddy either. We found the club tent and then I went to watch a bit of the U17 girl’s race before going to get ready for my race. I put my spikes in and then went for a warm up around the start section. We got called into our pens and then we were ready to go. I set of steady for the 2 lap course. I wanted to finish this race strong. I felt tired around the first lap but there was no way I was going to stop. I pushed around the second lap and caught a few girls and nearly losing my show in a bog. I give it my all on the finishing straight and was happy to of finished. The course was really nice but harder than it looked.
Northern inter-schools – 03/2/18
Based in Durham, the northern inter-schools very wet and rainy day. I was so happy to be back in the North Yorkshire Schools vest. We arrived quite early, so we had a look at the course, and it looked quite flat. We went back to the car before going to get our race numbers. We stayed in the school’s sports hall for a while to stay out of the rain. I made sure my spikes were ready and then headed out into the wet windy weather for a quick warm up. The rest of the North Yorkshire girls were already warming up before we got called to the team discussions. We went through where the course went and wishing us all look. We went up to the start line and waited for the word GO. When we heard it we all set of. I think I set off too fast on the first lap and I dropped places leading into the 2nd lap. Different to what I originally thought there was a gradual climb toward the back end of the course with I enjoyed. I finished the race being last North Yorkshire girl home with I was quite disappointed with.
National xc – 24/2/18
The National xc was in London with year based at Parliment hill. I knew what the course was like from previous nationals here and from staying over the night before I knew the weather was sunny but with a very cold wind. Seeing one of my friends and doing face paint made me forget about the cold wind. Soon I found myself at the start area warming up with Katie Hughes before going to the start line. Looking up the climb, I was looking forward to it, and it certainly didn’t disappoint, making it to the top and then a short muddy decent before a second climb. The course was 6km and made of two laps of about 2km and 4km. I was able to stick with a little group which helped me around the course. That said group spilt apart going into the larger lap, where I ended up running on my own for the majority on my own, I found this challenging cause at points you could see the leader of the race on the other side of the course and realising how far you still have left. I felt strong thou and continued to run hard around the wooded sections on the route. I got the downhill before the final straight and knew I only had 500m left. I enjoyed the downhills and having a few cheers from family and friends from the side really help going into the finish. I crossed the line in 138 places, still far from where I want to be, but so happy that I could finish this national, unlike the year previous.
British xc and Intercounties – 10/3/18
After having a disappointing Yorkshire, I didn’t make the Yorkshire team for the inter-counties but because I did run in 2 of the British xc I could run in the British cross challenge. Apon arrive the area was proper muddy and realised that it’s only going to get worse. Matthew was running for Yorkshire and his race was first, Me and Dad went to the lower section to watch the Junior boys. Matt came back covered from head to toe with mud, so I knew it would happen to the Junior girls later that day. When it came closer to my race I started to get ready and doing my warm up. I made my way over to the start of the race and met the Yorkshire girl’s team to say good luck. As I was the only runner running in the British challenge instead of in a county team, I had my own pen. I liked being in my own pen cause I was right a the front, however, I then got covered in mud when everyone ran past. I felt good on the short lap of the course. Moving into the longer lap I found that it was fast because that section was quite flat. Finally, I got a bit of a hillier section, I enjoyed this part. I did end up falling over going up this hill and coving myself in mud (but that wasn’t the end of the falls for today). I then had a downhill section before moving back to the flatter sections of the course. With 1k to go, I was able to move through up overtaking one or two girls. Going back to the finishing straight is where my second fall of the day took place. I just took one steep on the muddy finishing straight and slipped coving my self in mud for the second time that day, but this time with everybody watching… oops. I got back up and finished before seeing Matt and my friends after.
AoC National finals xc – 21/4/18
My first race was the qualifiers for the AoC which I missed out of the team. During the season one of the girls dropped ours with an injury. I was so happy to be able to go to the AoC but was also nervous. I travelled to Nottingham University (where the AoC took place) with my college on the Friday. When we got there we free time. Me and Matt went to find so of the xc team and watched the hockey. We later had tea, which wasn’t too bad. Me and Matt went along games opening ceremony, after this, I shortly went to bed.
The next morning, I got woke up the building fire alarm, not the nicest way to wake up on race day. After a quick change and rush downstairs and outside to make sure I was safe, I found that Matt was already down. When we were allowed back inside, I ran back to my room to get my usual breakfast. Me and Matt sat and had breakfast before finishing getting ready. We meet back downstairs with some more of the xc runner and walked over to the park for the race.
We collected our race numbers before going around the course as a team. The course was made up of 2 2k laps, I liked the look of the course. However the day was very warm (25 degrees), so drinking water was very important. The Yorkshire girls started to get ready, I changed into my spiked and pinned my number onto my crop top before going for a group warm up. I went back to the start to finish my race prep before being called to the start line. I felt nervous but just wanted to enjoy my last xc race. The start was 400m hill so I tried to not go off to fast and stay with a group. It felt strange to me cause I was toward the front of the race. I felt strong and comfortable. I stook with the group I was with for the first lap, I saw my mum and dad who gave me a confidence boost and I ended up pushing harder going up the hill for the second time. I kept running hard throughout the second lap and was wanting to have a good last race. I was still able to push going onto the final straight to get one more place. I finished 17 overall, which I was delighted with. I couldn’t be happier with how my race went. To top the race of the Yorkshire girls finished 3 teams so we got a bronze medal too. Matt race didn’t go to plan, having to pull out after 1 lap, due to injury.
After the race, I went for a cooldown with some of the Yorkshire girls and then had the prize giving. We then said bye to our parents and went back to the University, Me and Matt went and watched some of the rugby. Later we had pizza for tea and had a nice social evening. The next day the rugby boy had to pull out of the event due to not having enough player due to injury. So we didn’t stay long before travelling home. I really enjoyed the whole experience of the AoC and was so happy with my race.
Overall this xc season has been very up and down, but I’m so happy with my last race. I’m looking forward to the fell and mountain season and hoping for some good results.
Until next time,