21st March 2020 AUTHOR: dwhite CATEGORIES: Event Report

Wakington Winter League X Country

What a cracking course this is, a good old fashioned x country race, mud, hills, wind and rain. Whats not to like.

I’d been struggling the last few months with a niggling achilles injury so my training has been on and off, I’d train for a couple of weeks then I’d need 2 weeks off, this pattern repeating itself several times, frustratingly not managing to get any consistency going, but thankfully this last 6 weeks I’ve managed to be reasonably injury free so I lined up at the start feeling fitter than I had done for a long time.

We all lined up at the start on a mild but blustery day, and with this been the second time we’d done this race most of us knew the route, sort of.

Starting in a field on the outskirts of Walkington we were soon on our way along muddy paths, boggy fields and rolling hills. I felt pretty good from early on so pushed hard to keep with the familiar pack that i’d been unable to get anywhere near in the last few winter league races. I was happy just to keep Martin and Paul in my sights but as I was feeling good I gave it a go at overtaking them and see if I could hang on til the end.

The wind was all over the place but felt more into our face than on our backs, Storm Dennis was on its way.

Still felt ok into the second half and could see Vinny and Tony in the distance but could’nt close on them, in fact as we got closer to the end they pulled further away and I had no response. With its regular twists and turns its a pretty demanding course and so easy to go wrong, as I later found out a few runners did, easy to do to be honest, even though there was plenty of marshals out along the route, always good to see a smiling face with words of encouragement.

The last section involves racing along the path leading to the sports field, then a final gallop across the field to the pavillion. Ran my socks off and even though I was totally knackered by the finish I can honestly say I really enjoyed it, good stuff.

The race covers a great course, skirting the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds between Walkington and Skidby, and is far better than the Paull riverbank race which it replaced, so if you havent done it before make sure you give it a go next year.

Finally to top it all off I later found out I’d won the male handicap, nice one, well happy with that. Also congratulations to Female handicap winner Dawn Oades, and  overall winners Rich Buckle first male, and Kirsty Wilson first female.

Gary Forrester

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