Northern Cross Country Championships
Witton Park Blackburn – 30/01/16
Report by Dave Aspin.
Having made my school cross country debut at Witton Park 35 years ago the chance to run there again in the Northern Cross Country Championships could not be missed.
The weather in Blackburn was cold and windy and after having secured the club tent with storm pegs we sheltered from the occasional snow / sleet / hail shower.
The U17’s girls were off first with Eli Barnbrook and Rebecca Aspin representing New Marske. From the off the course was muddy, particularly through the narrower sections, and both girls had good runs to come in 45th and 87th place.
In the U15’s Boys, Daniel Gunn had a fine race finishing in 29th and Thomas Aspin 149th with Archie Lowe also doing well in 30th in the U13 boys. Hassan Ben-Tiba made a good start in the U17 boys up in the top 4 before he picked up an injury.
Phoebe Jennings was 135th in the U15 girls with Charlotte Gunn 193rd in the U13 girls.
By the time the 350 women set off for the senior women’s race the course was thick mud from the start. Kath Aspin was first Harrier home in 91st place with Lisa Bennett 110th and Trish Speedie 189th.
Having arrived at 9:30am to set the tent up it seemed along time until the start of the Senior Men’s race at 3pm. The thought of 12k, 4 laps & 8 hills through thick mud did not seem that appealing, but not even the approaching hail storm was going to stop me rediscovering my youth. It was a battle from the start, difficult to get any rhythm, but I managed to stay upright unlike some and made it home in 562nd out of the 719 competitors.