||There were a healthy 15 HRR-ers representing the club at this year's championships. Those of us who travelled up to the Peak District on Friday evening were greeted by a hefty snow fall on Saturday morning, which raised questions about us even getting there for a while. When we did eventually arrive, after a rather extended journey, the tent and admin area ressembled Glastonbury on a bad day. The mud-splattered juniors gave us a pretty good idea of what was to come.
Both senior races were delayed, and the courses amended and shortened, apparently for safety reasons - though it was deemed safe for the men, but not the women, to drop down into the valley, and for the men to do so twice but not three times!
The women's race ended up being three twisting, disorientating, undulating laps over the higher section of the course, mostly through ankle deep mud, which made it difficult to get traction going up even the modest hills. To top it off, there was a wide, water-logged section on the run-in to the finish. We did, however, miss out on the swamp in the valley and the rather large hill that the men were treated to.
The beginning of the men's race is a real spectacle - a charge of 1,300 runners from the gun. Watching the front runners power up the hill was an impressive sight too. The fell runners among them were particularly easy to spot.
HRR's women's team of Helen, Jude, Charlotte and Adrienne finished a very respectable 16th of 67. Sandra completed her first ever XC with a huge grin on her face - they're not all like this, Sandra! In the men's competition, Kit made a welcome return to Headington A, taking the scalp of a certain Ron Hill to bring the team home in 68th of 95.