XC virgin needs advice

Ok so I am new to running did race for life 5k in May (34 mins) and then last sunday Tidworth 10k (1.10mins) and I run a few times a week road/woods/tracks around 5-7k most times.

I have found a XC Xmas run on Dec 6th one lap 8.5k says it has ditches and course is undulating, my question is having never entered a specific xc event before is that a generous way to describe a really hard core course? will I be totally out of my depth or is xc just another word for off road?...

 Sorry if this is a daft question but am really not down with the runnng lingo etc yet and don't want to enter an event that I'm not going to be able to finish. Don't care about getting muddy or wet am used to it as I have horses!

This is the race - http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/viewevent.asp?sp=&v=2&EN=51323


  • Go for it Chlobo - whats to be afraid of?  These type of races usually attract a huge range of abilities from elite racing snakes to "fun runners".  It will be muddy and hilly but probably great fun.  Just run it as you feel on the day - at these type of events you will be slower than you are on the road - but so will everyone else.  I'm not sure what you mean by "hard core".  One mans "hardcore" is another mans "easy" - it will be off road on mud (need good grippy shoes), through ditches (probably with water in) and with hills (I haven't looked at the actual event but do a lot of fell/trail/XC races.  I don't think you will need to worry about not finishing or being out of your depth - you'll love it! 
  • Just looked at the event - the results of last years event were between 31 mins - winner and 68 mins - final person - so really you will not be alone!  It's only 5.3 miles........... go on........... you know you want to.........image
  • PiersPiers ✭✭✭

    Oh I know this race and it's one of my favourites.

     You will get muddy and wet and that's part of the fun. Its run along a mixture of farm tracks, round the edge of fields through woods and you cross some streams (how wet you get depends on the size of the stream, which depends on how much rain we've had). It's not hard core and there are no silly gimmicks as there are in some of the other well known expensive events

    Our club makes every effort to have a big turn out with times from 35 - 50+ minutes and last time we had a big turnout (2007) there were nearly as many ladies as men running.

     As Tigerlily says you won't be out of your depth and you'll love it.

  • Is this the Suicide Six XC?
  • As someone who was fell running virgin til this year all i can say is - getting muddy just adds a whole new string of reasons to keep on running. Go for it.
  • PiersPiers ✭✭✭
    Tadley XC
  • Its the tadley XC event - wish I was near enough to enter
  • LOL PJAZ - I agree - it's like being a child again.......
  • Tigerlily wrote (see)
    LOL PJAZ - I agree - it's like being a child again.......


    Plus, I find organised fell events are, while smaller, very friendly and welcoming and you'll get an enormous amount of satisfaction from finishing (even than when you completed your recent 10k).

    Be warned through Chlobo, it may not stop at a 5m XC run but lead you to enter something like this (speaking from actual, first hand experience you understand image):


    I did the Sheffiled Turbo X and was up to my waist in mud, took 2h12m to run 10 miles, ruined my running top (don't wear anything white) and it was fantastic.

  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    Hhahhahaha I don't think I will eneter anything like that in a hurry! Thanks for the responses guys it looks like good fun and a nice way to end the year, just have to persude my dirt-phobic boyfriend he wants to run it with me too! maybe I'll omit the ditches and mud bit till we get there! image
  • PiersPiers ✭✭✭

    OK its time to plug my club's XC race, it's 16 miles of pure enjoyment two weeks before VLM, 11th April next year. It's called the Combe Gibbet and I think it's one of the best XC races in the UK

    Don't take my word for it see here: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/ratingsall.asp?sp=&v=2&ugn=2&en=40736

  • Ha! Ha! Piers - I love any event with the words "gibbet", "suicide" or "mad" in them... - where is Combe Gibbet?
  • PiersPiers ✭✭✭

    Starts from Inkpen Beacon (Highest Point in the South East) near Newbury Berkshire and runs to Overton which is the source of the River Test in Hampshire.

     So it's a net downhill race image

  • Yeah right..... I believe you........
  • Piers, 

    Am going to run the Seagrave Wolds challenge (15.7 miles) on November 14th.  It sounds similar terrain - although circular, not point to point.  But if it goes well, I may consider your XC.  My family think I'm mad, but I'm quite looking forward to it......

  • Chlobo wrote (see)
     just have to persude my dirt-phobic boyfriend he wants to run it with me too! maybe I'll omit the ditches and mud bit till we get there! image
    image - tell him to man up.  I can only dream that my OH would say - 'Do you want to come and get all muddy with me? (and 300 other people)' image - but she's only just started training for her first 5k, but you never know!!!
  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    pjaz  he is a town dweller by heart and so is naturally afraid of mud! going out with me and living in the sticks is part of his rehabilitation process I tell him, he needs to learn to love the dirt wind wet rain mud and general grot! image
  • Impish37 wrote (see)

     My family think I'm mad, but I'm quite looking forward to it......

    But we all think you and your running plans are perfectly normal image - strange world.
  • go for it . Nowt beats the mud and slush when running-i love itimage

    when looking at title I thought a train company was feeling the recession and wanted helpimage

  • Yes, I agree.  Most of the XC races I have done have attracted all and sundry who run on the road too.  There's nothing like jumping into a stream on a frosty Sunday morning!
  • Do it, do it, do it!!!  Cross Country is great fun, however, it can be very tough.  I was at a Cross Country champs last weekend and the weather was dreadful, the course was heavy - it was just really tough.  The mens race distance was 10k and the winner ran it in 37:xx.  To put that time into perspective, he can run a sub 30 minute 10k on the road so it really does take it out of you.  After saying all that, it will really strengthen you for road races and it's great fun - do it!
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