Northern XC Champs 2013
The inclement weather conditions for the Northern XC championships 2013 at Knowsley Park were to make it a memorable event with significant snow falling over the preceding week. This did not stop a determined bunch of Leeds City AC athletes making the expedition across the Pennines to get to the start line with 24 senior men and 5 senior women starting. The ladies having won the previous year had Susan Partridge and Claire Duck from last year’s winning team and combined with debutants Suzie Richards and Jess Learmouth were pleased to get into the medals just clinching Bronze from local rivals Holmfirth. Awaiting the start of the race and encapsulated in as much “Ronhill” kit as possible the men eagerly received feedback from the ladies that the conditions were horrendous and that the worst bit was cold feet. If ever there was an item of specialist kit missing it was Leeds City AC waterproof and heated socks!
The men’s race commenced as 600 competitors cut through the snow, slush and rapidly encroaching ice-mud with the volume of Leeds men running allowing for both simultaneous classic Leeds packing and a good spread over the top to mid end of the field. It was clear from the onset that the challenge would be laid down by Stockport Harriers who seemed to be packing with numbers “Leeds City style” right at the top end of the field. As the 3 laps unfolded the returning Dave Webb held his form to finish a strong 6th just 15 seconds off third placed Dan Garbutt with Stockport Harriers Steve Vernon (1st) and Pat Martin (2nd). The rest of the Leeds team was as “hotly” contested as ever with Danny Davis (9th) gliding around in his first senior XC championship race, Carl Smith (10th), Mike Burrett (15th), Alan Buckley (20th) and Chris Wright (25th) providing a team result of 84 points. A nervous wait ensued after the race as whilst 84 points would have been good enough to win in previous years Stockport Harriers had got their first 5 runner in the top 15. When the final results were announced Leeds City AC had piped Stockport Harriers by 23 points. With Stockport adding to their squad and the return of a few key runners to the Leeds City AC squad the National XC could be shaping up for some Northern dominance. Leeds City AC would like to thank Ronhill for all the kit provided which was certainly used to its fullest extent at the Northern XC.