Red Rose XC – Chorley

Red Rose XC – Chorley

8th November 2014 – a Saturday.

Having spent most of Thursday and Friday in intensive recovery mode, and having been offered a lift, I ended up doing the weekends cross country race. It must have been fate!

I’ve grown accustomed to a certain standard of vehicle when offered a lift by Jacko, so how could I refuse? Nicely upholstered electric seats, air conditioning, and a smooth ride were, however, not features of the two seater builders van. I shouldn’t complain – at least I got a seat. Mr Carson seemed at home, and quite comfortable lying down in the back.

We were welcomed at Astley Park by clearing skies, wet ground, and the welcome shelter of the club tent, manned as always by our very professional XC captain, Pete Ramsdale, who had lost my number. Catering was provided by Brenda Hesketh in the shape of some very popular cakes and toffee, and the Hesketh’s had even provided a smaller tent for the kids, to allow me to prepare for my race without annoyance.

So the scene is set. There were some kids races, and a ladies race apparently. I didn’t see them whilst relaxing in the tent, so hopefully someone else will write about them.

The gun fired.

Jacko had, it would seem, challenged Mr Carson to a race to the first tree. It appeared to be a well fought battle, which according to my sources (DJ), Jacko won narrowly. There was of course another 6 miles to go, and Jacko settled down to a more sensible pacing strategy. However, Mr Carson seemed to continue his fast start, gaining a 40 meter lead by the time he disappeared into the trees, never to be seen again by myself, and not to be passed by anyone until the finish. Jacko continued a well paced race to finish second for Horwich, but slightly disappointed to be out-sprinted by some old guy at the end. (no editorial required) Third for Horwich, and putting down a marker for next week at Barrow, was Dr Lloyd. Jacko will be looking over his shoulder. Probably not for me though. I can only imagine that my race looked like I’d never done a cross country before, and that I was afraid of mud. (I’ll be a V40 soon and it won’t look so bad) Next was Glyn Kay who presumably this time had not been up for 36 hours. Glynne Lever followed in his carefully selected fell shoes, and enjoying his first XC so much that he’s going to do another one! (Madness) Anthony Hesketh was next, narrowly missing out in the V65 classification, followed by Gordon Stone, who had remembered his spikes this time, (wise) and John Parker, who was first V70.

Needless to say, I had a bit of a grump on after the race, and considered spending the rest of the afternoon in quiet contemplation in the club tent, but Mr Ramsdale took it down.

So I went home.