National XC 2020


I meant to write a race-report straight after, but never got round to it. I remember thinking that this was the most enjoyable race I’d done all season and that ‘the National’ definitely lived up to the hype.


My memory of the race isn’t as fresh now, but I wrote this on my training log at the time:


“The race started just in time for the blizzard to get going so the first lap no one could see anything and just focused on the feet in front of them. Disaster struck 0.5 miles in when I had to stop and tie my shoelace; probably lost about 40 places for 10s stopping – managed to make most of them back though.

I was really happy with this race – pushed hard from the beginning, stayed strong throughout. For the last mile my legs felt utterly drained, but I had enough left in the tank to hold the pace/not concede any places. Had just enough energy for a sprint finish in the last stretch.

An incredible event this one – so busy that there was never any let up, complete focus required at all times.”


That night I sent the following text to Captain Ally as he was working on his tan in Seville:


“Disastrous start (lost 50 places or so when I had to stop and tie my lace) but otherwise f*cking class – muddy as blizzard f*ck conditions, a good laugh.”


Sounds about right.


Shout out to Rod for finding a nearly-new pair of spikes in the bin – clearly the beneficiary of someone else’s nightmare.

1 reply
  1. Ally
    Ally says:

    When we were sitting on our saville roof terrace enjoying a few refreshments and the reports of the minging weather at the Nationals started coming through I remember being quite smug to have missed it. A few months later I’d be more than grateful for a punishing thrash round a field, disasterous start and all! Good effort Jim.

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