Guiting Power Cross Country Report by Ewan Macdonald
A belated report on round 4 of the Oxon Cross Country League from February 6th (sorry!)
Cotswold Farm Park near Guilting Power was a new venue for the OXCL, and a cold and windy one – exposed as it is perched on top of the Cotswold Hills, somewhere to the wrong side of Stow-on-the-Wold. A goodly number of ERRs braved both the journey and the weather and we saw energetic performances from runners all the way from the U9s category all the way up to… well… much older than 9!
For the senior races, the course was a nudge north of 8km over varied terrain with enough climbing and descending to amuse even the most dedicated of Wytham hill runners. Underfoot, the ground was relatively dry and well-draining yielding plenty of grip but in a nod to the absent Benedict Pollard many runners still opted for the longest spikes they owned – just to be on the safe side.
For the men, a pair of Bakers (Mark then Tom) led home a combined team of 14, finishing in 52nd and 59th respectively. In the women’s event, starting in what seemed like a biblical storm, we had 10 doughty competitors with Kate Aldred romping home as first ERR in 21st place and Lucy Jordan and Anya Aspinall running well to ensure that our women’s A team retained their solid position in Division 1. For my part, running my first event of the season, and woefully short on miles in the legs, I was happy just to survive.
All in all it was an excellent event and venue from Witney Roadrunners, with a café and farm shop providing much needed post run refreshments. And for those who still had the energy there was the opportunity to work off some further steam pushing cars stuck in the mud!