Despite having done two seasons of cross country, this was my first time at Temple Park. To be honest, it is the most similar experience to my school cross country days; running around the field, up and down a few hills, over a bit of path, do it again, finish in a heap at the end. Mind you back in the day, it was embarrassing gym knickers, itchy airtex and inappropriate random Fila trainers. Not to mention passing the smokers hiding in the bushes until the the majority of us passed for the second time before reappearing and jogging to the end. None of that of course… and the kit has (thankfully) has advanced from the 1990s.
So today’s main dilemma was spikes or trainers and I will say that I felt I made the right choice in my good, old faithful spikes. The women’s race was tightly packed for the first half of the course meaning a bit of limitation in pace, but this spaced nicely later on. The ground was soft but not muddy, so the main enemy was the wind and during the end of the course it provided a decent battle.
I felt a bit ‘meh’ going into this race, but easy parking, good craic and lovely cake from the men lifted my spirits and rekindled my love for this ridiculous pass time. And what would my teenage self think if she knew I would be choosing to do cross country at the age of 40? I think she would be secretly chuffed.
Full results at http://www.harrierleague.com/results/2017-18/cup-shield/