HILLINGDON MET League XC – 2nd Dec 2017
After Santry’s call up (“Your Club Needs You”) the Eagles turned up in big numbers of 40+ women and men on a cold damp Saturday afternoon in a field north of Uxbridge. The course was a double loop and not too muddy, but also featured a couple of obstacles in the ”mountain” and the “river rapids” (Emily). The mountain was a 30m steep gravelly muddy incline, that appeared out of nowhere amidst the trees and would have stopped a lot of runners in their tracks had it not been for the wonderfully loud marshal shouting encouragements. Thank You, Marshal!
“Many rivers to cross - But I can’t seem to find my way over...”
Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come, 1972
Well, there was only one river to cross (River Pinn to be precise – apparently giving Pinner its name) and due to minimal recent rainfall it had reduced to a mere creek. The tricky bit was the steep muddy bank on the other side, which – unless you were running in spikes – was managed by some on hands and feet. ‘Either get your hands dirty or slide back into the water’.
So the ‘water feature’ somewhat divided opinion:
· “ ...river wasn’t as bad as expected” (Kim)
· “More water features, please” (Sophie)
· “cold, steep, wet – but always back for more” (Laurence)
· “Great creek ******** aye, mate” (Cam)
· “the Great River Crossing – only for real runners! Hope you are reading this, Raf. Best cool down was in the pub” (Santry)
· “I need to get some spikes! Not sure about the water hazard.....” (Tim)
· “Apart from the cold stream and near heart attack – great fun as always” (Greg)
· “whoever designed this course should be locked up.....” (Paul)
The Tea Urn
Massive Thanks to the Eagles who organised the tea urn. Nothing beats a hot cup of tea and a Kitkat (other wafered chocolate biscuits are available) with your legs caked in mud and your muscles still giving out a lactic scream. Other running clubs have fancy tents, but who needs a silly tent if you can have hot tea under an open sky.
We followed textbook advice on immediate fluid and electrolyte replacement post exercise by heading to the Fig Tree in Uxbridge as recommended by Kim and Sue, who are regulars there. Main question debated was “How will I get out of bed for Perivale 5 next morning?” There was no definite answer to that one. Also I was surprised how much musical talent there is amongst us with trombone, guitar, drums, piano – enough to form a band. Sadly, some other band already called themselves ‘The Eagles’. Eventually trundled home after a busy day’s running and drinking.
..wiIl be back for Wormwood Scrubs - Kim
Cold, wet, windy, hilly – but good fun! Will be back for the next one – Natalie
More water features please!! Vive les Eagles! – Sophie
Tough go after a Parkrun PB this morning, but I am beginning to see my efforts on the track and hills pay off! I’ve got the XC bug!! – Hayley
Muddier than WGC – I need to get some spikes – Tim
Cold (Start), hot (running), cold (river rapids), hot (mountain), hot (tea), cold (supporting the Band of Brothers), hot (pub) – Emily
Great course, loved the river crossing – Matt
Cold / Steep / Wet – but always back for more – Laurence
Great fun as always – Greg
Quite cold weather but great fun, I’d come again! Thanks for organising – Ken
Steepest hill I have ever tackled, but we beat them – Rob
Didn’t have a chance of keeping up with Jose, who looks to be back in top form. I must try harder! Great to see such a good Eagles turn-out and to finish over cool down in pub. – John F
Great creek ****** aye mate – Cam
Nice flat and dry race. Run in Vibrams next year – Matt Kauf
The Great River Pinn Crossing is only for real runners! Hope you are reading this, Raf. Best cool down ever was in the pub!! - Santry
Girls: Mia (in under 11 race),
Women: Melissah, Alexandra, Hannah, Francesca, Rebecca, Charlotte, Sarah, Natalie, Donna, Grainne, Emily, Hayley, Sophie, Elizabeth, Sue, Charlotte, Lisa, Liz, Nicola, Kim
Men: Jose, John, Ricardo, Andrew, Mat, Brian, Matt, Laurence, Santry, Greg, Chris, Cam, Hugo, Nils, Pardip, Rob, Firas, Mike, Brian, Hein, Thomas, Michael, Tim, James J, Dominic, Paul, James de V, Aaron, Matt, Ken
Why You Must Try X-Country
· Because Santry says so
· The softer muddy surface reduces impact on joints. So muscles ache, but joints don’t
· The challenging terrain improves balance and agility. You run with your whole body, making you a more efficient runner due to better distribution of running workload onto all muscles.
· There are ‘water features’, ‘mountains’ and ‘river rapids’ (and you don’t get them in Lammas Park)
· Less likely to get hit by cars, though some runners have apparently encountered hostile livestock.
· The post race tea urn plus pub
Thank You to Santry, Lisa, Hillingdon AC and all the marshals for encouragement, support and organisation of it all.
Hein the Heinster, Dec 2017