Sunday morning saw the 3XCX league return to the champions HQ of Standalone farm. A heavy dose of rain and misery had ensured prime cross country conditions were in place. Despite the look of terror on many a runner’s face there was a palpable sense of excitement at charging through the filth and battling carnage corner.
NHRR went into the race in first place but an outstanding effort from the Ampthill men and the Wellingborough ladies means it is all to run for in the final race of the league in Dunstable in the 12th. Currently the men are on level points with Ampthill and the women are 1 point behind Wellingborough. A total of 41 die hard squirrels ran the race with a special mention to Katie Harbon who has already won the individual women’s title by obtaining an unassailable points lead in the first 4 races.
Elsewhere, as sure as day follows night, John Auld ran the Silkstone Shuffle. It is a 4.5M multi- terrain race ran in each season and the aggregate time is the series time you are awarded. It’s 2M up hill followed by 2.5M down hill but over farmers fields separated by woods and stiles.
‘On the day I finished 1st! Meaning that I finished 4th in the series, but won the first senior man outside of the top 3.
It was a surprise to be leading as we belted out and I settled in 4th. I’d even given up on top 3 at this point. But when the real part of the hill started, I slowly moved from 4th up towards the guys, and then decided to push the pace and lead. I ended up leading still at the top of the hill, and from here I knew I had to go for the victory - so I pushed on!
It was so slippy and wet, windy and a bit of snow at the end - it was so much hard work. Stiles and wooden bridges to cross in the wet. This was my 19th event and this is the worst I’ve seen the course. I also ended up with a bunch of cuts on my legs and arms from brambles.
I got my head down and pushed on, All I could hear was the jingle bells attached to my vest, I couldn’t hear any other footsteps, but dare not look back. However towards the end, after a few little looks over my shoulder I realised nobody was with me.
I was absolutely delighted to win the race for only the 2nd time, especially in those conditions. The field was a little light, due to the conditions, I feel. So only the truly mad and GC contenders were on the start line. I fall into both categories, hence the win.’
As it stands no complaints have been upheld regarding John having bells attached to his vest during the race.
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