It wasn’t really the type of weather to go gadding around in a vest. In fact I would have been quite happy to not to leave the house at all. Nevertheless there was a great deal at stake for the Heaton ladies. After the previous fixture we seemed pretty much assured of promotion to Division 1. This was not enough, though: we wanted to be Division 2 champions and Sunderland were snapping at our heels. What we had not realised before the fixture is that Sunderland had been penalised at the last fixture through some vest/number mixing up issues. This was discovered in the pre-race toilet queue (a wait long enough to allow extended discussion of most issues). Nevertheless, we wanted to win in our own right, not because of some curious vest mis-management issue amongst the ladies of Sunderland, so we put our brave faces on and set forth to action.
There were relatively few of us compared to previous fixtures (the rearranged date had obviously caused some issues, or people may well be hibernating) so the pressure was on those who were there. Heaton ladies rose intrepidly to the occasions, bolstered by some new runners (Robin and Elaine) – what a day for a cross country debut! Both finished well up in the field and Elaine was our 3rd counter. Also new this season to the Heaton squad were Alison V and Danni and it was good to see them both competing again yesterday. Danni had a fantastic run -and was the star of the show- from fast pack to finish 4th overall – brilliant running. It was also lovely to have Alison J and Caroline back for the last fixture. Caroline put in a stalwart performance after completing an ultra last weekend. Alison was worried that a medium pack start and a lack of training was not necessarily a great combination; nevertheless she did us proud by coming in 4th counter (and providing lovely banana cake). Jo has been an absolute trooper, competing in almost every event and getting stronger and stronger (and making the most perfect millionaire’s shortbread). Judith can always be relied to turn out when the pressure is on and finished well up the field; she was very stoical, knowing how much she feels the cold.
We were 4th team on the day, doing plenty enough to secure our title as Division 2 winners. We did enough to ensure this in spite of Sunderland’s vest-swapping shenanigans too. In the individual Grand Prix, mention should do to Dani who finished in 3rd place among the senior women – an excellent achievement. Alison Janes was 19th. Well done all who have made a contribution to this victory by running this season at any of the 6 fixtures and thanks to Captain Lisa who has led us to victory. Not long to wait until next season …..