The Kent Fitness Cross Country league started on the 30th of October at Knole Park. This was a race that I haven’t run before as it always clashed with other races. I enjoy the Kent Fitness league as it is very friendly and I feel part of the team. One of my goals you may of read in a previous blog is to improve my running over the winter and I thought that doing the cross country league again this year would help me through the winter, ready for next year. So I set my target to place higher than last year in races; I finished 15th overall last year so any where near or better than that I will be happy with.
Being the first race it is always one of the largest turnouts of runners in fact nearly 600 runners. Despite still having this Achilles problem I am still able to run and train on it, but of course being careful and managing it. Despite not being fully fit I think I may not be far off where I was in the summer and hopefully can improve on this.
So I set my target for the race to place in the top 30, last year I was nearer to the 40 mark in some races. I decided to also run the first mile at a slower pace and try to get quicker throughout the 5.68 mile race.
The race soon started and I had lots of people going passed me, normally I go out fast and try to hang on in there. I started to stick to my plan and slowly started overtaking people. The course was bone dry and probably wasn’t the best idea wearing spikes. After two miles I felt good and was nearly coming up to the second lap, the course was very challenging with steep hills and inclines. I would push hard up the hills and then go really fast downhill.
I started to approach the 2nd lap and had a fellow Harrier come past me, so I encouraged him. I then decided at that point enough is enough and I need to start picking the pace up going quicker, which I did. I then got quicker each mile from there and I decided that the last mile I would go as quickly as I can. I had a large group in front of me and decided to get in the pack so I pushed as hard as I could taking a few places on the line.
I was really happy about my performance after the race, not only was it a nice race to do and probably my favourite cross country race now, I managed 29th. Although I was very happy with the placing and had beaten guys that I don’t normally beat, I was hoping to place higher. Because of the large turnout I think that’s why I didn’t, I now aim to place a lot higher if I can.