Ravaged by injury, illness and shit excuses, a select bunch of DUAXC’s finest members plus their Interim Manager made their way to Edinburgh last Saturday. Surprisingly tolerable conditions made for a great day of racing and there were some superb performances. Unfortunately, none of these came from Durham athletes.
For the first time in the race’s history both the men and the women raced together over each of the two distances. The 5km was a ferocious affair throughout with Luke Piper (22nd) and Dylan Rigby (24th) leading the Durham charge. Next up was the big one, the 10k, and although DUAXC’s turn-out was lower than a Sam Shuttleworth social, all produced inspirational performances. These ranged from Jonathan Owen, who battled through a bad stitch to finish a credible 93rd, to Katie Iliffe. Katie was 10th female home and finished 87th overall, thereby utterly humiliating some of the ‘I run just to keep fit’ men. Perhaps, this is why the two genders have raced separately up until now. Equally, Alex Cook’s 33rd and Jonty de la Harpe’s 43rd in such a high quality race were also very impressive runs and worthy of mention. In the absence of yours truly, Tim Faes, Swansea’s Kristian Jones won the race in 30:26. Below is a summary of the two races.
5km (4.6km): Luke Piper (22nd overall), Dylan Rigby (24), Rohan Nawalrai (46), Zak Hussain (55), Stuart Fox (56) Catherine Gough (100/28th female), Adriana Torres-Plaza (219/114f). 238 finished the race.
10km (9.3km): Alex Cook (33), Jonty de la Harpe (43), Katie Iliffe (87/10f), Christian Martin-Redman (91), Jonathan Owen (93), Meriel Smithson (161/35f). 184 finished the race.
Many thanks to the coach driver from ‘Lee’s Coaches’, who filled in at the last minute despite being on holiday, and to Emily Strathdee, who ended up doing everything on the day.
Elsewhere, James Stockings was 25th at the MET league which, in James’ own words, is ‘the most competitive regional league in the country’. More locally, Joe ‘Sunglasses’ Armstrong ran 15:37 to win some #vouchers at the Heaton 5km. Joe, who employed Rudisha style tactics, led from gun to tape and cruised in giving a debut exhibition of the ‘Joe-bot’ as he crossed the line.
Things are looking up indeed as news has reached me that Team Durham’s talisman, Cam Field, is back from illness. Meanwhile, DUAXC legend Michael Cameron, now at University in Barcelona, has been banned from Spanish competition for some dodgy strava titles.
Now to competition time. The first is for the title of ‘DUAXC’s Most Dedicated Member’. Essentially, you get a point every time you represent Durham. Katie Iliffe and Zak Hussain currently lead with 3 points, while James Stockings is in 3rd with 2.5 (having gained 1.5 after running 2 legs at Manchester).
The ‘Performance of the Season’ award is currently shared between Cam Field for his emphatic PvP win and Ross Tennant for flying around Manchester.
Please note that if two awards are still tied come the end of the season the winner will be decided on attendance/performance at social events. My middle-long distance bias mean I will do everything to try and rig both events so that a sprinter, jumper or thrower cannot win either.
Keep (start) sending updates so I will not have to stalk you all.
With regards to the immediate future there are a few doing the Liverpool Cross Challenge in two weeks but, aside from that, full focus is on Leeds XC Relays on 3rd December. Leeds has an excellent social too with an Indian (curry) followed by a night out. Last year there was a good Durham contingent present but we were still heavily outnumbered by Manchester and Leeds so let’s try and do even better this year.
More seriously, the final point is that after the tragic events of last week in which two teenage girls lost their lives while out training please do everything you can to be as safe as possible while out on the roads.