With the sun shining and temperatures in the high teens, it was more akin to a summers day than the start of the cross country season. Although still just slowly building up some base miles I'm thinking that the Harrier League will be a good way to get back into the habit of turning out for a race.
So armed with a pair of brand new cross country spikes I headed off to Cramlington and the first NEHL meeting of the season. Despite some efforts by the weather earlier in the week to provide some mud the course was firm and dry as I settled in well down the field, intent on just getting in some harder miles than I would if I had went out on a normal training run.
With 590 finishers in the men's race and 333 in the women's race plus a full programme of races for under 11,s, 13's, 15's and 17's and under 20 girls, the current popularity of cross country looks set to continue.
I don't think I will be running the Sherman Cup race at the end of the month but I fully intend to turn out at the next league meeting at Akley Heads, where with a few more weeks training I should be able to improve on this 'benchmark' run