It was Hants Cross Country on Saturday and, after a bit of indecision caused by my cold and Christine’s gentle return to running, we decided to make the most of Christine’s parents being around to child mind and run. Christine didn’t get much of a warm-up as she was needed to assist me with the removal of poo from all the way up Duncan’s back, Christine’s parent having conveniently taken Emma off to look at the planes (the event being held at Popham Airfield near Micheldever Station). She had a respectable run though and was no-where near the back of the field which is where she would have had you believe that she would be.
Typically, by the time the mens race was due to start the rain had arrived. It was still reasonably warm though so no excuse not to wear just vest and shorts. At the start line I found myself just behind Noel O’Dowd. This wasn’t deliberate but was useful to pace me for the first of three laps. Although I felt a bit of lower back pain to start with, I didn’t think anything of it but interestingly Christine and her Mum thought it was very evident in my running style. Despite being based at the airfield, the course was relatively interesting making the most of a few undulations in the neighbouring fields, a couple of steep banks and a patch of woodland.
Noel actually seemed to be slipping away from me at this point which wasn’t a good sign. Thankfully having started at a sensible pace I was able to spend the third lap pulling places back, overtaking Noel in the process. I even managed a sprint finish to hold on to 88th place. It was also good to see ex-South Central Junior Squad member Martin Broderick at the race although not so good that he finished in front of me! Anyway, a better position than in the first race at Farley Mount. Whether it was sensible to run is a separate question as my cold appears to have deteriorated since.