Southern League Cross Country 2017/18 Season

Summer over, kids back at school, no public holidays until Christmas, so what can we look forward to? Cross country of course. HRR fully supports and endorses cross country; we organise the Lord Wandsworth Series (open races for both children and adults) and participate in the Southern Cross Country League (SXCL).

Why do cross country?

It is fun, exciting, challenging and the camaraderie is 2nd to none.
From a more technical perspective, cross country running will increase your strength and endurance as you will work over a range of speeds across varied terrains on mixed surfaces.
The stabilising muscles and tendons around the ankles and knees work harder in response to the uneven surfaces underfoot. Stride length and cadence will also vary. Running uphill, navigating twists and turns will encourage a shorter and quicker stride pattern. Running downhill requires a longer stride length and more active use of the arms for counterbalance.
All this and the threshold workout is thrown in for free.
Many members train for the Fleet Half Marathon and/or a spring marathon. Building cross country into your training plan is beneficial and will pay big dividends in achieving your running goals.


Southern Cross Country League (SXCL)

Racing in this league is all about friendly competition and ensuring sure every participant enjoys it. The SXCL is a series of 6 cross country races aimed at runners of all abilities for 24 Hampshire based running clubs. It is organised and coordinated by Bob Ayer and representatives from each club. There is no requirement to register in advance and each race is free to enter. They are held on a Sunday morning starting at 11:00am.

Each race is organised by a host club with a typical race distance is 5 miles (8km) run on a mixture of trails, woodland paths, parkland, and fields etc. where you can be assured of hills and on a good day mud! Courses are well marked and marshalled, so no chance of getting lost.

After each race the host club provides refreshments (with cakes) at maximum cost of £2 max while results are prepared and presented. Most venues are very family friendly, so whilst you run, friends and family can be enjoying themselves elsewhere in the parks before they cheer you in at the finish and then share the cakes with you.

The SXCL is aimed at ordinary club runners (the ethos is inclusive with friendly competition) and as such it excludes very fast runners. Another cross country league exists i.e. the Hampshire XC League; here they exclude no runners. Races are by gender (6km for women and 10km for men) on a Saturday afternoon and are fiercely competitive attracting teams such as: AFD, Winchester and District etc. HRR is entitled to enter either league but took a decision to compete in the SXCL to ensure all of our members can participate.

How the scoring works.

Men and women compete in the same race as after you cross the finish line you will be given a token with your gender finishing position. These are added together for top 5 males and top 3 females from each club and the team with the lowest number wins.

Now for the important bit; it could be assumed that just sending the fastest 5 men and fastest 3 ladies is the best way to maximise chances of a good race position. Well actually no, the non-scorers from each club play a vital role for the clubs’ results. You may well be finishing ahead of scorers from other clubs, thus making a positive contribution to HRR by reducing the overall score of our competitors! From experience it has been proven that the bigger then team HRR fields in these events, the better our finishing position. In summary “Every Runner Counts” so please come along and support team HRR.

Rules for SXCL

(1) All runners must wear a club vest/tee shirt.

(2) The emphasis of this league is to provide the ordinary club member with the opportunity to participate in a series of multi-terrain events. To this extent it excludes runners with a pace of 5:30 minute/mile for men and 6:00 minute/mile for women. This translates to:

5 miles                27:30 men          30:00 women
10 Km                  34:11 men          37:17 women
10 miles              55:00 men          60:00 women.

2017/2018 Race Schedule

8th October        Bramley Forest (Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC)
12th November     Queen Elizabeth Country Park (Portsmouth Joggers)
10th December      Bourne Wood (Farnham Runners)
31st December      Lord Wandsworth College (HRR)
21st January       Manor Farm Country Park (Stubbington Green)
TBA February            Polecat Valley (Haslemere Borders)

As some of the venues are further afield; members operate informal car sharing to these races; most HRR’s are happy to offer a lift to fellow members. The weekly newsletter, HRR Facebook and HRR Twitter are used for communications about events. FB is a good forum for members to offer or request a lift to these events.

HRR has a good track record competing in cross country and hopefully this season we can challenge for a top position. Running as part of a team is a most enjoyable experience with the support and encouragement from you team members.

Your cross country captains Louise Apsey and Ged Ruffle welcome and encourage all members to participate in the Southern Cross Country League series. There is an extra dimension to running as part of a team, come along and experience the outstanding camaraderie first hand.