BUCS Cross-Country Championships 2013 - Leeds

Friday the 1st February saw the Haries descend upon Leeds for the BUCS cross-country championships. A total of 30 runners and a handful of supporters made the journey down south and spent the night carb-loading in Pizza Express in prep for their biggest annual race of the year the following day.

An early rise was soon sorted with an excessive amount of porridge pots and coffee, before the Haries made tracks to Boddington Hall playing fields, just North of the centre of Leeds.

Saturday morning tweets from Leeds University described a frozen course with the potential to turn into a “mud bath”. They weren’t lying. It was the type of course where each runner looked forward to the mud only being ankle deep.

The team were met with sodden ground which was soon to take a turn for the worse. The Men’s A race was off first, which saw each university allowed to enter their top 6 runners for a 9.8km long course. As the race progressed the ground continually became more and more churned up making conditions increasingly more difficult to run in. Max Ralston soldiered on through the mud bath, overtaking Patryk Gierjatowicz on the final lap to finish 35th, with Patryk coming home in 43rd. Andrew Christy and Jamie Stevenson completed the team in 53rd and 75th respectively to help Edinburgh secure an overall team place of 10th out of 53 complete teams. Tom Martyn (85th) and Arjuna Sivakumaran (94th) weren’t far behind as they finished in the top 100 in a 320 man race. Brilliant performances from the Haries A team considering 2 of their top runners dropped out due to injury prior to the race.

It was then on to the women’s race which covered 6.55 kilometres of pure mud. Once again the team had suffered drop outs due to injury but this didn’t stop the Haries from digging deep. Sarah Potter led the team home in 52nd, with Kirstin Maxwell (61st) and ladies captain Jenny Dybeck (90th) also placing in the top 100, thus placing them 14th team home in a field of 51 teams (459 runners). A total of 10 other Haries completed the women’s race: Baxter, E (106th); Langham, H (120th); Tindley, G (149th); Pollock, E (255th); Henderson, S (282nd); Croney, R (312nd); Williams, C (329th); Rudolfsdottir, D (348th); Vicary, J (400th); Pollock, K (419th).

The day was then concluded with the final race of this years BUCS championships – the Men’s B race. 417 athletes completed the 7.5km course which by the end of the day could only be described as the closest thing to a medieval battle you’ll ever experience as students charged through knee deep mud covered in blood, sweat and even tears. 11 haries marched on through the pain as Callum Mason finished first home in 58th with Ben Stevenson (87th) and men’s captain Danny Ashworth (109th) not far behind. The team of four was then completed with Scott Stirling in 152nd, placing them 25th out of 82 teams. The second team finished 46th: Campbell, C (167th); Colquhoun, N (191st); Parson, R (200th); Stradling, H (225th). Yells, J (246th) and Bryson, J (339th) also finished the gruelling race.

With the day of racing complete, the Haries then turned to what some might consider the most important event of the weekend: the social. Hundreds of students headed to the Leeds student union for a night of mayhem which involved a foam party. A great chance to cleanse yourself of any dirt still lingering, or in the case of Patryk, to get down and dirty on the dancefloor. You can find a very enthusiastic report of the goss in Neil's social report.

Overall BUCS 2013 championships proved to be a successful one for the Hare and Hounds. Placing as top Scottish university in all 3 races and improving on both the Men’s A and B results from last year, the Haries certainly showed us why the future is not only bright, but it is also green.

Full Results can be found here: http://www.chipresults.co.uk/Default.aspx