(Report from Shona Cowper)
Yesterday a team of valiant ESM women took on the North London Champs XC at Uxbridge and came away with First Place Senior Team and Second Place Vets team. There was a slightly inauspicious start to the event when the Big White Envelope containing the numbers and declaration sheet went missing from my stuff while a few of us were doing a warm up. After my proclamation of “SABOTAGE!” and Fiona K and Sarah H innovatively using some extra men’s numbers to fashion together new ones, a few minutes before the start another club actually did ‘find’ the missing envelope…I’m therefore still claiming sabotage and revenge will be sweet.
Nicky Payne, Leanne Smith, Sarah Gerrie, Sarah McIntosh, Sarah Harris, Fiona Kennedy and I toed the line for the 8km run in a field of 68 runners. Fiona is cautiously re-entering the world of XC and made a fantastic return at Claybury a few weeks ago; a niggle during yesterday’s run led to her stopping partway through but she joined Spectator Extraordinaires Pat Thomas and Bridie Lebdiri to cheer us all on. Bridie had wisely informed us that a section of the woodland was poorly signposted (signposted is too generous a word, actually) and to be careful we didn’t go off route. This wooded area also comprised a section more akin to a BMX course than a trail running route which made for some spur-of-the-second decisions as to whether to go for it or take a cautious approach to descending. Nicky and Sarah H battled it out in the last 600m or so and both finished in the same time with Nicky slightly nudging ahead for the 17th place finisher token. The final results were: Sarah G in 11th overall, with Nicky, Sarah H and I taking places 17, 18, and 19 respectively, Leanne in 23 and Sarah M in 29.