National Cross Country Champs - Senior Men
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Wollaton Park, Nottingham
To me The Nationals, when it is outside London (as it is two years out of every three) is something of a rights of passage thing: a box that has to be ticked, something that should be on every runner's bucket list. So it was a shame that just three of us accepted the challenge this year, and the three that did were all already Nationals regulars.
Danny Kendall waited until the last race of the cross country season to make his first appearance and acquitted himself well considering this was his first race of any description since last years London Marathon. Graham Maynard had a solid run, starting conservatively and picking his way through the field as is his trademark, whereas I, nursing a dodgy knee, had no aspirations other than to finish which I just about managed to do. We were joined by Ian Marshall whose struggle for fitness forced him to spectate but to whom we have to thank for the photographs.
The train journey was somewhat less smooth than it might have been due to engineering works and speed restrictions due to high winds, but we arrived in time to see our under 15 girls exhausted but elated at having finished their race and marvelling at the conditions. Next we got to give our senior women a cheer and then at last it was our turn. Reports of the conditions had not been exaggerated! Within 10 metres of the start line we were already in shin deep standing water but elsewhere it was knee or even thigh deep, but those were not the hardest bits, other areas could best be described as swamps, and yet others were of thicker mud that appeared solid but gratefully accepted most of you lower leg and was then reluctant to relinquish it. Even the finishing stretch was a quagmire. Thinking that all this was perhaps a little tame the organisers had thoughtfully added tree trunks that needed to be hurdled. It makes me laugh to think that you can pay over £50 to do something called a "tough mudder" while you can do this for free.
And so another cross country season comes to a close, eight months of road, trail and fell races to look forward to before we start again in October. Our Grand Prix competition was again won by Dean Lacy, despite having to miss this event with an achilles problem, and although Graham picked up more points here it was already impossible for him to catch David Reader in second place. See full table below.
230 Danny Kendall 50:35
1160 Graham Maynard 65:15
1647 Clem Dixon 81:59
Final Grand Prix Standings