This year’s Saucony English National Cross Country Championships goes down as one of the muddiest ever. With lots of athletes loving the conditions, and a seemingly equal number others hating them it certainly had a marmite feel about it! The conditions certainly were a big talking point on social media and all the champions had to work hard to win their titles.
Numbers wise a total of 5008 runners were recorded as finished, this ranked as the 5th best since the 10 race format came into play back in 2003, 18 years ago. However, when comparing numbers to races previously held in the Midlands this came in second to the Nottingham 2017 event, where 5194 finished. Without the uncertainties about travel, parking and the ground conditions the numbers could easily have been closer.
There were no records among the age groups, unsurprisingly, however 920 senior women were recorded as finished, the 3rd best since the joint championships first took place in 1995. Numbers in the U15G – 395, U17W – 258, JW – 131, U15B – 364, U17M – 286 were all up on last year at Harewood House, Leeds but the senior men’s numbers fell by 300.
Looking at the percentage of those that ran compared with those that entered, the record is 67.4% in 2018 at Parliament Hill, since then 2019 the figure was 67.2% and this year 65.8% however that is larger than when the event was last held at Wollaton in 2017 when the figure was 64%. A great turnout given conditions.