Cross Country

Cross Country Stopsley Striders

What Cross Country is All About

If you have never run cross country before then you really must give it a go! The season starts in October and runs through to February. They take place on a Sunday morning approximately once a month at different venues, Beds, Bucks and Northants. I know that some people ran it at school and hated it (yes I was one of those people!) but this is different. Yes it may well be cold. Yes it may well be wet. Yes it may well be muddy. But you have got to give it a go! Once you have run one you will definitely come back for more! There is a great team spirit and you are not just running for yourself you are helping the team. There are free refreshments afterwards and you may be lucky to get a hot shower as well! Go on give it a go. ALL cross country events are open to every member of this club. We enter a league and the cost per race for each runner is £4 payable on the day. There are also County, National and Southern cross country events. All you need to do in ensure that you have put your name down on the relevant sheet.

FAQ’s for Cross Country

1 – How far are the courses?  They are never more than five miles long, they will be a little challenging though with some hills and sometimes water and sty’s to navigate.

2 – When and where are they?  here is a link for the cross country fixtures: by clicking on the host club you can see where the race HQ will be.

3 – How many races are there?  Do I have to do them all?  They are typically 5 races in the series, first one in October, last one in February, no you don’t need to do them all, it would be a good idea to try and do at least three races then you have your qualifying placing to be entered into the Ken Abbot Trophy.  Details for this can be found below, but briefly the award is presented to the male and female improver, so in race season A you do at least three races and your places are recorded, then race season B you run at least three races again, and whoever has the biggest improvement wins the trophy.

4 – How do I get there?  wherever possible we car share, so if you need a lift or can offer other club members a lift please let either of the club captains know and they will make an announcement or pop your details onto the club’s facebook closed group, Someone will often print directions and pop them onto the desk in the weeks before each fixture

5- How much do they cost?  They cost £4 per person, payable on the day, this money enables the host club to cover any costs and they will provide for each runner a roll, cake and a hot or cold drink at the end of the race back in the race HQ.

6 – Do I need special clothes or shoes?  Not really, it’s always best to wear older clothes, but you must wear your club vest or tee shirt, as they will be likely to get muddy, some people do just wear normal running shoes, but they are likely to get muddy and may make you slip on some of the courses, you may want to give a race a go before deciding on buying more specialised footwear.  Some people wear cross country spikes, some people wear trail shoes, both can be found in sports shops or online, I would recommend though trying them on in a sports shop before buying online as spikes especially come up very narrow.

7 – Is it like cross country at school?  no not at all, they are sometime tough runs but so rewarding, the atmosphere is amazing and the sense of club support is brilliant, Striders do take one of the biggest teams there and most of us aren’t the fastest people there but that doesn’t matter at all, what matters is that we are the only club bar one other local one who wait and watch and cheer all of our runners in.

8 – What if I’m last, I can’t run fast?  That doesn’t matter, we field a big team with our first 3 ladies and 7 men making up the ‘scoring team’ however every strider that runs plays a massive part, you don’t know who will be the scorers in the other teams, and by you coming in front of them, that can change their placing, cross country races are not timed, you are not running against the clock.  Your own performances can change year on year, you could be close to the back but that doesn’t necessarily make it any less enjoyable, you still run the same course as everyone else, and have the same sense of pride.  Cross country is a brilliant way to get to know other Striders.

Three Counties Cross Country

To enter a list for names will be on Spond.

2023-24 dates: 

  • 29th October 2023 – Wellingborough and District. Details
  • 26th November 2023 – Wootton Road Runners. Details
  • 17th December 2023 – North Herts Road Runners. Details
  • 14th January 2024 – Stopsley Striders. Details
  • 4th February 2024 – Dunstable Lions. Details

Web Site & Results 

Ken Abbott Cup – Striders XC Handicap Championship 2018 – 2019

2018 – 2019 seasons top 5
1st 1068 Christine Lathwell
2nd 1165 Miriam Linforth
3rd 1186 Evelyn Lutterodt
4th 1208 Judy Reid
5th 1221 Karen Ashby
1st 954 Danny Kelly 
2nd 1080 Pat Blessing 
3rd  1108 Rob Barnes
4th 1115 Andy Durrant 
5th 1117 Gez Fallon

Entry Rules

  1. Rules are subject to change without notice at anytime by the committee.
  2. The Striders Club Championship is held within the 3 Counties Cross Country League 
  3. Separate Striders Ladies and Male Championships are held
  4. To qualify for Strider’s Cross Country Championship, a runner must run at least three races in the Three Counties Cross Country League season
  5. A runner who did not complete 3 races in a cross country season will not be eligible for championship.
  6. The runners best finishing positions in three races count.
  7. Only a runners overall position in race counts.
  8. An entrant’s handicap is calculated in the following way:-
    The last Strider best three scores from the previous season minus your best three score in the previous season gives you next seasons handicap.
  9. The Final position in championship is calculated from:-
    (Entrants Handicap) + ( Best 3 scores in that season)
  10. The Male and Female entrants with the lowest number of points in the championship are the winners.
    You can see from above you must run three races in a season to get a handicap to qualify for the Ken Abbott Cup in the following season.

Todays Runner Xc League 1993 – 1994

Todays Runner Xc League was the forerunner of the 3CXC League. This video is the first race in the 1993 – 1994 season which Stopsley won at Dunstable. Click here
Second race was at Bedford, which we won. Click here
Third race at Flitwick Click here
Fourth race at Stevenage Click here

25 Years of Cross Country Running

By Ian Cousins

Click here