Winter training for me is often about XC events, and I love these and each year aim to take part in the Thames Valley XC league. I also love Thames Valley League for the fact that the men and women run together and the same distance. It is all about running equal.
I missed the first one being at home, but have since been able to attend each one. XC is very different to road running, it requires a different mental and physical strength, but if you have the opportunity to do so, I would entirely advocate giving it a go!
What is to love about XC….
- No worrying about pace
- Hills (yes learn to love the hills!)
- Mud, mud and more mud
- Tea and cake
I think the thing I like most about XC events is the social aspect of it. As a league you get all the clubs coming together at the start. Putting their club flags up and getting ready to embrace a tough run! Then afterwards we retell individual experiences of “that hill”, “those steps” or “that stream” whilst drinking tea and eating cake which is provided by the hosting club.
XC works on points scoring, but it is EVERYONE that scores points. The more members you have attending a XC event for your club the better you are going to do as you push other club members down the rankings. Of course XC does have its competitive element and there are often elbows out, but for me its about doing my best and being part of my club.
I was lucky enough to run at the Berkshire XC event in December with some brilliant ladies and we scored silver and bronze, putting Datchet Dashers well and truly on the XC map! From that I have been invited to attend the Inter Counties XC event in Loughborough. Now as a kid I loathed XC with a passion. Doing it in Northumberland in snow and ice in PE kit was something I dreaded. Years later I am nervous to attend the inter counties race, but at the same time can’t wait to give it a go. As I said, XC is about turning up and doing your best. I will be incredibly proud to represent Berkshire at this!
Today we ran the new Reading XC course and we put Dashers on the map once more, taking the team win at this event.
XC is lungs on fire type effort, but I promise you will feel more than heroic by the end of it. So what are you waiting for….lace up those trail shoes!