Female M45 Bronze medal team.
Ever wondered about participating in the Cross-Country events? Here are ten great reasons from our Cross-Country Officer, Pete McNally, on why you should definitely give it a shot!
It’s completely FREE! There are some clubs that ask their members to pay to enter these races but not at Redhill Road Runners
Will do wonders for your strength and endurance and may help you get your Parkrun or 10k PB
Takes you off the road, so if you are struggling with any niggles then the lower impact might feel easier on your joints
Great for mental health to be running through trees, grass and even the mud!
A great way to help build Redhill Road Runners team spirit… the more runners, the better
It’s a real achievement to conquer the hills, mud and the cold weather
Sometimes it's nice to forget about your watch. All runs are totally different, even on the same course so the minute miles or time you do is irrelevant - you could leave your Garmin at home
Races include all kinds of runners; fast, slow, old, young, men and women
The atmosphere and support of the spectators, who will shout “go on Redhill” as you go past
It is competitive, but it’s also fun!
Redhill Road Runners participates in two Cross-Country Leagues, as well as several Cross-Country relays… here is your handy guide to what you can look forward to over the winter months. If you want to find out more information, please reach out to our Cross-Country Officers, Pete McNally and Paul Newton, who are happy to help and are usually in attendance at many of the events for race day support too.
North Midlands League
The North Midlands League is a high-standard league with about 300 people taking part (200 men and 100 women). It consists of a series of four races, taking place on a Saturday afternoon from October through to January. The men’s races are usually around 10k, with the women’s race distance being 6k, sometimes three or four lap courses. Although the standard is high, with some very fast runners, they really do cater for all abilities. Also with Junior races taking place on the same day, you may find that youngsters suddenly end up running past you. The good news, if you don’t like mud, is they tend not to be too muddy or difficult. The races are a bit like running around Bestwood Country park or even a golf course or football pitches. The possible exception is Shipley Country Park which is hilly and can be very muddy depending on the weather at that time of year.
Check out the website www.northmidsxcleague.co.uk for more information and results.
East Midlands League
This league is just for the local Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire clubs so there are fewer runners, but the events take place at traditional cross-country courses so expect there to be mud and hills! Ask any club member who has ever run Colwick Woods what it’s like, and you’ll either get a smile or a sneer! The East Midlands league is a series of four races, taking place on a Sunday morning at 11 a.m., usually in January and February. Men and women start at the same time, but the women run one lap (approx. 5k), the men run two laps (approx. 10k).
Check out the Redhill Road Runners website for the dates and venues for the East Midlands League.
How do I participate in the Cross-Country league events?
Interested? Then all you need to do is turn up to the event, wearing your Redhill club vest. At the end of the race, you will be given a finish token which you’ll need to take to the RRR representatives (usually Pete McNally or Paul Newton) and give then your name, age and category so they can log your result.
What else should I know?
Many members ask what is best to wear for cross-country. This largely comes down to personal choice and it does depend on the course and weather conditions. You will need some shoes with good grip so it’s a good idea to have some XC spikes for the muddy courses, although fell or trail shoes will suffice for some of the easier courses. It is strongly recommended that you DO NOT wear road shoes as you run the risk of injury. If you need any further advice, then contact Pete or Paul and they’ll be happy to speak with you and share their expertise.
With so many events, you could end up racing every single weekend from October through to January so please do speak to the club coaches for advice on what they would recommend so that you do not burn-out. Whilst it is great to see members at Cross-Country events, if you run at every event, you won’t be running at your best for every single race. Some members will treat the league races as a tempo run rather than a flat-out race but speak to the club coaches and decide what is best for you.
If you’re keen to experience the atmosphere of Cross-Country but are not able to run, then the club is always on the lookout for volunteers to come along and be cheerleaders, collect tokens at the end of races and generally give a well done pat on the back to all the runners.
Other Cross-Country Events
The club also enters individual runners for the following events:
Bulwell 5/7 – A local race, usually held some time in November. The race is seven miles for men and five miles for the women
County Cross-Country Championships – This event is normally held the first available Saturday in January. You must have been born in Nottinghamshire or have been a resident in Nottinghamshire for nine months to qualify for the County Championships.
Midlands Cross-Country Championships – The next step up from the County Championships. Again, this is usually on a Saturday but with more runners taking part from across the region.
National Cross-Country Championships - The next step up from the Midlands. This event moves around the country, being hosted in the North, Midlands and South of the country. For many of us, this is the highest standard of event that you can compete in.
For the above events, you do need to be entered by your club and you will have to wear a number, pinned to your Redhill club vest. Keep an eye on the club website for details, times and venues.
Cross-Country Relays & Masters Events
There are numerous Cross-Country Relays and Masters (men and women over the age of 35) events throughout the season. Just like the National Cross-Country Championships, but a relay with men and women running different distances and races.
National Cross-Country Relays – Usually held at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield
Masters Cross-Country Relays – Usually held at Long Eaton
Midlands Cross-Country Relays – Keep an eye on the Redhill Road Runners web
Remember that you do need to be entered for the County, Midlands, National and Relay events so please speak to one of the Cross-Country Officers or another member of the RRR committee if you need any help.