Tuesday 21 November 2017

Kent Cross Country League 2017/18: Foots Cray Meadows

Foots Cray Meadows is located on the banks of the river cray and consists of parkland and woodland. Formerly part of the grounds of Footscray Place, a country house built in 1754, it is now a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. The house itself was demolished in 1950 following a fire a year earlier.

This was the venue for the third race of the Kent Cross Country League of the 2017-18 season. This was the first race of the season so far where I was sure that cross-country spikes would be the best option and as the race progressed I was pleased to have chosen them.

The course here is generally quite flat, but there are a few long, gentle inclines to deal with. The 10k course is made up of three laps with the first being shorter than laps two and three. Underfoot was fairly soft as we had experienced a bit of rain in the lead up to the race.

As for my race, I started quite far back in the pack, but due to the quality of the field at this series of races, I didn't really lose any time in the early congestion. The race panned out pretty well and I found that I was generally picking my way through the field.

Although the paths are generally a decent width, there are some sections where the course goes down to a single track path with long grass meadows on either side, so overtaking can be difficult at times. Strangely, the most difficult part of the course was quite a flat section which seemed to have a head wind and longer, clumpy grass to negotiate.

I finished in a higher position than I had in the first two races so it was nice to feel like I was improving as the season progressed.


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