Introduction from Paul Welch, ‘Your friendly neighbourhood XC rep’ 🙂
For the benefit of new members, (and also to remind the longer standing members) I thought that I would give you a small insight into the world of cross country running. Denmead Striders is a member of the Southern Cross Country League (SCCL) which, this year, comprises 22 clubs who will compete in 7 multi-terrain races held between October and April. We have a new rule this year where the clubs’ teams comprises of the first 4 men and first 4 women finishers. (Previously 5 men & 3 ladies) Each race is 5ish miles of off-road terrain usually consisting of mud, grass, mud, trail, mud, tree roots, mud and maybe a few little hills. I think you get the idea! Now I understand that this might not immediately appeal to some runners, but it really is a welcome distraction from the pressures of road race running and trying to constantly get PBs or course bests. By the pure nature of the courses that we run, it is never going to be a 5 mile PB, so you can instantly forget about pace or time and just enjoy the run for what it is, a dirty, muddy, wet, Sunday run in the beautiful Hampshire countryside with like-minded athletes.
Although it’s only the first 4 from each gender that score for the team I would welcome as many members as possible to come along, there is always a great team effort in supporting and cheering on every last member, even the members outside of the top 4 can influence the result as teams are scored by adding up finishing positions, so getting yourself a little further forward can mean another club scoring 1 or 2 points less. Of course, after the fun we all discuss at length everything that we loved (or hated) about the race. Oh, and by the way these races are FREE! but note: you must wear a club vest for your placing to be eligible. So, get your trail shoes out, come along and give it go, you may just like it.
The 2022-23 fixtures are as follows:
1. Folly Farm – 23rd October 2022
2. The Bourne Woods – 27th November 2022
3. Lord Wandsworth College – 18th December 2022
4. Queen Elizabeth Country Park – January 2023(TBC)
5. Chawton House – 22nd January 2023
6. Alice Holt – February / March 2023(TBC) (all clubs are requested to supply volunteers for this event)
7. Fareham – March 5th 2023 (Provisional)
For further details of the Southern Cross Country League see SCCL webpage