If you were to think up the stereotypical cross country setting… the morning of the 18th November 2017 would be it! It was a cold, drizzly afternoon and hundred of runners were descending on Parliament Hill for the London Cross Country Championships.
First up were the ladies, and the first hurdle was getting undressed down to skimpy running gear… it was absolutely freezing! Pinning up with numb fingers was a little tricky, but everyone got themselves ready and to the start line for some on the spot jumping whilst waiting for the gun. After a false start (who knew that happened in cross country?!) they were off… straight up the killer hill! One small and one big lap (6km) later, in came Sophie followed by Harriet (on her first XC race), Natalie and then Emma, Susan,Nicola and Louise (running in a pack for most of the run) and Amanda (also on her first XC race)... all storming down the glorious downhill to the finish line.
The Hoopster women - Amanda, Sophie, Emma, Susan, Nicola, Louise, Harriet and Natalie.
Next were the men, who, after stripping down and being ready at the line (for what seemed like an age), set off like a stampede up ‘that’ hill. No sooner had the back end of the race gone through the first small lap, the front were coming through to start their next long one. Much to their disappointment, as usual with XC races, the men’s run was a little longer than the women’s - 10km, consisting of one small lap and 3 big ones. They all finished strongly with Matt through first, followed by Michael, Sam (sprinting to the finish line after taking a muddy tumble at the bottom of the long, sweeping hill or ‘doing a Sutherland’ as it has now become known), Tim, Nick, Rich, Joe, Patrick and Adrian.
After drying off, and getting a group photo (UP THE PARK!), we all headed down to the lovely Southampton Arms pub for a celebratory pint (or 4) to have a good old natter over… and regain the circulation in our fingers!
Photos of the day can be found HERE
"UP THE PARK!!"
Sophie Barnard - 00:25:13 (68)
Harriet Knight - 00:26:22 (106)
Natalie Hall - 00:30:12 (208)
Emma Jones - 00:32:53 (238)
Susan Kennedy - 00:33:13 (244)
Nicola Englishby - 00:33:14 (245)
Louise Hinshelwood - 00:33:41 (251)
Amanda Logan - 00:39:52 (273)
Full women's results can be found HERE
Matt Kitching - 00:39:15 (89)