Race Recap: SEAA Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill

Note to self: next year, do not sign up to race every weekend for five weeks in a row. Less than a week after a great 10-mile road race, I was feeling less-than-enthusiastic to race again, but nonetheless dragged — well, cycled — myself over to Parliament Hill for the South of England Athletic Association’s (SEAA — the same organization that put on the London XC Champs in November) Cross Country Championships. This race featured similar Parliament Hill terrain, but the course was longer than November’s: up to 8km from 6km for the women, and the poor men had to run 15km instead of the usual 8km!

Remind me why I torture myself with this? Oh, right, for the muddy legs the glory, of course.

Anyone have a chisel to get the mud off? Photo credit: ESM.

Anyone have a chisel to get the mud off? Photo credit: ESM.

This weekend’s course had been graced with quite a bit of rain over the past week or so, which meant ankle-deep bogs — more like mud soup — at many points, and thick, sticky (and smelly) mud at others. Only on the two or three flat and dryish sections did I feel as if I were actually running forwards…until I would hit another deep patch and be slowed back down to a slog.

In a word, the course was horrible. Worse than the most recent Met League outing. And did I mention it was longer than usual? At least we had some sunshine during the race. But the ground conditions, coupled with my trying-not-to-get-burned-out brain, made it a tough race. I swear, only sheer willpower kept me moving and enabled me to finish (final time: 42:07 for the hilly, muddy 8km/5mi course). Others probably felt similarly — it wasn’t pretty, but we got through it. Well done, everyone! It certainly was a sight to see/be part of so many runners swarming across the playing fields and up Parliament Hill at the start.

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12 thoughts on “Race Recap: SEAA Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill

  1. timmarshall20 says:

    Haha excellent! I like the mud-soup image, I head one runner call it porridge yesterday, and it did smell weird in place you are right.Well done for cycling over before too, impressive!

      • timmarshall20 says:

        And did you cycle back? I saw on fb you are doing the Issues in Modern Culture course at UCL, I did that in Sep 2010-11. How are you finding it?

      • taplatt says:

        I did cycle back, again very slowly. What a coincidence that you also did the Issues in Modern Culture MA — overall, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Most of the literature is new for me, as I focused more on 19th-century stuff for my BA, so that’s both challenging and interesting. I’ve written a few blog posts about it on here. How did you find the MA?

      • timmarshall20 says:

        I found it pretty tough, it was a big step up from my BA. It was really interesting though and I like the idea of broadening the medium to encompass films, tv, music art etc as well as literature. Will check out some of your posts!

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