With Storm Freya bearing down, the course designers tried hard to please the weather gods, with offerings of lactic acid and muscle cramps courtesy of a deceptive ascent from the start to ‘A’, an in-your-face climb from 'B' to 'H', a stone path that had the 'long spikes vs. short spikes vs. trail shoes' debate going all morning, and an array of rabbit holes on the run-in that would not have looked out of place in Watership Down. It was not enough, and the wind and rain lashed down mercilessly turning the hill at the top of the course into a real life slippery slope and leaving craters and puddles oozing with mud. That the course designers had done well was evident in the 'colourfully appreciative' feedback from the Seniors as they crossed the line.
Undeterred, the youngsters turned the early races into a Radley romp with Cecilia the 1st U9 girl home, Quinn the 1st U13 boy and Will and Rory 2nd in the U15 and U11 boys by the narrowest of margins. Cameron continues to go from strength to strength in his first season coming 3rd in the U13 boys and there were also top 5 finishes for Edward (U9), Serena (U9), Jonas (U11), Freddie (U13) and Johnny and Rowan (U15). Other top 10 finishers included Roxy (U13), Ralph and George (both U11), and there were excellent performances throughout the middle orders with each athlete achieving their own personal goals, bettering past performances and gaining valuable experience in what everyone agreed was "proper cross-country" to finish off the series.
The club extends its thanks to the officials and administrators who make the Oxon XC league possible, all the volunteers throughout this season and especially those that helped on the day notably David M-I for grace under pressure, Melanie and Team What's App for covering all the bases, Coaches Wendy and Mick for their time and support, and all the other parents and relatives who have given so generously of their time; from Tuan, up early on Saturday morning to set up the course, to Cameron's Grandad who set about taking it down again on Sunday afternoon.
See you again in Autumn 2019!