“Well, that was a bargain,” I said as I wiped the mud from my arms, legs and tip of my nose. “Just £2 to enter and run a five-mile cross country race – does it get any better than that?”
Noel looked me up and down, pulled a twig out of my hair, hay from my sock and pointed out I had poo on my shoe. “Some may not see it that way, in fact some may want to be paid much more than £2 to do what you’ve just done,” he said.
“Really?” I said as I looked around at the flags and colours flown by the assembled running clubs from West Yorkshire and the hundreds of runners in their club kit. “You surprise me”.
I was still buzzing from my dramatic overtaking move on the final steep hill, captured on camera for all to see. Not only was I not last (my objective for the event), but I stormed up the slippery slope and headed for the finish to the cheers of team mates. Oooo it felt good!
This was my first time in my Eccleshill Road Runners vest. I’d already had verbal and written assurances from my faster, fitter team mates that it didn’t matter if I came last, the team wouldn’t be kicked out of the cross country league.
The race was the first in the Peco cross country series, and of course my first ever. It was a good sign when we turned up at Fitzwilliam Country Park that the Coffee Van Man was there. I was so happy to see him, I hugged him, he hugged me back. He hugged Noel. It was a good time to hug. So espressoed up, I met up with Team Eccleshill, and very fetching we looked too in our blue and whites.
The £2 entry fee was a bargain, races such as the Leeds 10k cost more than £20 and there’s no mud there at all! Where’s the fun in that? As team runners, though, everyone is very good and rather keen, there were no fairies, giant champagne bottles or pantomime horses. Just runners in vests, yet no-one was saying ‘they’ll catch their death” even though it was very draughty around the houses. Indeed, it took my breath away.
So that’s one down, a great overtaking move, and not last. What with a coffee to start and finish and great camaraderie isn’t that a bargain for £2?