It must be roughly 23 years since I last did a cross-country race. I represented my school in the district cross-country championship and did pretty well to be honest. But I can't think of a single occasion in those last 23 years, where I thought "I really must get back into cross-country running!". Not once!
So why on earth am I considering it now?
Well I joined a running club (Sphinx AC) this year and running clubs do cross-country, or so I'm told. The first race of the year is this Saturday (10th November) and it just sounds like great fun.
Back in my school days I was one of the better cross-country runners in my year group. But being a footballer at heart, I only did the cross-country because I was told I had to. No cross-country, no football I was repeatedly told. I was always trying to get out of the training and the races, but never managed it.
Jump forward to now and I am actually looking forward to it. I can't wait to see what it's like. I'm looking forward to being part of a team again. It's been about 5 years since my competitive football days came to an end and I suppose that was my last team sport event. I really like the idea of all the club runners trying our best to beat runners from other clubs and all of our efforts counting towards the same result. Should be a great team bonding event.
Apparently it's going to get a bit muddy and messy. No great surprise there. Not quite what I'm used to. I suppose I'll just have to get over the fact that the brand spanking new pair of Saucony Grid Cohesion Trail shoes that have been sitting in their box under my bed for the last 2 months are not going to brand spanking new come Saturday afternoon.
The only other real question is whether I can risk doing parkrun in the morning and cross-country in the afternoon. At training on Thursday evening, the club coach for the men's team suggested that doing both would be a bad idea. I can't help but agree, but now that I am closing in on my 100 club top, I don't want to miss any at all.
Anyway, looking forward to it, so bring it on and lets see just how cross-country now compares to my school days. Somehow I think it's going to be a lot more fun!