British Sprint and Middle Championships 2012 – York

Having booked our accommodation and entered while I was fit and healthy I was a bit apprehensive on my way to the Start of the British Sprint Championships at York University on Saturday morning as I wasn’t feeling brilliant.  However, once I got going I really enjoyed the run, probably running slower than normal meant I was navigating better.  Only 3 of us made it into the A finals – Fiona on W35 who finished with a podium place in 2nd, Robin on M65 who was 5th, and me in 7th.  Barry had a good consolation run in winning the M40 B-final.  The last part of the Finals were round a tricky loop near the Finish with loads of controls to confuse the knackered. Jim returned from his cycle in time to watch the confusion and also cheer me into the Finish. The afternoon had turned into glorious weather and we had a nice sit in the sun before cycling back to the youth hostel.

Interestingly, the women’s elite winner disqualified herself as she realised she’d run through an out-of-bounds garden near the Finish.  On the ground it was just a few bushes with big gaps, but in full view of the spectators she avoided a lot of controversy by DQ’ing herself.  Officials promptly taped off the area to avoid anyone else doing the same thing, but this might result in different controversy as they made things different for later runners !

The British Middle Championships were held about 3 miles north-east of York at Strensall Arm Camp, a (very) flat area with lots of small features such as ditches, 1 foot deep depressions, man-made cairns and “significant trees”.  It was another glorious day though, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Most Reivers managed to make at least one cock-up but we did get one podium place – Kirstin had an excellent run to finish 3rd on W20E.  John finished 6th equal on M55 but had trouble reading some of the colours on the map.  Barry had another good one, finishing 12th on the competitive M40 class and getting a championship standard time.  I had a slow (but mainly sure) run round and finished slightly less puggled than the day before.

I hadn’’t done these races before but I really enjoyed the format – 2 short and 1 medium race in one weekend.  All the courses had short legs and lots of changes of direction, so quick decision-making was needed rather than taking time to plan a good route.  The 2013 event is at Loughborough and Matlock, and is definitely worth considering again.