The first race of the Derby Runner XC league 2017/18 season took place at Bagworth Heath, near Markfield.
By a stroke of luck, we managed to field exactly the right numbers to make up a mens’ team (8 men) and a ladies’ team (4 women).
The first lap started with a muddy uphill section that soon slowed everyone down. It was a recurring feature that there were bottlenecks where you had to stop or just take it easy on single track paths followed by wider sections or the occasional bit of tarmac to go faster and overtake. By the second lap, the field was more strung out and these welcome breathers were fewer! On the third lap, some of the runners began to get lapped but all in my experience were very polite and let us go past, sacrificing a bit of time to make way when they really didn’t have to. Near the end, there was a loop away from the finish, up a hill then back down again then round to the finish.
As the route had to be changed at the last minute, the advertised distance of 6.5 miles was cut down to an expected 5.75 miles. In actual fact we were meant to do the longer loop twice but only did this on the third lap so it ended up being 5.25 miles. That was plenty for me!
The only casualty on the day was the club’s tent which nearly blew away during the race and had to be dismantled for us by another club (I think it was Desford – thank you!).
Ladies – Vicki Lowe (44th), Lou Houghton (97th), Sue Pettingill (205th), Kaye Mead (207th) – with 222 finishers.
Men – Nick Brown (63rd), Ian Drage (65th), AlanThompson (75th), Greg Pettingill (140th), Andy Nicholls (166th), John Houghton (215th), Steve Dewick (306th) and Matt White (325th) – with 389 finishers