Northern Cross Country Championship

Blackburn 23rd January 2010

Afternoon Tea in Blackburn.
This headline comes from a course in Blackburn where the large lap included the Saucer and the Teacup! The Saucer is the normal hill at Blackburn but to make he senior course more than 10km and nearer to the championship maximum distance of 12km and without adding another lap, they added another hill, called the Teacup, steeper than the Saucer but on the same hill. The lady’s race included the Teacup once on their final lap but the men had it to contend with it 4 times. The men’s race had 600 finishers and the lady’s race 222.
As you would expect the Northern Championship races are full of quality athletes and his year was no exception. The Horwich men only numbered 7 so all were going to count except 1. That one was Barry Allman having run 7 miles in the morning and he ran a steady race to be our 7th counter. Barry finished in 566th in 69.12.
Gary Priestley was our first counter back in 30th position in 42.49 with another very solid performance. Karl Ward who loves the big events was our second counter. He produced a gutsy performance to finish in position 184th in 50.07. Gary Chadderton was third counter and Tony Hesketh next. Their positions and times were 323rd in 54.46 and 385th in 57.14 respectively. The vet theme continued with Pete Ramsdale fifth counter in 469th 61.08 and Gordon Stone completed the team in 523rd in 64.59. The team finished 34th out of 49 completed teams.
Our only athlete in the lady’s race was Suzanne Budgett who was a little self critical of her performance afterwards – and I don’t know why. She attacked the 8km course and worked very hard every step of the way to finish in 46th position. Her time of 36.16 is impressive on this hilly course.
Some athletes before the race, from other clubs, where complaining about how difficult the course was… welcome to the North West. Well done and thanks to everyone, turning out on a cold afternoon to represent your club.
Peter Ramsdale
XC Captain