Opening the curtains on the first Saturday of the year to view a very wet garden and more rain on its way could only mean one thing: the Hampshire Cross-Country Champs! At least it was handy with Fleming Park once again being the venue. Christine braved the weather first, cycling there whilst I fed the children lunch. We then followed on in the car arriving just in time to watch her race start.
The courses are particularly convoluted which has the benefit that, as spectators, we didn’t have to move very far to see Christine, and the conditions, getting progressively muddier and muddier. The children were very good given the weather. Emma said it was great fun although, to be fair, I think this may have just been her new discovery of sarcasm. Christine finished just in time for me to hand over, strip off, and head to the start for the men’s race.
Last time I ran this course two years ago, I started far too fast on the first lap only to realise that I still had to go round twice more. Knowing this still didn’t stop me repeating the error! I’ve strategically chosen a picture of Christine to accompany this post as, once you’ve removed the blurred and out of focuse photos she took, your just left with ones of me looking like an old man in lots of pain. I waded round the 11.5km of mud in 46:23, some 35 seconds slower than in 2013 and ended up four places further down in 45th place. By way of consolation, when I really am an old man next year and qualify as a veteran, I just need to shave off 16 seconds to end up in to top 5 M40s!