Cross Country Section
National Mud Slide Championships 2011
Report by Daisy Mae
When we woke up it was white, snow had fallen! It was about two inches thick. This unexpected turn of weather surprised us all, even scared a few. The roads were white and most of us hoped it wouldn’t be snowy on the course.
However, the course at Alton Towers was not snowy it was cold, muddy and wet. Not normal mud either, this mud had an orange tinge to it. Strange?!
U15 boys, with a rush to get to their event on time set off into the mud to enjoy the 4.5k course with lots of hills and a ‘mountain’ to go up. Aaron Arthur was first back for Holmfirth running strongly to come in 242nd place in a time of 21m 07s with Eddie Hinchliffe in 265th (21.30) and brother Robert 315th.
As the U13 girls waited for the start of their race in their shorts and vests (!) they talked about the course. Since there were only three (a Smith and two Byrams) they could not have a team prize, did the others know something we didn’t? ...anyway, back to the talk: Lucy Byram explained to me that there was a very very very big hill. Then the air horn sounded, three minutes to go, our conversation continued with Lucy saying she wanted to come in the top 200, then ‘Take your marks’ and the gun went. Lucy certainly did just that being first back for Holmfirth in a time of 16m 02s in 96th position, sister Erica following in 166th (16.40) and Daisy 266th (17.55).
Can't see the images above?. See them on Flickr here.
Next up were the U17 men and Max Kaye ran exceptionally to take 20th place in just 24m 55s despite saying afterwards that it was the worst conditions and toughest course he’d ever run. Max was backed up by Thomas Travis-Pollard in 104th (27.03), Max Lawton and Jake Richardson in 199th and 250th respectively. They were the only juniors to field a team, finishing in a brilliant 15th position.
By now the mud had taken a turn for the worse, disrupting the program. U15 girls were dismissed from their starting pens to allow officials time to investigate the spiralling number of broken bones. Some 20 plus minutes later Sophie Spencer got her chance to shine, the sole Holmfirth representative in this event, coming in 186th place in a time of 18m 18s.
Finally it was the turn of the U13 boys. Unfortunately their race was unexpectedly cut short leaving Lewis Byram 41st and Aaron Kettlewell 98th very disappointed. Team mate Lewis Bartholomew ran extremely well for 163rd place.
All competitors are to be congratulated on completing the course and brought back enough mud for the entire club.