The 14th Welsh Inter Regional Cross Country Championships were held as usual at the Royal Welsh Showground on Saturday the 8th December 2012.
Slightly warmer weather than last year greeted the top cross country runners from each region across Wales, although this didn't prevent the water to the shower block freezing before reaching it's final destination. None the less, the touch of frost had gone from the ground making the going in some parts 'good to soft' in others really quite 'heavy'.
Though the venue was a constant the course had been changed to send runners in the opposite direction to last year. Changes to the route evidenced runners 'looping' within the wood completely wrong footing spectators, well this one any way, who nearly ran the length of both mens' and women's races secure in the conviction of 'knowing the course' and determined to see runners at some point!
It's a cracking event to watch. In addition to seeing some of the top Welsh cross country runners, it has such a local feel many of the runners being familiar faces and friends, via the fells, training, Cross Country and Borders League series and yet again our own ''little'' club colleagues made disproportionate numerical representation and outstanding contributions. The full results are on the W.A.A. site but in summary
Matthew was 14th and 3rd 'Northern Region' athlete in what can only be described as a very competitive field.
In the women's race, a Buckley trio at one stage seemed to be in formation, a different type of 'thin blue line' streaming past in pursuit and being pursued on some of the toughest parts of the course, those Sundays on the Clwydians obviously paying better dividends than any I.S.A. when tackling the 'up bits'.
Dawn was first home ever so slightly puffing after an epic battle with Sandra Rowlands which saw Dawn pull away in the last few yards.
Margaret and Fenella returned in that order, they to having raced from the off against some very stiff competition. Less than a minute and a half separated the three.
Jez and Eric had sterling runs. Jez was the 2nd North rep and I think 5th in age group. A truly amazing feat by Jez it has to be said. Eric was even to the casual observer clearly under the weather but despite this ran well. Erics condition seemed confirmed when I asked how he went and Eric commented he couldn't really remember the race!! I'd prescribe Lem sip and a hot bath mate.
Really great to watch and a good way to get inspired and motivated on those days when it all seems a bit hard!!
All the best