Record Numbers at the National XC

Records aplenty were created at Wollaton Park, Nottingham when the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships were staged there. On a sunny but windy day over 10,000 athletes and spectators attended the Championships creating a fantastic atmosphere and the local organisers Notts AC and Nottingham City Council put on a great event. As well as the overall big number there were a number of record fields of finishers from the 10 races in the programme.

It is now 20 years since the men and women’s events combined to stage a joint championships and 4686 finishers were recorded across the 10 events for a new record total. There were a number of individual race records, with the under 17 Women getting things going in race 1 where 211 athletes finished. There were further records in the junior women’s race where 134 finished and the senior women’s championship where 708 came home to the previous record by 58.

However, for the long term future of the Championships the numbers running the two under 13 categories were particularly pleasing as 431 finished in the girls’ race and 385 in the boys’ – again both record size fields. There were large numbers in the under 15 events also but not records this time with 355 and 346 for the respective girls’ and boys’ events. Numbers were also good but no records in the under 17 men where 272 finished and junior men where 187 crossed the finish line.

The huge field that lined up for the senior men’s race was spectacular to see and the 1657 who finished wearing timing chips, though not a record, compared well with 1790 finishers at Luton in 1995, or the 1948 finishers at Newark in 1996 when all restrictions on entries were lifted. Still a great number indeed. Also 127 Clubs fielded a team – the best number since 1999 at Newark when 133 closed in.

So, all in all, a fantastic event with the great history of the National maintained.

Ian Byett
ECCA Hon Sec