Cross Country

Many folk will be familiar with the whole concept of cross-country events, having either attended them in a vest and spikes and put their toe on the line or helped out ie marshalling or merely spectating.the following is not an exhaustive account but merely serves as a an outline of what's involved and what to expect.

The North-East Harrier League (NEHL) is the north east of England's cross-country league, and has been going for over 100 years for male athletes. The women's and junior races are a newer but no less welcome addition to the racing calendar.

The races generally occur in parkland and similar ground throughout the northeast over the winter months.

As well as the NEHL the club enters athletes and teams in the Northeastern Counties Championships and the National Championships which are taking place in Hartlepool and Sunderland respectively. In addition to these events, there are the school Cross Country Championships culminating in the English Schools Cross Country in March. Training will be focussed around them as well.

Cross country tips and advice

The events take place almost without exception in rain hail or snow, often in exposed parkland or wasteland so be prepared to dress accordingly

Provision for parking may be scarce, boggy, and often a decent walk away from the start line so give plenty of time before arrival

Toilet facilities are at best primitive and more often than not, non existent go before you arrive

The club provides a tent for leaving valuables and also for getting changed but the best advice is to have your gear on before you set off

Tips for Spectators

Plenty of layers of clothing and then more again, plus sensible waterproof footwear such as wellies, don't wear your Sunday best

Hot drinks in a thermos flask is a great idea

What to wear for cross country Running

Spikes are usually the best footwear for the races, usually with somewhere between 6 and 12 mm spikes in them

Fell or trail shoes, even normal trainers are options if the weather is fine however more often than not the boggy muddy terrain dictates that cross country spikes are the best option

Competitors must wear their club vest and number (the same one for the whole season). Many competitors often wear a thermal long sleeve top plus gloves, hats and tights as required when the temperature really drops

Prior to the race and afterwards its imperative to have lots of warm dry clothes to warm up in/change in to afterwards

Useful links

English Cross Country



Where and When we meet

Gypsies Green Stadium
Sea Road
South Shields
Tyne And Wear
NE33 2LD

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