NEHL Alnwick, 5th March 2016 – Report and Photos

This was Lucy Dunbar’s first taste of cross-country and this is her first report:

I was persuaded by Heidi on my first night running with the club that I should get involved in some cross country and I realised Alnwick would be my only opportunity to do so before the season ended as I’m unable to make Wrekenton.
I wasn’t sure how fast I’d be having spent the last two weekends doing races and breaking my half marathon and 10K PBs. Nevertheless I signed up.
To say the course was a bit muddy is an understatement. I soon realised my trail shoes that I thought might be ok were sending me flying everywhere and I had to be extremely cautious not to land on my bottom.
The course had a lovely view of Alnwick castle, which I appreciated before the race and not during as most of the time I was staring at the ground and trying to pick out a less muddy path! I tried to keep Julie Cross in my view at all times, this did prove difficult when the mud became very deep and my focus was not falling over! As the race route started to go through the wood I began to build up a little bit of pace as the course became less muddy, though there were several tree trunks spanning the path to negotiate and it became somewhat like an obstacle course. Upon leaving the wood there was a steep and muddy descent of which I had to take cautiously before leaving the path and throwing myself down the grassy and bumpy hill. This was my favourite bit each time as I didn’t have to worry about slipping over! On lap two, I realised the course had got even worse in terms of mud and I’d have to be careful again, or as Rose says run like a girl in sticking my arms out trying to keep balance! I threw myself down the grassy hill on the second lap and managed to finish side by side with Julie Cross. Definitely not my fastest but it was enjoyable and the next time I do cross country I will be purchasing some more sensible shoes!! I do realise we were far more fortunate than the men who had to endure three laps of an increasingly muddy course and were subject to the heavens opening for much of the duration of their race. So well done men, you are made of sturdier stuff than I!

Lucy also took a few of the photos: