With the change from summer to autumn which seems to occur overnight, so too arrives cross country season. If you’re a club runner you will know it well. Grab your vest and congregate at a local park, startling the weekend dog walkers and pre-Sunday lunch strollers. It’s a full on takeover.
I must admit to finding some of the locations and routes uninspiring at times, multiple laps of a playing field can be a little dull. But I love the camaraderie. You get your fell runners and cross country regulars, but also the road runners, first timers and mud haters often turn up too to slide about the hills out of their comfort zone. There is always a certain amount of trepidation but support from your teammates is undeniable.
The familiar smells, deep heat and decomposing leaves, churned up mud and stale sweat from ancient base layers long past their use by date that have been dredged out from the bottom of drawers for yet another winter.
If you’re lucky, crisp sunlit mornings filled with jovial chatter and laughter. If you’re not so lucky, shivering in the club tent talking through chattering teeth.
We’ve had our first race of the season already in our local league, with more fixtures in the wider leagues coming thick and fast. With fell races getting few and far between at this time of year, they’re a great way to stay in the loop with fellow runners or just keep your toe in the racing waters when not much else is on offer. Followed by a well deserved Sunday dinner and wine, it’s almost the perfect weekend. You can eat away in that smug post-run endorphin enfused glow. Bliss!
Happy running x