Thames Valley Cross Country 2011/12

The 'official' thread. Of course.

141 to 160 of 287 messages
19/12/2011 at 09:39
Hey Sleepy Bear - thanks for that, I'll take a look at the Striders website over the next few weeks
19/12/2011 at 09:56

SG - nah we don't care - we're off the bottom of the table (just) and that's all that matters!  We have another good (ish) runner to bring along too in January (he's been away on a course) so it'll be interesting to see how he gets on.  You know what the Marlow guys are like - they're not really all that competitive by nature.  If Ben's contribution attracts a few faster guys to the club then it'll be all good otherwise it'll just be a case of getting them as high up the table as possible. They only just had enough guys for a team on Sunday which was a shame but probably brought about by being so close to Christmas.  Hopefully there'll be more at Tadley.

Sam - you're welcome.

19/12/2011 at 10:09

SB - just looked at the results from yesterday and your Ben won by about 2 mins again so is really doing well

19/12/2011 at 10:13

Oscar, i think it's safe to say Ben is on a different level to anyone in this whole series.

Our top man Graham is a bit underpar with injury this series, and is thus 4th or 5th each race, but even if he was top notch he'd be a couple of mins behind Ben. It's certainly a race for 2nd!

I think Reading always gets a big attendance, Tadley i think usually sees a bit of a drop off, as will the others after that. Hopefully it's the people above me who drop out

19/12/2011 at 10:43

What a lovely venue and course Bearwood is, and an excellent turnout as well. Unfortunately I pushed way too hard on the first lap, particularly when we hit the playing fields, and really paid for it on the 2nd lap, especially up the hill at the end. That's several races now where Lesley Whiley has passed me on the 2nd lap - I should just follow her from the start to run a more even pace and a better time. Ended up 75th in 42:50, but that's 5:20 better than the last time I ran this course.

On the team front we had 3 potential top 15 male runners missing yesterday, and a couple of others who could have scored, and one of our fastest runners had run 26 miles the day before as he's ultra training so wasn't exactly at his sharpest. We did have a very promising first run from a new member however who finished 9th - not bad considering he's only been running for 8 weeks after a couple of years off! The ladies on the other hand had a much better day than last week, so it was a pity that the men didn't quite match it.

19/12/2011 at 10:56

BOTF, i find Reading is a lovely course when i'm on the top of my game, but on days like yesterday it can quickly become a right old drag. 2 lap courses can be a bit like that, I'm not convinced I've ever raced Bracknell that well for instance.

Looking forward to Tadley, pretty challenging, but only one go round! And one of the shorter ones too!

Re going out too fast, it depends what kind of runner you are I suppose. I've always been from the start fast school, as I've found if i start cautiously, I'll still drop off...whereas if i start as usual and fast, the drop off is less.

To be honest though, in running you tend to finish where your fitness on the day deserves...that's what I like best over asport like football where you'd often come away knowing you could have done more.

20/12/2011 at 09:19

Oscarr - thank you!

Can't decide whether I prefer one lap or two.  I've hardly run any xc that didn't involve laps so I guess I've just accepted them as inevitable.

I do know however, that I'm definitely not at my best if I start too quick. It's only this year that I've adopted a policy where I start conservatively and then build up as I get going (and enjoy the whole run instead of suffering painfully after the first mile or two). Seems to work for me - that's what I love about running - there is no right or wrong - it's just about what's right for each individual.

BOTF  - exactly my strategy with a DD girl I seem to play leapfrog with a lot - she beat me again this week so I'm just gonna stay behind her next time I see her then try to keep up!

SG - Yip I'm hoping there'll be fewer FVs ahead of me at Tadley too! 

Edited: 20/12/2011 at 09:21
20/12/2011 at 10:20

Without trying to sound all "charmer", if you're a FV, you must be only basically these few years are your time to really cash in!

20/12/2011 at 10:48

SG - I'll take the charm..... any day! LOL.  I wish only just - Ben's a bit younger than me! I just have young-genes (hurrah).

It's great being a vet - the number of ladies suddenly dwindles and all of a sudden I'm happily creeping up the placings - happy days! Even made it onto the power of 10 this year and I reckon that's the only reason cos I've been faster in the past (can't be bothered to try linking all my results though - it's a real pain on their site!)

(ps the DD lassie was very pretty - I reckon she deserves a  place on your "hottie" list! Trust me we passed each other 5 or 6 times at Reading so I got a good look)

20/12/2011 at 11:09
So what's the Tadley course like? I hear that waders are the most sensible footwear
20/12/2011 at 11:19
Stevie G . wrote (see

Basically first half, lush forest, mildly undulating
2nd half, tough, 2 or 3 ( i can never remember) stream crosses, with the do you leap it, or do you step in and wade through condundrum, then a mile or so of hilly boggy muddy ploughed fields. The hills are nothing compared to handy cross or even today, but the sheer boggy nature makes it a right faff.

Then a half mile to end on the path you start on, where you keep thinking the next turn will be the finish. It's probably one of the biggest "hallucinating" points of the series, as you're so sure someone is right on your shoulder!

reading all that...can't wait!!

Sam - certainly sounds like it - think I'll definitely be bringing spare socks and a towel! Did you manage to find a picture of yourself yet? I ran some of the second lap with one of your ladies who was having great fun in the mud and laughing at my wings! The "straight through the middle of it" approach  worked well for me - how do you tackle the mud?
20/12/2011 at 11:21

Sam I gave an epic account of it a page or 2 back

Sleepy, is a bit harsh that Vet status kicks in 5 years before the mens...I still have over 9 1/2years to bask in open status!

I'll keep my eyes out for who you mean, there are a fair few hotties about this series..i just need to make a better effort chatting them up, rather than those who've finished above me..who are generally grissled blokes!

Non runners certainly don't get the whole lifestyle, that's for sure though

20/12/2011 at 11:27
Hey SG - thanks I'll trawl back a few pages and read your round up
20/12/2011 at 12:33
Sleepy Bear wrote (see)

SG - I'll take the charm..... any day! LOL. 

He is a bit of a charmer isn't he? He guessed and posted my age as 42 when I am 46
20/12/2011 at 13:19

2:50 - hey don't knock it!  Can't beat a good ol' fashioned bit of flattery -  I'd have said 39 myself! I'll enjoy it as long as I can! 40 is the new 30 so I hear which is good as it's not far away for me now!

SG - me and B met at a xc back in 2005/6 - we vaguely knew each other from training but you know how it is - can't be seen talking to the opposite sex! We got teased for months about the apparently obvious (except to us) "flirting" but hey we're married now so I guess it was worth the banter! In a random kind of way - it's as good a place to meet someone as any!  Take her a cup of tea and just be 'normal'! You'll be fine.  Chatting someone up is overrated, especially if you're covered in mud!  

Personally - I don't really care about names or categories, though I'll be very disappointed if I don't get a free cape when I become a super-vet. 

20/12/2011 at 15:54
I can't wait until I get in the next category, as if I can keep this pace going for another year I might be in with a chance of the odd category prize or two
20/12/2011 at 17:45

If i thought i had any chance of not being utterly clapped out when I'm 40, I'd be getting hungry about some potential category prizes...but i should probably enjoy the 9 1/2 years before then first

Sleepy, be "Normal" you say? Oh dear...i'll try. I do think post race is my form of an alcoholic high though...something euphoric about that feeling that means you can bound upto anyone.

20/12/2011 at 18:03
Stevie G . wrote (see)

If i thought i had any chance of not being utterly clapped out when I'm 40, I'd be getting hungry about some potential category prizes...but i should probably enjoy the 9 1/2 years before then first

So at Bearwood you finished behind first vet and you have a 4-0 loosing streak on him. But credit where it is due, you did beat all the vets at Handy Cross. So, just hold the currnet pace for 9½ years and you are in for a chance.
20/12/2011 at 18:21
To be fair, I think I have about a 20-0 losing streak to Mr Miles, but luckily Power of 10 is rubbish for accurately recording things, so I'll allow the 4-0!
21/12/2011 at 08:26

Nice sentiments if it wasn't for the links (don't think I'll bother checking them out somehow)!

SG - everyone's like that so I wouldn't worry!

Right - we're heading home to be fed lots of yummy stuff and run up and down the hills of Yorkshire.  Hope everyone has a lovely time over Christmas and sees the new year in in style- howsoever they choose! I don't normally get much chance to get online when we're away - nieces and nephews to entertain!

Here's to reducing that losing streak in 2012!


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