Norfolk XC Championships – Sunday 7th January 2018
A fantastically bright January morning saw four Coltishall Jaguars travelling to the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford for the 2018 Norfolk Cross Country Championships. With over 450 competitors from all around Norfolk, ranging from under 11 to over 70 years of age, the atmosphere was bustling. A strong cold wind meant that most pre-race conversations deliberated whether to wear gloves or a hat or both. Fantastic to see so many junior runners braving the chilly weather and showing the adults how to run properly. Elly Young was the first Jaguar to race, in the women’s 6.8km event. Elly started off steadily but was well in contention with her peers. The women’s race was one long lap of the very exposed playing field and then two shorter laps of the heath land. Running was hard going, requiring total concentration on the frequent hazards; mole holes, tree routes and abrupt changes in surface and gradient. On the second lap Elly had moved through the field and with a fast finish attained an excellent fifth place in the 45-49 age category, in a time of 33:01 (4.51/km). The men’s race started afterwards. Neil Button (45-49yrs), Thomas Lincoln-Kemp (50-54yrs) and Jason Corner (40-44yrs) were in the men’s race. The course was the same as the women’s but with an extra loop making the distance 10.8km. All three men began cautiously, slowly working their way through the field of 142 runners, at one point Neil experimented with falling over, but subsequently decided an upright two legged running style was more effective. Jason did a very stylish sprint finish, unfortunately this was one lap too early, 7 miles is the furthest he has run and he had optimistically shortened the actual distance. Eventually a sea of orange approached the finish line, Neil was the first Jaguar in an impressive 48:56 (4.31/km) 11th in his age category, Jason fell over the line in 49.09 (4.33/km) 21st in his category.Thomas was next, excellently timing his sprint finish to perfection picking off one last competitor in the last twenty metres, finishing in 50:54 (4.42/km) 8th in his category. All the jaguars were new to cross country and despite it being a Norfolk Championship it was still a very inclusive event with a great supportive atmosphere. Next year let’s take a bigger team! Go Jags!