Saturday, 11 February 2012


9.00 a.m.No sign of a thaw out there this morning so no chance that any of the local Wharfedale trails will amount to anything other than miles of compounded ice.  Hard to accept and believe that fresh snow that was walked upon and compounded to lethal ice last Sunday remains 6 days later. It's been that kind of a week.  Looks like another safe jog on the grass; I'll leave the road for Sunday!

  With time short I managed a short 3 mile jog then dashed over the border for the last of 5 events in the MANCHESTER & DISTRICT CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE organised by East Cheshire Harriers at Clayton Vale.   Our fears that the course might include some precarious stretches proved correct as the start of the was moved  for safety reasons and there were post race reports of several falling on icy corners.   The near zero temperatures also made racing problematic for asthma sufferers for whom I have great sympathy!

 One runner who attracted quite a bit of attention and comment was guest runner Sarah Murphy of Belgrave Harriers; not simply because  she chose to wear her summer club racing gear of crop top and pants despite the fact she was not racing for her southern team but also for the fact that she unfortunately missed the start by several minutes.  Presumably running as an individual guest she had not been aware of the change of the start position.  To her credit she raced through the field to finish  31st !  But boy I bet she was cold......I was wearing 1 base layers, 2 mid layers ,  a hooded top, a body warmer and my Sale H. club jacket!  Cosy!!
     With no camera in hand it was good to concentrate on encouraging a reasonable turnout of SALE HARRIER  lads and lasses but  quite clearly a significant number overall gave the event a miss.  The thoughts of many must  had switched from "league" mode to championship mode.  Top runners had already run a county championship and the Northern regional championship since the New Year; why continue involvement with a pre Christmas league competition to interrupt the build up towards the National XC championships and possiblty the Inter Counties.
   Only 3 of the top 12 male finishers from pre-Christmas Wythenshawe Park league event raced today.  Perhaps the structure needs to be re-examined!?

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