Today I competed in my Thames Valley Cross Country which is the next level from my school event. I went into the race with the mind set of knowing I was capable of doing well but still have competitors with a high ability of doing well as well. This course has one large hill and this year I had to complete this hill two times, the course was muddy slippery and wet, so I knew that it wasn’t going to be a fast timed race.
I took it out from the front and knew I had to hold and try to gain to keep the lead. Coming up to the first hill I was already feeling some fatigue but despite that, I ran the whole hill which not many people do. This was an advantage as it gave me a slightly bigger lead once I reached the top.
Going down the hill I knew I needed to use the force and gravity to its advantage and just tried to go as fast as possible without slipping too much.
After the first lap I had about a 100m lead so I knew I was comfortable but not easily ahead and still needed to keep the pace up, the second lap was definitely more of a struggle and going back up to the hill I knew I just needed to get up it as fast as possible without stopping.
I pushed to the top, with a mixture of running and hands on knees fast walking and then gave as much as possible over the last 1km I continued to gain throughout this lap and finished a couple hundred meters in-front of second.
I was happy with how I took out the race. Having more competition on me would have probably pushed me a bit more but without it I am still pleased with everything.
This was my first year going into cross country having training and this has definitely helped me with advantages of knowing tactics and how I cope under different circumstances and this will continue to help me develop more with the more I train with Ray. Having done lots of longer distance runs this has definitely helped with my base endurance and recovery and when finished my body recovers pretty fast.
– Jessica Bray