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The Dirty (half) Dozen

The down-and-dirty winter contingent have been prolific of late. Whilst some members fold away their race gear as the nights draw in, others reach for the cross-country spikes.

Emma S, Rose W, Jenna G, Mick W, Steve C and CaniX partner Len have all been slogging through the mud and grime in the name of fun. Emma, Rose, Jenna and Mick (pic) all turned out for the second of the winter’s PECO cross-country events held at Middleton Park, Leeds. The course features some very fast and tricky descents through woodland and some brutal, eye-popping climbs. All completed the course without mishap. From the field of 301 ladies, Rose was positioned 126, Jenna 139 and Emma 140. In the men’s event, Mick managed a 114/393. All of these positions are highly credible: some of the finest runners in the county race the PECO series.

Meanwhile Steve C and Len managed to get visa’s to allow their entry into Yorkshire and took on the Long Distance Walking Association’s 10 mile festive Hangover Hike held on New Year’s day in the Pennine foothills. Don’t be fooled by the LDWA’s name. If anyone does actually walk these events, the walking is generally very spirited: many simply treat them as pure races. Just as the LDWA is something of a misnomer, in Steve’s case at least, the Hangover Hike was factually accurate. Fair to say that Len was the responsible adult on this occasion and a good job he did too. The duo beat their predicted time of two-and-a-half hours by about ten minutes.

In slightly more sanitised events, parkruns have again featured heavily in GV activity with members taking part in races at Bradford, Nostell Priory, Pontefract, Seaton (Devon) and Poole (Dorset).

Members active have included Emma S, Mick W, Rose W, Jenna G and a still-bleary-eyed-from-winter-hibernation Steve W.


Parkrun performance of the festive season goes to Mick W, who – on New Year’s Day – successfully did the Pontefract / Nostell priory double. The timing of these two races is set so that competitors can finish the Pontefract event, run six miles to the Nostell event, and – if they make it – earn the dubious pleasure of racing the lumpy 5K at Nostell on very wobbly legs.

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