XC: Cross Country.
Something many of us were forced to do at school, or if you are like me you hid in a bush on the way and waited for everyone to come back, no? just me?
Back when I started running in 2012/13 I was encouraged to run XC with the Wimbledon Windmilers, but there were lots of things that put me off, I was a soft London pavement jogger and the list was long:
- It was competitive
- I hate team sports
- I didn’t really ‘get’ it
- It was segregated
- It was on a Saturday after my beloved parkrun
- I wouldn’t be good enough
Luckily, fast forward to 2015, and the friendliness and comraderie of the Datchet Dashers got me to my first XC. I even did one before I joined the club.
Datchet Dashers are in the Thames Valley Cross Country league (TVXC) which is a mixed league. None of that everyday sexism rubbish down here. We run the same distance as the men at the same time and enjoy tea and cake afterwards together as a club and with other clubs. One of the things I really like about the XC now is that I get to catch up with runners from other clubs that I know.
It’s cliche but as they say: Cross Country, it’s what winter mornings are made for.
After falling in love with my new club and cross country here are the things I love about it now:
- It’s as competitive as you want to make it
- I love that my team support each other no matter what
- Our league is mixed sex, so we all get to hang out together
- It’s on a Sunday so doesn’t interrupt with parkrun
- We cheer in EVERYONE as a team and it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are.
We are a really varied club with all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages, speeds, interests and motivations. We respect each other for getting out there in the mud no matter what. Some weeks you might find me with gritted teeth trying to nab a point, other weeks you might find me chatting my way round with a friend or new runner and this week you found me pull out half way and cheer for the second half. It doesn’t matter, I’m still a Dasher, still a runner and part of the fun and frolicks of Cross Country.
If you fancy giving XC a go, you can come with my any week for £3 (including the tea and cake), have a look at the fixtures and give me a shout. Or for a taste of off road running check out our club race coming up Dash in the Dark.
I say I’ll try anything once, this was one occasion where it really paid off.
Do you run with a club and do XC? If you’ve never tried it, what’s putting you off.
-non running posts