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Monday, 5 January 2015

The Battle of Bexhill - Sussex XC Champs 2015

Across the country each (ok most) counties County Cross Country (XC) Championships were being held on Saturday. We were at Sussex's, this year held at Bexhill on the common.

Friday was a nice dry day until it started raining. The forecast until then had been "firm under foot" for Bexhill. By the time the rain had passed and the forecast had changed to even more rain constantly overnight, so by the time Saturday morning arrived and it was down to a mizzly mist with passing showers it was standing water an inch deep on very soft grass and ground that even under the trees in the woods had turned into a muddy slush. Unless you were on the paths, every step was at least an inch deep into something, making the going extremely hard for everyone, even in spikes.

The cloud cover hadn't improved much - ie it was dard - for the photographic the light levels in the open were ISO 4000 1/1000 F3.5 and then in the woods - we happily hit ISO 10000 1/500 F3.2 - and this is in the EV levels where the focussing struggles to actually see what is going on.

Thankfully some of our cameras can run at ISO10000 without noticeable noise/grain - so we can do a decent job in these conditions ! Some people asked why I had a portable LED floodlight - the obvious answer is - because I needed it - and it did make a significant difference in the woods. Apologies to any runners who were a bit blinded by it, I did try to put it to the side for you so you didn't have to look at it.

So - here's those links for the gallery, results and a cracking report written by Kev Mason on the SEAA website. Even being there I hadn't seen what happened on the Women's Race as I wasn't stationed at the finish - so it makes for a good read. 

Race  Gallery link
The Sussex Cross Country Championships 2015

Results (including your race numbers)


In case you missed them:

RaceRace Gallery
Serpentine NYD 10k 2015
Brutal Longmoor 2015

It's probably unfair to focus on one particular age group from the Bexhill XC champs - but suffice to say the Men's race was a close run battle with the lead changing regularly for a final 3 second win after the four laps. 

One final thing - a quick request for the club coaches and managers - please make sure you tell the parents of the younger age group races that the photos are online - we had several requests and questions on the day, but we can't always get to tell everyone supporting (despite the flags and flyers in the hall) where to find them - so your help in ensuring that the runners and more importantly the parents know where they can get the photos from of this epic day out is helpful for everyone. Thank you !

Here's a quick selection of what happened around the course - there was one pothole that caught a few of you out, experienced and new, young and old alike !

The start of the U15 race

Even the grass was ankle deep and soft

*THAT* puddle

Chichester enjoyed the run out

This Burgess Hill Runner wore shoes this year, not sure they were the right ones ? 

Always a reason to smile when you borrow someone else's spikes to run in mud like this...

Emily Tangoed her way around the course

All smiles through the easy mud for Horsham

Lewes battled around the course early on

Bring spare clothes even if you don't fall

Very strong performance from Brighton & Hove

Downed for a split second - Kevin still took 4th

Jon and Ben raced it all the way to the end
Extra balancing required
mud monstering from Eastbourne
Only one MoBot all day
Sam checks here team mate. No she didn't push her...
Emma led the Womens race on the second lap
Cathy twisted and turned her way through the mud
Full Battle Cry
The pothole of doom did catch a few people out worse than others...

Very well done to all of you who survived the Battle of Bexhill, and hope to see many of you at the SEAA championships at Stanmer Park on the 24th of January.
Excellent organisation by Hastings AC, in what were frankly terrible conditions.

Coming up in January
So we now have the annual first weekend of the year free - a combination of post-christmas events and there is the AAT-G3 race series on saturday, but as we're not covering it this year, I might actually run it - although my achilles might need a minor miracle this week to achieve that. 

Some quick entry links
Watford Half Marathon (new course)

So, very best of luck with the continuing winter training, very well done to everyone at Bexhill, and congratulations to the winners and winning teams - and also to everyone for taking part and making it such a great event !

Until next time
p.s. you can now post comments directly on the SSP gallery for your facebook timeline - saves you time and makes it easy to share what you did at the weekend...

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