Monday, 18 September 2017

Bring on the mud! Striders Cross Country Guide 17-18

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are changing colour and the weather is getting cooler. Yes, autumn in definitely in the air and that means cross country season will soon be upon us!

To help you get organised, we've put together this guide with all the dates for your diaries.

If haven't taken part in cross country racing with the club before, scroll down for more information on all the leagues and championships we take part in and how you can get involved.
Get your trail shoes and spikes ready for the return of cross country season!
The races are open to all members of the club - whatever your speed - but you must be EA registered in order to compete in the Chiltern League, Southern and National Championships (including relays). So if you haven't already paid for EA membership and want to join in, now's the time to do it ahead of the first races in October. You must also wear a club vest in all races, and trail shoes or spikes are advised for the muddier courses.

Cross country running can be great fun with hills, mud and even water obstacles to contend with, making it much more interesting than your average road race. The undulating and uneven terrain will make you a stronger and fitter runner, while taking part will allow you to meet more of your fellow Striders and replicate the team spirit of the summer's MWL.
Club vests must be worn at all cross country races
Not only that, you get entry into all these races as part of your Striders membership.

Cross country captains Cathal Gallagher and Wendy Walsh will email and post on Facebook with the full details on each race the week before they take place but here's details we have so far...

 

OCTOBER

Saturday, 14 October: Chiltern League, Oxford

Saturday, 21 October: Southern Cross Country Relay, Wormwood Scrubs

Sunday, 29 October: Sunday League, Cheshunt
The Sunday League returns to Cheshunt in October

NOVEMBER

Saturday, 4 November: National Cross Country Relays, Mansfield

Saturday, 11 November: Chiltern League, Milton Keynes (Teardrop Lakes)

Sunday, 12 November: Sunday League, Trent Park
Don't expect the Chiltern League courses in Milton Keynes to be flat! This hill awaits at Teardrop Lakes

DECEMBER

Saturday, 2 December: Chiltern League, Luton

Saturday, 9 December: Southern XC Masters Championships, Oxford (over 40s only)

Sunday, 17 December: Sunday League, Willian

 

JANUARY

Sunday, 7 January: Herts County Champs, Watford

Saturday, 13 January: Chiltern League, Keysoe

Sunday, 14 January: Sunday League, Watford

Saturday, 27 January: Southern XC Champs, venue TBC
The infamous water obstacle at Keysoe

FEBRUARY

Saturday, 10 February: Chiltern League, Milton Keynes (Campbell Park)

Sunday, 18 February: Sunday League, Royston

Saturday, 24 February: National XC Champs, Parliament Hill, London
The National XC will be held at Parliament Hill again, go and watch if you can't race

MARCH

Saturday, 10 March: Inter-counties XC Champs, Loughborough (participation by invitation only if selected to run for the county)

Sunday, 25 March: Herts Vets Champs, Royston (over 35s only)

CROSS COUNTY LEAGUES WE COMPETE IN

THE CHILTERN LEAGUE

Comprises clubs from Herts, Beds and Bucks. Men and women race separately - approx 6k for women and 8k for men. There’s also junior races earlier in the day where St Albans AC athletes compete for Striders. The scores from all races are all combined to reach our league position so it's a big team effort from young to old(er)!

There's a misconception that this league is only for speedier members but all abilities can, and do, take part! We welcome runners of all paces and your contribution could make all the difference to the team score.
Men and women race separately in the Chiltern League
When and where:

Saturday, 14 October: Oxford

Saturday, 11 November: Milton Keynes (Teardrop Lakes) including the UKA Cross Challenge

Saturday, 2 December: Luton (Stopsley Common)

Saturday, 13 January: Keysoe Equestrian Centre (home of that water obstacle)

Saturday, 10 February: Milton Keynes (Campbell Park)

Women’s race starts approx 1.15pm, men’s approx 2pm, with exception of the final fixture when the women's race is last

What to do: You must be EA registered to take part. We need to declare with the organisers who will be running the night before each race. We’ll send an email and post on the messageboard the week before each race so please let us know then if you intend to run. On the day, collect a number from the captains (Cathal Gallagher for the men and Wendy Walsh for the women). As with the MWL, you must keep this number for the whole league.

More info: www.chilternccl.co.uk

 

THE SUNDAY LEAGUE

This is a slightly lower key league than the Chiltern so it's a good introduction if you have never done cross country before. Once again it is open to all abilities. Clubs from the local area take part with men and women competing in the same race which is approx 5-6 miles. If you take part in four or more races you will be in with a chance of winning an individual age group prize at the end of the league. Individual trophies are awarded as follows: Senior Men, M40, and M50 - first five places. M60 - first three, M70 - winner. Senior Women, W35, and W45 - first five places. W55 – first three, W65 – winner.
You don't need a number for the Sunday League, just turn up and run (whatever the weather!)
When and where:

Sunday, 29 October: Cheshunt

Sunday, 12 November: Trent Park

Sunday, 17 December: Willian

Sunday, 14 January: Watford

Sunday, 18 February: Royston

All races start at 10.30am

What to do: We’ll advertise further details for each race in advance. You don’t need to wear a number so just turn up and run. At the finish, you’ll be given a ticket with your finishing position on which should be handed to the captains so they can record the results.

More info: There’s no official website for the league but results and pictures will be posted on www.runherts.com

CHAMPIONSHIP RACES

Herts County XC

Individual and team county medals up for grabs here and the chance to qualify to represent Herts in future races. Approx 8k for women and 12k for men.

When and where: Sunday, 7 January, Cassiobury Park, Watford
We're the reigning men's county champs, can we retain the trophy this year?
What to do: You must have been born in Herts or have been a resident in the county for at least nine months prior to the race to compete. Captains have to enter teams in advance so look out for details on the messageboard or via email in order to sign up. On the day, collect your number from captains.

More info: www.hertscaaa.org.uk

 

Southern XC Champs

Regional event made up of clubs from the south of England. Approx 8k for women and 15k for men.

When and where: Saturday, 27 January, venue TBC (Unlikely to be at Parliament Hill, London, as that's where the National XC will be held this year)

What to do: Open to all club members of all abilities but you must be EA registered and pre-entered by captains. Look out for posts/emails to sign up nearer the time. The event is chip-timed so you must collect your chip and number from captains on the day.

More info: www.seaa.org.uk

 

The National XC Champs

A prestigious and historic event made up of clubs across England. It's suitable for all abilities with elite athletes at the front and those who might have to walk sections at the back. Approx 8k for women and 12k for men. If you can't take part then go along and watch, seeing all the runners charge up Parliament Hill at the start is quite a spectacle!

When and where: Saturday, 24 February, Parliament Hill, London

What to do: You must be EA registered and pre-entered by captains. The event is chip-timed so you must collect your chip and number from captains on the day.

More info: www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk
The women's team at Parliament Hill

 

RACES JUST FOR VETS

Southern Masters XC Champs

A chance for veteran athletes to compete for glory without any youngsters getting in the way!

When and where: Saturday, 9 December, Oxford (same course as the first Chiltern League)

What do do: Women must be aged 40 plus to take part and will race 6k. Men must also be aged 40 plus and will race 10k, with the exception of men over 70 who will run at the same time as the women. You must be EA registered. The captains will submit entries in advance so look out for details nearer the time.

More info: www.seaa.org.uk
There are plenty of opportunities to run for Striders this cross country season

Herts Veteran XC County Champs

Another chance to gain an individual or team county medal, this time without having to compete with the younger generations!

When and where: Sunday, 25 March, Royston

What to do: Open to anyone aged 35 plus who was born in Herts, or has been a resident in the county for at least nine months prior to the race. Captains have to enter teams in advance so look out for details on the messageboard or via email in order to sign up in December. On the day, collect your number from captains.


More info: www.hertscaaa.org.uk

 

RELAYS

Southern XC Relay

Team event (women, 3 x 3k, Men, 4 x 5k) involving clubs from the South which is a low key, fun start to the cross country season.

When and where: Saturday, 21 October, Wormwood Scrubs
What to do: Open to all club members of all abilities but you must be EA registered and pre-entered by captains. Look out for emails/posts from the captains in the near future.

More info: www.seaa.org.uk

 

National XC Relay

Well-supported national event where clubs from around England compete in teams around a course that’s not challenging and is great for spectating. Women, 3 x 3k, men, 4 x 5k

When and where: Saturday, 4 November, Berry Hill Park, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

What to do: Open to all club members of all abilities but you must be EA registered and pre-entered by captains. Look out for emails/Facebook posts in the near future.


More info: www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk

Further questions?

If you need to know anything else, email the XC captains - Cathal Gallagher and Wendy Walsh: crosscountrycaptains at stalbansstriders.com 

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