Monday, 10 December 2012

Birthday Cross Country

The last few weeks since the FToP have been quite busy as I start upping the milage and training volume to ready myself for a proposed training onslaught come January.

In the last weekend of November I headed back Peaks and Sheffield way, taking in some fiendish Sprint Orienteering around Sheffield City Centre and the Park Hill estate, courtesy of my Alma Matter ShUOC on the Saturday. This was followed by an excellent pint or 5 at the Dev Cat and a broken down train on the way home. The Famous Grouse Fell Race provided Sunday's entertainment, where after shaking my fugg off on the first climb I dropped like a stone on the final road section to pinch 3rd place from Pennine team-mate Steve Knowles.

The entrance of December was celebrated with an icy parkrun, some 'boro sprintO and a drink or 8 with colleagues in York. On the Sunday I decided to take in my first local Fell Race of the winter series (alas I was busy for the first 3!) at Eskdale Eureka. It took me 2km to wake up, and by this point the front 2 had got ahead. It was a cracking day for fell-racing, chill, bluebird and icy, and I was happy to cruise around for a clear third place, looking forward to taking Cameron on early next year!

The weekend just gone I celebrated turning 24 with the North Eastern XC Championships at a Somme-like Summerhill in Hartlepool, a proper XC course. After mocking XC a few years ago I now have to eat humble pie as, in a perverse way, I really enjoy it.
Exiting the Beck - got a mouthful of muddy water! Credit sportypics(facebook page)
After last year's 41st place, I was aiming for a top-35, so was chuffed with 26th place after a tactically safe run. My result would have been good enough to count for the top 3 teams which is a nice. As a team, BMHH managed a good 9th place despite missing a couple of good runners who would be around me in the results.
From the ridiculous to the sublime, as the evening involved cooking for my parents, visiting Teesside for the first time, and performing Handel's Messiah with Cleveland Philharmonic Choir. This is the first piece of music I've performed for a second time, and it was nice to sing an excellent, well known piece with the confidence of repetition!

Sunday was another brilliant clear day, and I spent it on the moors above Great Ayton, with a bit of Orienteering followed by a run out to Roseberry Topping before lunch with the Parents.
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Back home at the end of next week (after the work Christmas do, naturally). Looking forward to getting some hilly miles in from my doorstep and, hopefully, some snow!

Lets hope for some scenes like these from 2010! Best wishes for Christmas!

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