The Yorkshire, Northern and National Cross Country Championships 2016

We know that lots of you really enjoy cross country running as we always get great turnouts in the PECO XC series every year and the Hyde Park Harriers have some very good cross country runners as well. However there are three other great cross country races that Hyde Park Harriers do every year and if you fancy joining in the fun this time around then here’s what you need to do.

The three top cross country running races for Yorkshire based running clubs are the Yorkshire, Northern and English National Cross Country Championships. As suggested by the names these cover successively expanding regions with the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships being restricted to runners from clubs from North, South and West Yorkshire (not East Yorkshire), the Northern Athletics covering club runners from the Northern Counties of England and the English National Cross Country Championships covering the whole of England. The races take place on Saturdays in January and February starting with the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships in early January, then the Northerns at the end of January and the Nationals towards the end of February. In all the events there are separate races for the ladies, men and various junior categories.

Entries are done by club team managers rather than individuals and this year it’s me (Ken Fox) dealing with the HPH men’s entries and Rachel Bourne sorting out the HPH ladies. Now unlike the PECO XCs there’s no entry on the day for any of these races. You have to enter well in advance. So if you fancy having a go at any of these then you need to get a few details and your entry fees to us before the closing dates so we can enter you in the teams. Race entry fees are really cheap compared to many road races – just £6 for the Yorkshire and £7 each for the Northern and National Championships. We can enter as many runners as we like in each race and you don’t have to qualify with a fast previous race time. As well as being individual competitions there are also team competitions. For a men’s club team to count in the team competitions it needs 6 finishers and for a women’s team to count it needs 4 finishers. So it would be great if we could get enough runners in each race to make up a team. So at least 6 men and 4 women entered from Hyde Park Harriers in each race would be very nice.

The courses are all “proper” cross county courses of about 12km for the men’s races and 8km for the women’s. They all have a lot of hills and usually mud and occasionally snow. They are all suitable for running in cross country spikes or off road shoes. Getting to the races is just doable on public transport, but we usually manage to get enough Harriers with cars to give lifts to those without. So we can sort out transport once we know who is running.

Here are the details of the races.

Yorkshire Cross Country Championships
Web site: http://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/yorkshire-county-aa-cross-country-championships/
Saturday 9th January 2016
Lightwater Valley, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3HT
Senior Women’s Race – 7.80km at 1:30pm
Senior Men’s Race – 10.4km (they said this last year but it was really 11km) at 2:10pm
Entry Fee £6
Additional information: To run in this you need to either have been born in or have lived for the last nine months in West, North or South Yorkshire. The entry form asks whether you qualify by Birth or Residence so let us know which. Also we need your England Athletics No and date of birth – but we already have these from our club secretary Richard Edwards so if you haven’t got them handy we can probably look them up. They also want your address and phone number which you will have to let us know. They ask if you want to be considered to represent Yorkshire in the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships later in the year (in Birmingham on Saturday 12th March 2016). I always say Yes even though I haven’t got a chance of ever finishing high enough up the field (in the top 6) to make the team. I can dream.
Last year there were 230 finishers in the Senior Men’s Race. It was won by Jonathan Thewlis of Notts AC in 35:44. Chris Mann was top Hyde Park Harrier in 77th place in 42:40, Dan Waas finished in 194th place in 52:11, three seconds ahead of me. Leeds City AC were the top Senior Men’s team. There were 165 finishers in the Senior Women’s Race. It was won by Sonia Lee of City of Sheffield AC in 33:11. No HPH Women entered. Rotherham Harriers were the top Senior Women’s team.
Postal Entry Only. Closing date: Wednesday 9th December. We will be posting the HPH entry forms off First Class on Monday 7th December. So please get your entry fee and details to us before then.
My Garmin track in last year’s Senior Men’s Race at the same venue: https://connect.garmin.com/activity/670189165

Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships
Web site: http://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-cross-country-championships/
Saturday 30th January 2016
Witton Park, Blackburn
Senior Women’s Race – 8km at 2:15pm
Senior Men’s Race – 12km at 3:05pm
Entry Fee: £7
Additional information: On the entry form they ask for qualification Residence or Birth for this one as well so I guess the same conditions apply as for the Yorkshire’s. So let me know which one applies for you. Entry is online, so no worrying about the postal service. Closing date for entries hasn’t been announced yet but will probably be around Friday 9th January 2016, so please get your entry fee and details to us before then. We will enter the HPH teams online on the closing date.
Last year there were 698 finishers in the Senior Men’s Race at Pontefract Racecourse. It was won by Andrew Davies of Stockport Harriers & AC in 37:44, just ahead of Alistair Brownlee of Bingley Harriers & AC. Scott Henderson was highest placed Hyde Park Harrier finishing in 369th place in 50:32 ahead of Colin Tranter in 432nd place in 52:49. Ken Fox was 531st in 56:33, Dan Waas 612th in 1:00:42 and James Booth 616th in 1:00:57. Morpeth Harriers were the top Senior Men’s team ahead of Stockport Harriers and Leeds City AC. There were 343 finishers in the Senior Women’s Race. It was won by Elle Vernon of Stockport Harriers in 28:22. Highest placed Hyde Park Harrier was Rebecca Rogers in 187th place in 40:15 and Monica Padilla was 216th in 42:01. Rotherham Harriers were top Senior Women’s team ahead of Liverpool Harriers and Leeds City AC.

The Saucony English National Cross Country Championships
Web site: http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/the-national-cross-country-championships/
Saturday 27th February 2016
Donington Park, Castle Donington DE74 2RP
Senior Women’s Race – 8km at 2:20pm
Senior Men’s Race – 12km at 3:00pm
Entry Fee: £7
Additional information: The English National Cross Country Championships have an impressive history. Since the first running in 1876 they have been graced by the cream of the country’s middle and long distance runners. Previous winners include Frank Aaron, Gordon Pirie, Ron Hill, David Bedford, Brendan Foster, Bernie Ford, Julian Goater, Mike McLeod, Tim Hutchings, Eamonn Martin and Richard Nerurkar.
Entry is online. Closing date for entries is Wednesday 13th January. Once again please get your entry fee and details to us before then and we will enter the team online on the closing date.
Last year there were 2007 finishers in the Senior Men’s Race at Parliament Hill in London that was won by Charlie Hulson of Sale Harriers in 39:12. Only two Hyde Park Harriers made it down to London. Ken Fox was 1580th in 1:02:16 and Dan Waas was 1771st in 1:06:23. Notts AC were top Senior Men’s team ahead of Bedford & County AC and Leeds City AC. There were 865 finishers in Senior Women’s Race that was won by Lillian Partridge of Aldershot Farnham & District in 30:07. Aldershot Farnham & District were the top Senior Women’s team. No HPH Women entered.

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If you’ve got any queries about the races then just get in touch with me (Ken Fox) or Rachel. I’m usually at Woodhouse Moor parkrun on Saturday mornings, I’m also planning on being at all the upcoming PECO XC races. And I’ll probably pop down to the Edge on a few Tuesday evenings before HPH Run Club. Rachel is often at Run Club on Tuesday evenings and the Strength & Speed Sessions on Thursday evenings.

About the Author

Mathematician, traffic modeller, wildlife and action photographer and Boston United historian. Also known to do a little bit of running.

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