Cross Country season 2022/23

23 September 2022 - By Ben O'leary

With the first event of the cross country/XC calendar coming up this weekend I thought it was a good time to get you all thinking about the season ahead.

What is it?

For those who are new to the scene, Cross Country is like trail running, often without the trails. Events are hosted by local clubs and take place every couple of weeks from October through to March.

The courses tend to be quite varied between different gradients and terrains, and each course has its own character. Course setters will normally aim to make you run through AS MUCH MUD AS POSSIBLE.

All race fees are covered by the club to support these events.

Tell me about the NESS league

I thought you’d never ask!

As a club we really get behind the NESS (North Essex and South Suffolk) Sunday fixtures, including running our own fixture at Great Notley Country Park. We tend to have a really good showing (upwards of 60-70 runners last year) just from WRC.

Courses are all around 5 miles and all runners set off together for a mass-start.

After a good morning of running on interesting courses, there will be CAKE! We run a bake-off rota throughout the season and rest assured, there is always plenty to go around. Bring your own tea to wash it down!

Official scoring

The races are not about racing the clock, they’re about running to the terrain, to what your body tells you and to the runners around you.

Scoring for these events is by finishing place only and not on time. This means keep your elbows out on the narrow paths, and push hard when approaching a choke point so you don’t get stuck an a queue!

Each club’s top performers (8 for men and 4 for ladies) get the points for their finishing positions (1 for 1st, 2 for 2nd etc). You don’t have to make it into the WRC scoring group to damage the scores of runners in other clubs. Time to get tactical.

Intra-club event

Back by popular demand will be our intra-club competition.

This is where the real competition comes in. All WRC runners who opt-in will be allocated to a team within the club with a coloured sweat band or something to identify you to each other. After each event we will collate everyone’s scores and publish the team rankings. Pride is at stake here!

Separate post to come ahead of the first NESS event in November.

What are the other (non-NESS) XC races?

At these events men and ladies run separately, the Ladies going first over a 8km course while the men follow on a 10km course. These events are all good fun, especially if a few members are heading down together.

  • Essex Cross Country League

The Saturday league! We have a few runners that go along to these events, they’re a great way to get your cross country fix in between NESS events.

  • Essex champs

A small number of events, including the XC Relays (this weekend!), a Vets event and the Senior Champs event.

So when is this all happening?

This calendar has the NESS events in blue, the Essex league in orange and the champs events are in green.

You mentioned WRC running an event?

After a few years off, because of cost issues with the venue and then covid, this year we are doing our best to get our own event organised again. We will be looking for a lot of support marshalling this closer to the time, provisional date is 12th March so get it in your diaries!

Any offers of support in organising the event would be gratefully received, please get in touch with Ben O’leary.


Happy running!

Your captains, Ben and Liz

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