Sunday League XC – Watford. Race Report by James.

Watford 12th January 2020

15 willing victims and 1 fantastic supporter, made the trip to Cassiobury Park for the Watford XC League fixture. Unfortunately, we had conspired to forget the ERC flag and ground sheet, so instead we congregated round a big tree incognito…would the element of surprise stun our rivals into mediocre performances? Obligatory pre-race photo complete, we took off to toe the line with the masses. 

It’s always a well-organised and challenging race at Watford. I genuinely love this course. It is perfect for cross-country with a fast downhill opening section on the grass, followed by a dash across the golf course to the woods. In my head, that sprint across the fairway is filled with jeopardy. Thoughts of Golfers taking aim at runners like ducks in a shooting gallery always comes to mind. Quick get into the trees as quickly as possible! 

Then there is the mammoth downhill to navigate, which is great until your remember you have to come back up it after 5 miles! You turn right into the first of two loops in the wood. A rollercoaster of twist, turns, ascents and descents. It was far muddier this year than before, which added to the enjoyment for the brave ERC runners. Perhaps spikes would have been more appropriate than trail shoes? After two loops through the trees, it’s time to tackle that big hill and then run the gauntlet of the evil Golfers as you attempt to get your breath back – more mild peril ensues. I always really pity the poor marshals who are positioned here.  Then the last lung-busting surge up the grass hill to the finishing line, sapping whatever strength you have left.

Well done to Tonya, Becky, Dee, Hannah, Xenia, Susie, Ilia, Mark, Simon, Richard, Andy, Mike, John B and John C. A huge thank you to Jan for coming over to Watford to cheer us all on, it really is appreciated.

Next up in the XC league is the infamous Royston fixture on Sunday February 9th 2020. If you’ve never run at Royston, come along and experience it for yourself! Also, a huge good luck to all members tackling the South of England XC Champs at Parliament Hill on 25th January. We’ll try and remember the flag next time.

James