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The Ladies Retain Their XC Title !!!!!

Interclub XC Round 5 – Worksop


With the sun shining and a slight, fresh breeze in the air, the final race of the Interclub XC series was shaping up to be a good one. The trails around Manton Pit Wood consist of a lot of gravel and tree covered paths which meant the course was an opposite to the soggy, mud fest Killamarsh race the weekend before. Even though the Retford ladies’ team were pretty much a dead certain for the overall title, the team had a strong showing, with 21 runners pounding the paths. An additional 16 runners from the men’s team totaled us at 37 runners on the day.


The course began on a gravel path featuring some frozen puddles and headed up a slight gradient towards the bridge over the A57. An unfortunate gate closure and this bridge being crossed by runners four times at different points during the race, meant that the marshals had the tricky task of funneling everyone though the gap – to which they did an amazing job, thank you! A narrow, downhill path brushing through some prickly trees took us down to the muddy, golf course borders before looping around and back up to the A57 bridge. We headed back down to the start line towards the first lung-busting uphill section – a muddy path up through the trees towards the gravel path at the top. This guided us back to the bridge for the third crossing of the race and we found ourselves at the halfway point. This is where the real quad burning undulations of the course start. After the bridge, we headed up the gravel path to the highest point on the course, back down towards the industrious surroundings of the DHL warehouse and then back up hill for roughly half a mile. A tight left turn took us off the gravel and back into the mud. A steep descent led us back down to the golf course borders, and for those who have ran the course before, the feeling that the infamous “wall” was lurking around the corner! For those of you who don’t know, the “wall” is a sharp and slippery bank consisting of deep grooves, meaning you must pick your route wisely. Whilst it is short, on tired legs late on in the race, it takes a lot out of you! The saving grace is that once at the top, it is less than a mile to the finish line. After crossing the A57 bridge for the final time, the home straight is just around the bend. The slight, downhill gradient means that it can be a fast finish, and we saw some speedy sprints. A special shoutout to Alasdair who replicated his finish at Retford XC and was going hell for leather, overtaking at least two runners in the process!


Now for the race results. With 54 points, Retford ladies claimed first place. Another amazing race from Hannah Noble saw her finish in third place on the day – well done Hannah! With 155 points, Retford men finished in third place. George Page also managed third place on the day – well done George. 


It’s time for the series results. As expected, going into the final race, our ladies defended their series title for the third year in a row – an unbelievable achievement! Well done everyone. After Killamarsh, the men’s title was tied at the top between Clowne and Worksop. With 5 Worksop runners finishing in the top ten on the day, Worksop managed to claim their first ever men’s series title, beating Clowne by 1 point – congratulations to Worksop! There was an outside chance of Retford retaining the combined overall title, with Clowne leading this by 3 points, however it would have taken some doing. Unfortunately, we fell short, so congratulations to Clowne! We managed to hold on to second place however, which is a fantastic result considering we were up against a strong Worksop team who turned up in their numbers for their home meet.


Whilst it is a competitive series with friendly rivalries, it is also a great example of the social and welcoming side of running against other local clubs. On reflection, the fact that the three titles ended up going to three separate clubs is a nice result.


Roll on the 2025 series (but not too quickly)!

By George Page

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