Berry Hill Park, Mansfield was the venue for the prestigious English National Cross Country relays, which took place on 4th November, and as cross country events go it had it all: mud, rain, cold wind and just enough incline along the course to make your thighs burn and your eyes weep.
Grantham Running Club entered a bumper squad of runners for this year’s event, with a brilliant turnout of 21 (22 with our wonderful captain Sarah High in charge). As such we were able to enter 3 teams of 3 ladies, and 3 teams of 4 men, each of whom ran 3K and 5K respectively. If you’re unfamiliar with cross country, just know that the Equality Act has not yet reached these parts.
Understandably, given the calibre of the field (mostly comprising Loughborough students) and the testing conditions, no one would expect to be on the podium – that wasn’t the goal but the running was impressive and what you can expect from GRC at cross country is incredible team spirit, camaraderie, and a good laugh. Whether you’re falling over on the course, whilst desperately grasping for the white tape, or simply falling over your own legs in the gazebo as you try to change your socks, your teammates will be there. Laughing. At you and with you. They will also hang around in the cold, cheering you on whilst sipping tepid tea and sharing Time Out bars (thank you), before helping to dismantle base camp and share lifts home.
Participants, teams and gun times were posted as follows, everyone would agree that it really is the taking part that counts. Men’s captain Sam Jepson summed up the day: “Some very competent and strong performances in conditions that, honestly, don’t come any tougher at the English National XC Relays at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield. We all acquitted ourselves and the club superbly! Proud Captains and Chairman!”
𝗟𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗔 – 𝟰𝟳.𝟰𝟰𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
Andrea Ward, Harriet Morgan, Sylv Hull
𝗟𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗕 – 𝟱𝟭.𝟵𝟵𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
Holly Wragg, Emma Duncan, Zoe Wragg
𝗟𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗖 – 𝟱𝟳.𝟭𝟭𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
Emma Weighill, Sophie Fletcher, Paula Ebbins
𝗠𝗲𝗻 𝗔 – 𝟭𝟮𝟭.𝟮𝟭𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
Flash (Joaquim Jeronimo), Russel Whittaker, Peter Bonner, Sam Jepson
𝗠𝗲𝗻 𝗕 – 𝟭𝟯𝟰.𝟰𝟬𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
Sam Dodwell, Robin Atter, Matthew Atter, Andrew Pask
𝗠𝗲𝗻 𝗖 – 𝟭𝟯𝟳.𝟮𝟱𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘀
James McMullen, Jason Walker, Paul Davis, Peter Jennings
Report by Andrew Ward
Photo c/f Flash