It was a blustery day for the second Birmingham cross country fixture at Cofton Park. An apparently warm day felt a lot colder in the strong gusting wind.
There was some concern about the strength and size of the team in the run up to the race. A couple of runners turned out with injury worries, there was no sign of Mike Ridley until five minutes before the race start, but in the end Newcastle had 8 runners on the startline.
The Cofton Park course was fairly dry (by xc standard) with a few testing climbs and some much needed fast descents with a good helping of wind!
First through the finish tape was Mike Ridley with a fantastic 11th placing, second was Steve Ratcliffe in 14th and 22nd was Tim Twentyman who did a strong run for his best xc league finish. Martin Bailey made forth chip in 121st with a fast run from the start and Mark Cooper 151st, which was a great result in new spikes and one hours sleep! Bruce Johnson took 6th chip in 173rd, creditable carrying a slight injury, Neil Gerrity did a fast sprint finish to 188th whilst Nigel Symms ran well to 238th.
The team finished on 492points which was an improvement by around 40pts from the first event. This leaves the team hovering just above the relegation zone, 14th out of 17 teams. So a strong turn out needed for the next race on the 16th January.
Neil liked the course so much he run an extra lap for a cool down! Good days racing had by all. Now onto the Christmas party….
(A slightly edited version of Bruce’s report, typed up as we drove home. Thanks Bruce.)