The P&B Ladies had one aim when XC season arrived – lets get a team out for all of the races. The goal was almost scuppered immediately as race 1 was the day after the Fell Relay Champs, but that didn’t stop us. We dragged ourselves there in not the best of moods and lacking enthusiasm. Then to our surprise we managed to win the first race. That was it. We might only get 4 or 5 out to a race, but that was all we needed. The new goal was set – GOLD! With each race came a new worry.
Race 2 Huddersfield – Alex unwell and not able to run. Could we stay in contention without the champ? Of course we could. Claire and Sian continued their great form from race 1 and me and Suzy gave it a bit more welly and improved on our first race results. A bit of extra mud and a few more hills worked in our favour. We managed 3rd.
It became clear that our main aim was to beat Holmfirth. They took victory at Huddersfield, showing their strength in numbers with a massive turnout of the mighty mustards. They have also won the league for at least the last 3 years- could they be beaten?
Race 3 Keighley – Claire away for then weekend, Alex back running strong and Belinda getting her first taste of XC in England (a bit muddier than in Spain). As expected Keighley brought mud and some more fitting XC weather in the form of constant rain – perfect for a race with a tricky, very slippery section on a camber. I don’t know why there wasn’t anyone taking photos there. A lot of people slid down the hill and off the course on their backsides. Some folks must have been skittled by the sliding runners – I nearly was. Another win for Alex and good consistent results from Sian, Suzy, Belinda and myself were enough for 2nd.
At this point I summoned my inner statto. The priority of a Saturday evening – not going out or boozing – calculating what needed to be done to secure GOLD. Calculations done – The minimum required to win – Holmfirth could beat us as long as we were 2nd and they had to beat us by 22 points if they were to steal it from us.
Race 4 Guiseley – Belinda poorly, Sian raced the day before and didn’t fancy the double, Suzy recovering from illness, Claire and me very tired (plus I hate running at Nunroyd Park), but on the positive side all we had to do was stay within 22 points of Holmfirth. I tried some potty mouthed motivation on the start line to drum up some fighting spirit – what a shame it didn’t work on me. I’d made a point of saying we had to beat the mustards, but I could not for the life of me catch the 3 just in front for the entire race. When the Woodentops Paparazzi arrived we didn’t dare celebrate for fear of embarrassing ourselves if we hadn’t won. Another win for Alex meant she took the Senior Ladies title, Sian secured Silver in the U20 Ladies and Claire was just outside the medals in 4th.
We ended up a close 2nd only 2 points behind Holmfirth, that was enough – GOLD for the small but mighty P&B ladies.
Alex’s facebook summed it up:
PUDSEY GIRLS SMASHED IT!! Team 1st Overall, well done Ladies. Weirdly enjoyed competing in the muddy leagues this season. So happy to become the West Yorkshire Champion.“
An amazing result and shortly after Alex was selected to run for the North of England XC team in Brussels.
It’s pretty good being small, but mighty, but it would be nice to be a little bigger. If any ladies are looking for more mud and hills in their lives – P&B is where it’s at.
Well done to all P&B seniors and juniors who took part in the West Yorkshire Cross Country League. Full results available here: www.westyorkshireathletics.org.uk