The last few weeks for me, running-wise, have been hard. I've been running with Plumstead Runners since January and almost all of the runs have been on the road, which I'm used to. In recent weeks, we've gone off road and this is a whole different kettle of fish. Uneven ground, tree roots, mud, you name it, you need to adapt your running style and stride pattern to suit the terrain and I've found it terribly difficult...and I've picked up a couple of niggling injuries as a result.
Anyhow, I gave the Plum's Cross Country Handicap everything I had. I'd done a quick reconnaissance run around what I thought was the course on Sunday evening but (i) I missed off half of the first lap and (ii) took the wrong turn at the top of the first lap so I had no advantage. It was good that when I started, I could see a few bodies in front of me and thats always encouraging. I'd passed a few people by the top of the first lap and caught the girls (Mary, Julie and Charlotte) half way down the hill on the other side of the lap. Drove on and caught and passed a few others.
I ended up finishing third overall. Was absolutely chuffed to bits with that. My average pace of 9:50ish min/mile doesnt compare to what I would be running on the road. I wish I had the confidence to open my legs up a bit more on the rough terrain. I hope I can get a bit quicker with some practice.
Official results and race report from the Plum's website below...(click to expand!)