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Cross Country at Coombe Abbey

Thank you to Craig for this Race Report covering the last race of the Midlands Ladies and Birmingham Men Cross Country League. Happy reading and watch out for the race report from the English National Cross Country coming soon!


What a difference a month makes. Both tents were put up, the weather was mild, the ground firm and we were tickled by a gentle breeze.

The races were held at Coombe Abbey. For those who like some added information, it was one of the locations used in the filming of Nativity. I love that film.

The course was flat and with the firm ground it was so much easier than the mud fest at Aldridge. What a shocking state the men’s tent is still in after Aldridge. Note to self – I need to put tent up in garden and hose down.

It really adds to the day when the ladies and men are at the same venue. Lots of laughter and jollity. It is good to see the ladies run and be able to report how well they did.

There was a field of 229 and the finishing places for the ladies were:

37th Suzzy

78th Jenny

110th Manisha

121st Rebecca

Because the course was one short lap and one very long lap it wasn’t the best for me to get around. There were long periods when they were out of sight. I can report that once again the performances were really good (especially when they were in sight of me).

I knew Suzzy had given it all because even when I shouted ‘arms’ she simply had nothing left to give. Jenny has been so consistently good this season and had another great run. Jenny brings much to the club and leads the ladies with aplomb. The finishes for both Manisha and Rebecca had to be seen. Both entered what was a long finishing straight using their arms, driving all the way to the line and getting their just rewards by moving up places.

The ladies all stayed to cheer on the men. This is so appreciated.

Well, what about the men? I was told I had a good run. All my club mates are so complimentary. Nick reported that the sheep moved quicker than the runners. I think he meant all runners and not just those wearing a Sparkhill vest. It was really pleasing to have 11 finishers. A special mention to Mark who wasn’t feeling well on the day but still managed to finish.

Out of a field of 266 the men’s finishing positions were:

106th Nick

141st Barry

153rd Patrick

155th Andy W

186th Tahir

194th Andy M

218th Andy L

222nd Rob

231st Stuart

243rd Craig

249th Mark B

The final finishing position for the men is 18th out of 21. Bearing in mind the average age of the runners this is probably to be expected. However, next season is 8-9 months away which gives us time to try and get some youngsters running. Patrick knows that he’s to tell Roman that running is more important than painting.

Thank you again to Gavin and Paul who turned up to support. Their number was added to by Andy C (plus dog) and Mick. If only Andy had run, we could have held the club Andy championship. The day might just have said to Mick that there’s one more season in him.

I understand Graham was there, but I didn’t get to see him. Thank you, Graham.

Once again Andy W came up trumps with the pub suggestion. A good number of us were able to reflect on the season and bask in the glory of having competed.

Here’s to next season, but not forgetting the wonder that is ‘The National’ on 25th February.



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