NYSD XC Richmond – 3rd March 2024

by Sam Etherington

Fresh from Alnwick, myself & Amy headed to Richmond on the Sunday along with our parents & Bill (potential future mascot), to take on the last NYSD of the season and one of the more challenging of the courses.

Amy was first off in the senior ladies/vet 65 race which was 3 small loops (just shy of 4 mile), she got herself to the front of the line and off she went up to the old racecourse grandstand where the hill ends at the start of the lap, before a good downhill section towards old lines & the bottom of the hill at the other side. Amy came back from lap 1 as 10th female from our count but was gaining the further up the hill she went on her second lap. The course is good for seeing most of the race from one point but if you’re fast you can make it to the lines before the runners get there to support. By the start of the third lap Amy had made up 2 more places and continued to look strong on tired legs, from this she came back as the 6th senior lady; taking advantage of the hills when it counted!

Next up was myself, with 1 small lap & 3 large laps ahead of me, sharing the start line with a lot of good runners; including Firby who was repping Aycliffe as they prioritise the NYSD events and have a good field out at all events. I have been learning in recent XC’s that I need to stop going off too fast and it paid off at Alnwick and it did here too as I got off to a good start roughly 20th from the off, but had in my mind to latch onto Firby for as long as possible. This allowed me to get up a good few places to around 12th where I was feeling strong despite yesterdays antics.

On the first large lap I pushed on and gained 2 more places and felt as though was gaining on the next pack of 3 who seemed to be getting closer. However, by the end of the second large lap, I think me & the group in front tired at the same point and heading up the hill for our last lap we had pretty much cemented our places. But I was cautious as a familiar rival from Darlington AC was full pelt on the down hills after me so I couldn’t slack off. Holding on for the last lap I managed to take 10th and improved by over a minute from last years attempt.

Well done to all racing & another well organised event