The Grizzly

By Chris George

It was my second time at the Grizzly 20 miler down in Seaton (Devon) after racing last year for the first time and enjoying it so much. I entered the ballot again for 2017 and was lucky enough to get a place.

So what’s it all about “Twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of the multiest-terrain running experience you will find this side of the end of time” is the quote on the website, and to be fair that’s pretty accurate

The Grizzly has over 3,500ft of ascent in its 20 miles; there are two sections of beach, totalling close to 2 miles; 2 bogs and the infamous “Stairway to Heaven”, a steep path up the side of a cliff.  The pre-race advice is that it will take roughly your road marathon time, perhaps longer if conditions are grim. read more

2017 UK Inter-Counties XC Championships

By Rob Elmore

The last cross country race of the season (unless you’re young enough to be at the English schools or good enough to represent Great Britain at the World Cross Country Championships in Uganda!), were the British Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships which took place at Prestwold Hall, just outside Loughborough, this weekend.

For those not familiar with this event, the Inter-Counties is a chance for the top runners in each county to compete against each other. Selection is based on your positioning at regional county championships and/or your cross country performances during the season. Ideally 9 runners are selected for each county, however, due to injuries/illness this isn’t always possible. read more

Nottingham Nationals

For most people the English National Cross-country Championships represent the final XC of the season. They rotate around venues in the North, Midlands and South of England and this year it was the turn of the midlands to host in Wollaton Park, Nottingham. Three years ago the same event at the same place turned out to be beautiful springlike day in the sunshine so we were hoping for the same this year.

LBAC’s relationship with the event has fluctuated a bit, but in recent years we have been fairly consistent in terms of senior men’s participation, especially at the Southern and Midlands venues. However, the other categories have always struggled to get numbers in attendance. With a healthy bunch of entries this year we were hoping for some strong results. read more

The Off-Road Series starts with a splash at Hardwick

Hardwick X-Stream 2017- X-streamly good fun

by Jo Sharples

I’d been aware of this event for the last couple of years, but thought it fell more into the laps of the “tough mudder” types, which I wouldn’t have categorised myself as. I also distinctly remember a photo of a very muddy Katie Haylock from last year’s event, and thought it all sounded a bit hardcore.

So what swayed me to enter? Two things really, the first being my frustration of only being able to compete in 3 cross countries this year, (2 Chiltern Leagues and the Southerns), due to work. And the second was Gareth and Adam’s persistent raving about the event. With the Southerns completed I could not bring myself to put my spikes away for the year, so I entered. read more

The Big Chiltern League Finale

Chiltern Cross Country League – Race 5 – Campbell Park

by Tom Kimber

The call for a large final turnout worked a treat. A total of 61 LBAC runners headed to the wintry conditions of Campbell Park in Milton Keynes for the final event in the Chiltern League cross country season. Prior to the event, we were in 6th place overall, but with the knowledge that a strong team performance would provide possibility of an even higher finish.

From a personal perspective I was looking forward to the Campbell Park event, as I happen to work a stones throw from the park and spend many a lunch hour enjoying its scenery. However I’m not convinced that any course knowledge particularly helped. I don’t know what others thought, but in my view it was one of those lumpy courses where you were running either uphill or downhill, with very little flat in between, which meant it was hard to run in a relaxed manner. Add in one or two very boggy spots, a tight ‘gate turn’, and a near vertical downhill section, and it is clear to see why this is viewed as a challenging course. read more

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