SYCC2 Campsall Country Park

Report by Alexa

After the slight confusion surrounding the ladies race at Clifton Park 2 weeks ago, SRC made its way to Campsall Country Park to partake in round 2 of this year’s South Yorkshire Cross Country League. Nothing could go wrong today, could it? Campsall was very cold but the sun had come out, the ground was quite hard and for most runners, it made sense to wear trail shoes rather than spikes as the ground wasn’t as soft as on previous occasions.

I personally love Campsall, for its stile(s), technical bit through woodland, the ditch(!) and even the logs you have to negotiate – I don’t particularly like the uphills (who does?), but throw most other aspects at me and I’m a happy(ish) cross country runner. I’d even travelled up from Milton Keynes in the morning to run this course again but unfortunately, as there hadn’t been much rain, the ditch was dry! There I was expecting to get my feet wet!

Seven ladies had made it out to Campsall so along with our resident M65 Steve Tanner, we made it over to the start line. Keith made it very clear that the ladies and M65s were to run 2 LARGE laps plus the tiny little loop to the finish line which we could clearly see – nothing more, nothing less – and not to follow the U17s, and did we all understand? Of course we did. (Last time I ran this race, we did one small, one medium and one large – 2 large laps was much simpler.) Off we went around a loop of the field, across a concrete bridge, to the short queues at the first stile, across the ploughed field and through the dry ditch.

I’d forgotten how narrow this course can be sometimes, as in certain places, once you got running behind someone it was nearly impossible to overtake. The easiest places to overtake or be overtaken were on the last 2 hills and the main area of the field. But once we’d passed the start line, we just had to do the same loop again and I knew what to expect again this time. (For those who aren’t sure where the ditch was meant to be, it was just as you came off the ploughed field and turned a sharp right – there was a marshal stood at the top just in case.)

Somehow I managed to survive all the obstacles and finished the course although it felt really tough for once – it might sound odd, but I prefer Campsall when it’s a bit muddier! There didn’t seem to be any drama in the women’s race and all the SRC ladies (and Steve) completed the full 2 laps.

Now onto the men’s race. The number of men was slightly dwindled – we were missing a few of our gold medal winning M55 team who had ran the day before, but eight SRC gentlemen still made it out to Campsall.

The men were assembled as I was finishing my tiny little loop of the field to the finish, and I’d expected them to start, but they seem to have been delayed slightly as there were a lot of women finishing together, and no clear gap to set the men off. Good decision, whoever made that one, as it prevented a lot of congestion and crossovers as the course narrowed towards the finish / concrete bridge. The men were to run 3 LARGE laps and 1 SMALL lap. That’s 3 x large + 1 x small. The small lap was at the end, which surprised me slightly as I thought it would be easier to put it at the start, but I don’t know much about these things so I’ll leave it to the people in charge!

The 3 large laps and 1 small lap meant there were faster men finishing at the same time as those who still had the small loop to do and didn’t realise the small loop meant running past the tents, up a small hill and back around the field again. A few runners missed the small loop (they may have thought the small loop was the tiny little loop to the finish line), and unfortunately affected one of our own runners who was running his first ever cross country race and followed the guys in front of him who made the same mistake. I think we’ve established something this year – the adults clearly can’t be left to work the routes out themselves, so we need to make it even easier for everyone. 1 large huge massive lap sounds like a solution!

Well done to everyone who made it out to Campsall. And special thanks to Bev for making all those cakes!

As the page is no longer available on the website, below is my last write up of Campsall (where the men ran 1 small lap and 3 large laps…) Enjoy!

With acknowledgements to “Twas The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore.

Twas 2 weeks before Christmas, so full of Christmas cheer
Twas the last South Yorkshire cross country of the year
Out up to Campsall went the SRC crew
For mud and hills and maybe some cake too

The Senior men lined up but they first had to wait
As the Hallam Uni team all turned up late
Keith yelled some instructions & the whistle he blew
So up round the course the leaders they flew

The men had a small lap followed by 3
Large laps of the fields & paths through the trees
Down into the woods and queuing for the stile
Through a rutted farmers field muddier by the mile

More rapid than eagles the runners they came
And Mike whistled & shouted & called them by name
“Now Mike! now Joe! now Joe, Alex, Kev!
On Trev! on Chris! On Rob P & Ben!
On John! on Gareth! on Fred, Jed & Neal!
The finish is after another lap of the field!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, try to jump high
The survivors shivered their way back to the tent
Whilst up to the start the ladies they went

The Ladies & over-65 Men were next
Even if Jim looked a little bit perplexed
Wearing a borrowed club vest and a borrowed pair of spikes
Wondering why he’d given up his morning for the bribes of St Mike

But no time to think as the runners set off with a clatter
Running through mud, rocks & other such matter
When what to their wondering eyes should appear
A 2 metre ditch with no way to jump clear!

Splashing through the water with feet that turned numb
Up through the woods with more puddles to jump
A steep muddy slide to where the men clapped & cheered
For another 2 laps of that now familiar field

“Now Sarah! now Debs! now Becky! now Clare!
On Amanda! on Sam! & Alexa’s somewhere out there”
Hidden amongst the ladies were Steve Tanner and Jim
“Keep pushing gentlemen, we have a trophy to win!”

The runners made it back & tucked into some cake
St Mike and a few others hung around to wait
To hear the results for the SRC Team
“Senior Cross Country Champions of 2015”

SYCC2 2018 – Campsall Country Park