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Report: South of England Cross Country, Parliament Hill, 16/02/13

Well, hello to you all, and may I say a very big well done to everyone at the club who ran at Parliament Hill at the weekend. At every level and in every age group, a race at Parliament Hill sorts out the men from the boys (and the women from the girls of course) - Saturday was absolutely no exception. Mud-bath doesn’t even begin to describe what it was like. The only race that I can remember in worse conditions than this was Alton Towers a couple of years ago. That day, there was not a blade of green grass in sight. Everything, without exception, was brown.


Only two Senior Men went through the gruelling distance of 15KM, the longest Cross Country on the circuit. It is considerably longer than either the Kent or the National Championships, which are both closer to 12KM. No doubt many have their eyes on the Nationals, with the rescheduling making things more than a little bit awkward as the fixture list becomes congested. All around me, I saw men of 6 foot tall or more almost knee deep in the mud at times. At times it was like running through treacle, and putting one foot in front of the other was often a struggle, as Michael Gallyer-Barnett, my team-mate on the day, will testify. I must complement him on how little mud he seemed to have on himself when he passed the finish line. I was plastered with it up to the knees probably a couple of inches thick. In comparison he was relatively unscathed, as much as you could be.


Five hundred and forty one runners finished on the day. I finished 259th, and will look to push on next year. Michael finished 411th, to complete what has been a very impressive season for the veteran. I fully believe he has it in him to continue the good work next year.


Alas, I myself will be denied my chance to make it a full house of running in every race at the weekend. I will not be travelling to Sunderland as I have to work. All I can say is very good luck to all those that are, and I look forward to hearing all about it next week. Collect your numbers from the tent on the day. These things are pretty well organised, and there’s no need to fill in the positions slip at the end, as it is a chip-timed race. If someone wants to write the report afterwards that would be terrific.


Good luck guys and thanks for all your support this year!