Saturday 29th January saw the Northern Cross Country Championships at Pontefract Park Racecourse and Storm Malik did not deter Bolton Harriers duo Jordan Brophy and Rachel Bailey making the trip across the Pennines to take their place at the start. Horse Racing has taken place at the course for centuries but this was a day for a different type of thoroughbred on an undulating course through stiff winds and soft going underfoot.
Jordan described his senior men’s event. “This had been my first experience in the Northern League Cross Country and I thoroughly enjoyed the event. The conditions were dry but the wind speeds high. Once the starting pistol had been fired it created a stampede with the hustle and bustle for space in the first two kilometres. Upon reflection I now know that I naively allowed myself to be caught out by running too fast at the start of the event and this showed up in the latter stages. The event was meant to be 12.1k, although it ended up just over 13k and I finished in an overall time of 58 minutes 51 seconds. I’m not happy or disappointed with the result, I am considering this a bench mark and learning experience for next year’s event.”
Rachel is one of the more industrious and versatile athletes at Bolton Harriers and enters lots of events at different distances and on different surfaces throughout the year. She said “I was racing in the senior women for the first time, came in 85th out of 263, with a time of 39 minutes. It could have been better had I not had the discomfort of picking up a blood blister 3.5miles into the 5mile race. Good experience and I look forward to a busy year of racing.”