Friday, 17 August 2018

Video : RR10 Summer XC League - A Runner's Eye-view!

Every year eleven Hampshire running clubs congregate on 11 Wednesday evenings from May until August at various off-road venues in the south of the county to contest the RR10 race league. Originally conceived as a inter-club road racing series (hence the 'RR' title!) in c.1983, my club the New Forest Runners was one of the founders and the club continues the long tradition of taking part in the league 35 years later. Malcolm Price has written an excellent short history of the RR10 league which can be found on the league website at . Set on a variety of off-road courses and measuring between 4 and 5 miles long the races are hugely popular and fiercely contested throughout the field of runners! It was an RR10 race (Deerleap Enclosure near Ashurst) where I first donned a NFR vest in anger, coming in 74th place. RR10s are all about finishing position, not time...
New Forest Runners RR10 Team c.2011
Despite what it might look like I am far from being in the lead!

In my first RR10 season I was 29th overall (you need to complete a minimum of 6 races to get an individual ranking). I only got in 5 races in 2012 (2x10th, 2x13th & a 16th), but in 2013 came 9th overall in the mens standings (7,8,9,10,10&18th). I missed out on RR10 fun for the next 4 years and finally made a return this year. My results have been a bit varied but I ended up =10th with 3rd, 18th, 13th, 8th, 9th, and 18th. This was mostly due to trying to combine mid-week XC racing with higher mileage training for the pair of 50k trail races I was planning to do!

The final race of 2018 (and every league) was held at the IBM Park in Hursley. Whilst definitely 'light' on the cross country levels (read no mud, lots of gravel paths) it's a great race to end each year with. The turn out is usually high as clubs muster as many runners as possible to hopefully improve or defend team positions in the overall standings. This year I had very low expectations of my abilities, since I'd raced a trail 50k at the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 event only 3 days earlier (blog to come on that one soon...), so my legs were in far from ideal condition to say the least! As a result I decided to just run round with as much effort as my legs would allow and film the race from the runner's perspective at the same time. As it turns out although my legs didn't feel wonderful I still managed to coax a reasonable run out of them finishing in 20th place.

So here are a couple of videos of most of the race (split up as YouTube has a 15min limit). As it's a 3 lap course I think I got a fair amount of the field into the footage and hopefully a few more in the section at the finish line taken after I'd stopped.... enjoy and feel free to share with running club friends!

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