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English National Cross-Country relays at Mansfield Saturday 4 November 2023

Thank you to Craig for this race report from the rather wet English National cross-country relays. Thanks to James and Manisha for the photos.


It rained, and then it rained some more. We like the rain.

A wet and churned up course

This year we had to park away from the course and amazingly the park and ride system worked well. Which is more than can be said for James’s parking attempts at the crematorium. What a fuss to find a space he liked.

The tent was erected (in the rain) and it was badly needed throughout the afternoon. Andy loves putting the pegs in.

The ladies (Jane, Jenny and Manisha) ran first and finished 90th out of 102 complete teams. It was a great performance. I was able to watch all three run, choosing a place to watch where negotiation of mud and water was required. They all coped admirably. It is fair to say the course cut up and was muddy. Plus, for those who struggle to see, the wooded part of the course was very murky. I want it recorded that there was a sprint finish from Manisha that resulted in Manisha gaining a place. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you use your arms. Jane had a lovely pair of wellingtons.

The ladies’ times were:

Jane 15:09

Jenny 16:24

Manisha 17:09

The men (James, Craig, Tahir and Andy) finished 147th out of 150 complete teams. This was a cracking performance considering the average age of our team (over 60).

The men’s times were:

James 23:22

Craig 29:11

Tahir 26:13

Andy L 27:30

James got us of to a good start and what a cracking performance from Tahir. We’ll not tell anyone that Tahir’s time would have been about 10 to 15 seconds quicker if he’d been ready in the change over zone. And Andy, you were moving quicker than the wheelie bin.

Although the weather was awful, we had a great time and what was lovely was that the ladies stayed after their race to cheer the men on. Support when you’re out on the course is so appreciated. Jenny also brought some treats (an added bonus).

After the race the men went to a local pub (we’ve been there before) and had an assortment of drinks and chips. Very welcome.

Full results via the following link:

Thank you to Jenny, James and Tahir for driving.



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