It’s one of those perfect winter days which we’ve had far too few of this year: bright and crisp, but with a healthy dose of mud on the ground. Gavin has given a rousing speech to spur on the Gee’s in their pursuit of league domination, and a crowd of men assemble to do battle in Oxshott.
A woman stands on the path clutching baby buggy in one mummy-mitted hand, and gawping at the phone held in the other. In just moments she is about to be trampled by a horde of vest wearing nutters with spikes on their feet. A voice shouts out to get the woman to move. It was my voice, and Lyndsey and Delilah were moments from destruction. Thankfully though, Gavin got them to move!
Not a second too soon – because moments later we were off. On the way to race 3 of 4 in The 2XU Surrey Cross Country League – only my first XC race of the season. The mad dash was exciting and within 100 yards we had been condensed onto a 3 person path. Jonny Muir recently blogged briefly about the romance of Cross Country, and it was beautiful to hear the sound of trail shoes squelching in mud and spikes tapping away on the stones and roots under foot.
I think I got a little caught up in the early pace before I remembered where my crappy legs were and the lack of training they currently held in store. I slowed fairly quickly and settled into a pace somewhere near the back of the field. The weather was absolutely perfect and the first lap, although slightly lung-busting, passed without issue. I couldn’t believe I had another two laps to do though.
Somewhere at the start of lap two I saw Matt from the club a little way in front and I hoped to maybe try and catch him up. After the second lap I was closer, and actually felt relatively strong still. Support out on the course was great and it was good to get some cheering from fellow Gee’s.
It’s not often that I run naked – that is the runners kind of naked (sans Garmin), rather than the naturist kind. It wasn’t a purposeful decision, instead, I just forgot to pick up the Garmin on the way out of the house! It was nice not to put pressure on myself though, as I am sure that had I seen the snails pace I felt like I was running at on the screen then I probably would have gotten quite down-heartened. To have finished in an overall time of 43:27 is pretty pleasing. And I wasn’t last which was a bonus. On a final note, the Gee’s continue to dominate the league, and with the final race of the season approaching (our home race,) we have a 500 point lead in the league. Back to the heady days of League two action, here we come!!! :-)