Eccleshill at Ackworth
Being a year since the last cross country race had quite clearly enabled me to erase all but a few memories of the five races in last year's Peco Cross Country League! Elves bells is one blog post I recall frequently, a constant reminder of that is the lady who dressed as the elf and overtook me in the snow and ice on a steep hill as I gasped my way to the top! She is reminiscent of an 'ever present' at the London marathon, always seems to be at the same races as me. Now, I bear no grudges - just horrific hauntings of those darn bells in the distance, coming ever closer and closer as I struggled to the summit, and of course, the humility of being overtaken by an Elf!
I felt I did go some way to redeeming myself on Sunday at the first race in this year's XC league, crossing the line in front of said lady did make me feel marginally better. The memory though, lives on. A very sunny but cold and extremely windy morning greeted us for the start of the race at Ackworth. Wondering what the blazes possessed me to don only my club vest, I shivered and shook and we had well over an hour to wait before the off, thank heaven for my ERR hoodie! Walking part of the route it didn't appear to be nearly half as muddy as I had expected given the amount of rain which had fallen over the previous few days. Thankfully the time passed fairly quickly and we were soon set off on our way, the manner in which everyone surges forward into the countryside makes you feel like shouting 'tally ho!'. A few hills were exacerbated by the immense wind in our faces, making it difficult to catch your breath. Despite crossing the line fairly near the back of the field I felt a sense of achievement, maximum effort, team spirit, cheered by and for team mates made it all worthwhile. A coffee from the 'Frothy Coffee Man' before we set off home topped off a wonderful morning!
Undeterred by the previous day's activities I went to Monday club night fully aware that the session was 'Enterprise Surprise'. I absolutely love these sessions so ignored my own advice that really I should do something less vigorous. The club provides this type of session on a monthly basis and it amazes me every time how the competitiveness surfaces in each and every one of us! It is so rewarding when the team you are in gains a victory. (We are shuffled about after each activity so everyone gets a chance to compete with and against each other.) Such fun! Next month's session cannot come around quick enough! No doubt it will be more than welcome as we try to work off the season's festivities!
No elves were harmed in the writing of this blog!