And so Cross Country season once again descended on the Belle Vue Racers. On a seasonally warm October day in Wythenshawe Park, the first fixture of the Manchester Area Cross Country League was met by a great turn out of nine members of the women’s section and eight of the men. There were five members making their Cross Country Belle Vue debuts – Maeve, Claire, Janet, Farouk and James.
With extremely good conditions underfoot and the runners more concerned with the heat than mud, there were some great results across the board. Phoebe was first in for the women with an excellent time of 39.21. She was closely followed by Annie, whose time of 41.23 was good enough for 3rd in her age category. Yana finished third of the Belle Vue ladies in 42.50. A special mention should also go to Lisa whose fourth place in a time of 45.29 was all the more respectable given her seven mile run to the start line.
For the men, Vic led in the team in with a time of 41.28, Meng warmed up for the next day’s Manchester Half Marathon in a brisk time of 43.21 and Andrew made up the first three in a time of 46.45. A special mention should go to all those Belle Vue Racers who endured some slips and spils around the course. James Malone in particular did fantastically to recover from a turned ankle which had stopped him around half way to complete the course. NT
For reasons beyond our control, Thursday’s 25 lap time trial has unfortunately needed to be postponed. It will now take place on Thursday 27th October. There will be no track session this coming Thursday.
Nine keen Belle Vue Racers (eleven including support team Barry and Lynda) descended bright-eyed in glorious sunshine on Astley and Tyldesley Miners Welfare Club to collect numbers and gather themselves for the start of the 2016 edition of the Gin Pit 5 mile race, in and around the adjacent woodland trails. For a mix of veterans (“This is my eighth Gin Pit!”) and first-timers (“How many loops?”), the race set off up the long but subtle incline for the first of four runs at it at a decent lick. After the field thinned a little once into the woodland, the course twisted and turned through the trees, providing plenty of challenge and just enough mud underfoot to keep you on your toes.
Meng Tang was first BVR man home (35:15), followed closely by first Belle Vue woman, Phoebe Willis (36:18). Ruth powered home to finish the race that was her first in Belle Vue colours in 2013, to end a morning of excellent running. Well done also to James, Yana, Kath, Rachel, Andrew and Janet; a fantastic sharpener for next week’s start to the cross country season.
Belle Vue Racers will be descending on Gin Pit in the morning for the 2016 edition. He we are in 2011 (albeit at the April race). Recognise anyone?
So on October 2nd, I left my warm home just before 8am. The clever car told me it was only 4 degrees C, & I wondered where my gloves were from last winter. What a beautiful way to start the Autumn/Winter season, with a startlingly bright drive out to Congleton. Mist lay low over the fields, where pheasants or partridges pecked at the ground.
A very well organised race HQd at Congleton High School. It had warmed up nicely by the 9.30 start. The 3 hardy BVRs set off for their 13.1. Steve Webb finished first doing a sub 1.40, especially impressive as only a week after Macclesfield half, & almost 4 minutes faster. Julia Foy followed, beating last years’ time, & was very pleased with a sub 2 hour run. Ruth Amin 3rd home for the club, pleased with an ‘only slightly slower than Wilmslow’ time, despite the hills & a lack of long distance running in the approach!
To summarise, a well marshalled race, where runners and cyclists owned the country lanes, with the best goody bag I’ve ever seen. Cracking value & a must do for next year. RA
Sunday 11th September 2016
The curtain fell on the long spring / summer season in the tranquil surroundings of Blackleach Country Park. The green oasis nestling in bustling north Salford, was the perfect backdrop to the final race of the BVR championship. Whilst the leaves changing colour to browns and yellows signalled the approach of Autumn, the weather was favourable and the running conditions perfect. The soft September sun paired with a slight cooling breeze and a terrain which was largely dry underfoot. The 5-mile trail course, consisting of 2 laps of flat, steady paths, through woodland and around lakeside, was fast and ideal for quick finishing times. Notwithstanding the styles which could be hurdled at speed or for the less brave (including the author) stepped over at leisure. Runners were also helped by the impressive organisation of the host club Manchester YMCA Harriers, encouraging marshals and a supportive crowd gathered to watch.
At the start line the four assembled BVR runners were in a reflective mood, contemplating the past season: the highs, the lows, the near misses. These thoughts were all put aside however as the race got underway, focusing on maximum effort and one final push toward victory. First to finish was Vic Walsh in a time of 32.13. Next, in a breathtakingly exciting battle to the line was Damien Tolan in 37.56, very closely followed by Phoebe Willis in 38.00. The quartet was completed with BVR men’s cross country captain Patrick O’ Brien, majestically powering over the finishing line in a time of 39.53.
The race at an end, the results in, the season turned and the pages of history written. We now cast our thoughts to the next season: Halloween, bonfire night, Christmas. Running through the leaves, legs caked in cross country mud, shivering on start lines on cold, frosty mornings. The wind, the rain, the sleet and the snow. The pain and the glory. New races to run and new chapters to be written. VW
Congratulations to our Men’s and Women’s Champions for the Spring / Summer season – Vic Walsh and Ruth Amin – and to our Progress Award Winners – Nick Tynan and Yana Anderton. In the men’s competition, it was Men’s Captain Patrick O’Brien who got squeezed into second place, with Nick Tynan taking third. The women’s competition was a little more clear-cut, with Ruth leading from the front all season, with Julia Foy and Women’s Captain Annie Hirsch in second and third.
Thank you to Lisa and Leah for organising an excellent end-of-season awards curry and of course Lynda and Barry for all your hard work over the season. A fantastic turnout at the Kushoom Koly and lots of positive vibes for the coming Autumn / Winter season. First races will be Congleton Half Marathon (Sunday 2nd October) and Gin Pit 5 Miler (Sunday 9th October), followed by the first fixture of the Manchester Area XC League at Wythenshawe Park (Saturday 15th October). AT