2017-18 Barrow Runners Cross Country Review
The season started in October with the Midlands XC 6km relays at Wolverhampton. It's always a hard transition from flat summer road racing to a hilly and muddy course, but fortunately the course at the Aldersley stadium was neither. 12 Barrow runners entered with 2 senior mens teams and one masters mens team. They battled the wind and finished a respectable 23rd, 46th and 14th respectively against some good opposition.
The Derby Runner League
The very next day 6 brave Barrow soldiers ran again at the 1st race of the Derby Runner League at Bagworth. The course was altered due to a dispute over land ownership, which led to a little confusion all round. We started the season by finishing mid-table in division 1, thanks to Cheika Kennedy coming out of retirement to save the ladies!
The same land dispute meant that Markfield was cancelled at the last minute. The quickly rearranged fixture was at our local venue at Prestwold Hall prompting the biggest turnout in over a year and the best finish for years with the men, ladies and mixed team all finishing 2nd in the race, this followed a leg zapping mud fest at Seagrave the previous day.
After a well supported Holly Hayes in November came Bradgate Park until it was cancelled due to the snow. Allestree in Derby also brought snow in January but not enough to cancel the race. Everyone seemed to enjoy running in the snow and this race was the first cross country to be included in the first Barrow Winter Championship followed by Grace Dieu in February which saw the largest turnout of the season with 29 people.
The final race of the season was at the Battle of Bosworth visitor centre. Unfortunately the ladies couldn't get a team out mainly due to it being mothers day as well as the peak of spring marathon training but the ladies team did well enough throughout the season to maintain their place in division1 for yet another year by finishing 7th out of 10, the mixed team finished 5th while the bragging rights go to the men who finished 5th out of 10.
Key runners for the team were Ian Cox and the return of Geoff Beetham, both leading the way for the men. The ladies was led by the return of Kristie Matthaie and a special mention goes to Fiona Mee. Not only did she make her cross country comeback after 3 years she improved from 104th in her first race, then 44th, then 31st and to 19th in her last race. She also volunteered to be the ladies cross country representative and did a great job to rally the troops!
Thanks to everyone involved.
Derby Runner Statistics
Season Overall Results (Best 4 out of the 1st 5 races to count)
Ian Cox 7th Senior Male
Andrew Price 10th Vet45 Male
Kristie Matthiae 8th Senior Lady
Mariasole Da Boit 18th Senior Lady
Monique Raaijmakers 2nd Vet50 Lady
100% attendance= Andrew Price
2015/16 & 2016/17 saw 128 Barrow Runners run. 2017/18 was 126 with 1 less race.
2017/18 Barrow Men averaged 14 per race. Barrow Women averaged 7 both up from last season.
For 12 runners it was their first cross country for the club (hopefully we'll see you next season).
Average runners overall per race- Men=309 Women=181 about the same as last season.
Last 6 Years Attendance
Andrew Price 31
Chris Trzinski 28
Ian Cox 27
Kristie Matthaie 20
Monique Raaijmakers 16
Emily Ault 14
This seasons total distance over 6 races was 34 miles. The hills were pretty much the same as last year with 2,456 feet of elevation gain but there didn't seem as much mud as previous years.
Leicestershire & Rutland County Championships
Our only other championship race was in early January. The Leicestershire Championships also doubled as a Barrow Runners winter championship race. The race was back at Rotherby after a few years break and the bad weather seemed to wait for the men to start!
The ladies were triumphant over a strong lineup and won a silver medal, thanks to Natasha Cuthbert, Kristie Matthaie and Louise Harman. We could have won it overall as Janine Ainscow ran a brilliant race but a change in rules meant the masters could choose the masters or seniors race but as we wanted 2 full teams out Janine entered the masters. This also applied to the men, also with hindsight we could have won a medal with Tim Hartley finishing 6th overall and Geoff Beetham finishing 4th Master. It gives us something to think about next year.
Other Cross Country Races
We had some interest in the North Midlands cross country league. Maybe next season we'll think about getting a full team out.
Natasha Cuthbert got her spikes on the day before Bosworth and ran at Prestwold Hall representing Leicestershire in the Intercounties Championships which is a great experience to run with so many talented runners.
Overall this season we had some great turnouts, silver medals, new members giving cross country a try, some great come backs and a great team spirit. Bring on next season!
Andy Price- Cross Country Captain