Rossendale X/C 20th Dec.08

It was a grim December day and the course was wet and muddy as only Rossendale can be, with maybe only a half mile of firm ground in the whole 5 mile main men’s race and a couple of memorable slippery muddy down slopes to test runners balance and bottle. Typically, being close to Christmas the turnout was down on the earlier Red Rose fixtures, although being a bigger league these days the senior Men’s race was up to just short of 140 which is big for this course which runs into narrow gaps soon after the start. My Plan ‘A’ for the day was to get quickly to the first constriction, then hang on; which I did going round the first corner in around 20th – then watching a stream of Horwich runners pass, including:

Darren Kay 6th
James Kevan 7th
Gareth Booth 24th
Alistair Murray 29th
Steve Nolan 34th
Tony Hesketh 37th making up the team, placed 2nd, plus

Doug Fleming 41st
Chris Leigh 51st
Gary Chadderton 56th, then a bunch of runners tip-toeing round after me before overtaking me on the last descent

Carl Bradshaw 92nd
Pete Bland 94th
Steve Jackson 95th
Pete Ramsdale 99th then

Myself 101
Barry Allman 130
Gordon Stone 137.
And then this happened –

Only Rachael Metcalf turned out for the senior ladies, which sadly means they have missed out on the team prizes they were ahead in after 3 races.

There was also turnout in the junior races, under 11,s / Sam Critchley 12th; Thomas Hughes 27th; Martha Gill 8th; Phoebe Howe 29th; Under 13s / Joseph Howe 35th; Under 15s / Matthew Ault 16th; Zac Howe 17th; Under 17 Ladies / April Stevenson 4th; Beth Faulkner 6th; Rebecca German 7th; also taking the team prize for this race. Well done.

Nobody knows whether they (or the seniors) enjoyed it; but they will certainly remember it as an a example of a different side of the sport . . . . .

Colin Waterworth