British Universities Cross-Country 2014

BUCSXC this year was in Stirling and in my opinion it went exceedingly well! The course itself is a long-used one, with lots of twists and turns, a couple of mean hills and some foresty sections. It also has a couple of sections renowned for forming huge thick mud piles. With the rain and the wind, this year was no exception in that. 

First, the stats: the girls team overall was 7th (top 3 runners only so self obviously not included). I came in at 39:19, and I was really happy with how it went. Its roughly a 4 mi course but I didn't have my Garmin on so I have no idea the exact pacing. At the start I was really apprehensive- the field looked really fast and I was aware that it was a course I'd previously been really unhappy on. I was also aware that as the slowest of my running team girls present, no one would be running with me, despite the jokey chat about sticking together. However, by half way in I was really enjoying myself- loving bouncing about over the mud in my Inov8s (review on these coming soon); keeping inside my own head; and keeping constant pace. 

Its a cliche but I thought I really 'ran my own race'- I didn't get psyched out or try to speed off with everyone or drop into slower gear because of my own thought processes (a common one for me!). I felt really happy in the present because of that calm mental state, which is odd as I've done that exact course 3 times before and as I said not exactly loved it. I'll stop now, I sound like a yoga retreat advert. 

There were tons of us! Sadly no running picture of me

The boy's team also had a good race- 13th overall. Unfortunately Edinburgh beat us in both team races ;-)!

The night out was fun when it got started but was really very mixed up at the start. No insult is meant to any one person but there was a cock-up mix-up at Stirling Uni for sure. We were told tickets for the party would be sold at 9pm, however when our treasurer turned up to buy tickets at that exact time, we were told they were sold out. All 300 of them intended for runners on the door. The team was pretty let down by this but we elected to head to the union bar anyway, to hang out with other runners. A bouncer (who seemed to not know what event was going on) then insisted that bar was closing so we all had to go downstairs to the party (in the dance area). Obviously, without tickets, we couldn't. 

Luckily after asking the ticket seller she ensured the bar was kept open (I think this poor girl was absolutely getting it in the neck from everyone). In a swift turn of events 20 mins later our secretary obtained the bulk of the required tickets from a random Stirling committee member in the toilets. We then obtained the rest from the few that the ticket seller had left. We ended up having a good night but it was a bad start: visiting teams should not have to go on a wild goose chase-come-treasure hunt through the halls of Stirling Union to find tickets from random people who they didn't know were selling them when there is meant to be a dedicated ticket seller that they turned up at the correct time to buy from. As I said, I don't think anyone I spoke to was responsible but there was some major mess up, and it did effect the night out the teams had. 

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Done much cross country? Worst race? Best?

PS: Some of the other teams were hilarious; either very charming or the total opposite. One guy spent about ten minutes pretending to be french to us (we knew he wasn't immediately- one of our girls speaks fluently) and another told me at a bar 'The only way to get served is to wave a credit card in their faces' and proceeded to demonstrate. Dude, in Scotland that's not a way to get served, its the #1 way to get decked...


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