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Hampshire XC Championships

@ Fairthorne Manor, Curdridge, Saturday 8th January 2022

What a day to run the cross county Championships of Hampshire. The weather was certainly atrocious with rain & wind - perfect conditions for a XC. Not so much for putting up a tent & flag, with Dean & Patricia's help and others we battled it out to get it up & stay just about - the wind was causing some bother. Upon first attendance on site I am sure there were some of us having second thoughts on racing. MUD was everywhere, not just on the race course - in the field and in the tent. Although all of us brave souls were determined to get out there & embrace it. The amount of runners at event was less than previous years, likely due to a couple of reasons (C word & perhaps weather).

Women's race was first and the warm up consisted mainly of jogging up and down on the spot, active stretching with a few little jogs. It seemed that the weather had broken out during the warm up and was going to be fine. The fantastic five - Jacquie, Patricia, Vicky, Donna & Mandy all proceeded to the start line for 13:05. It started to rain, all smiles and the first arena lap looked awesome with plenty of mud. Men were there to support for first lap, the weather then turned into into biblical proportions with rain, gale and hail stones. All the men wimped out into the tent. Course consisted of Two Arena Laps plus one Full Lap and one Medium Lap

All five returned and completed the race, heroic to say the least. With it coming to about 8km of race but seemed a lot longer with trudging through the battling ground. Returned in droves of mud, soaked to the skin with mascara running down faces. Utter respect! Results are listed below, managed to get a team out there, came 12th in main team and 8th in Veteran team. Considering how many teams that can compete in this championship - over 30 we have done an amazing thing in getting ourselves out there to race, so brilliant stuff! Well done.

Onto the Men, our warm up consisted of staying in the tent staying dry and run up and down for a minute or so just before the race. Again all smiles & nervous/happy energy before race and the rain seemed to have stopped. The super six, Steve, Neil, Terry, Dean, Geoff and myself proceeded to start line for 13:55.

The race started, mud spraying everywhere. Unfortunately Neil was suffering with plantar fasciosis and had to stop at 500m into race but continued to stay to take photos and support us round. The race consisted of 1 arena lap and 3 big laps, it was a very tough course with going through mud with hardly any traction in trail shoes, difficult tricky mounds, tree jumps and puddles that got deeper every lap - think Vicar of Dibley proportions. From the Totton lot Steve was ahead all the way and finished first and an interesting battle again between myself, Dean and Geoff proceeded which was good competitive fun. Terry fell down a couple times in race but with him running every day for over a year it was incredible to do such a race. The 10.5k race felt more like a half-marathon on the legs. Unfortunately we did not have enough to finish for the main team but we did have enough for a Vets team that came 14th (or 10th club that competed). Again out of 30 or so clubs that can compete in the County is fantastic.

Was certainly hard work & character building. Fantastic Team Totton! If this has got your interest up - the Nationals at Parliament hill, London are on the 26th February with entries close on 28th January - please if let me know if interested in advance.

Patricia Spodzieja / 58

Jacquie Barlow / 62

Amanda Jones / 67

Donna Pike / 76

Vicky Couzens / 77

Steve Wallington / 107

Andrew Warren / 132

Dean Lucas / 133

Geoffrey Willis / 137

Terry Greening / 151

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