Yesterday was the East District XC champs at Stirling Uni. After my awful performance at the previous cross country at Kirkcaldy, I was determined to perform a bit better at this one. I tried to do the right things: didn't run on Thursday or Friday to make sure I felt fresh; didn't have alcohol on Friday night (at least didn't have very much alcohol - a small G&T and a glass of wine hardly count, do they?); then did a full and proper warm up before the race started.
It was a cold, wet and windy day. I felt sorry for the spectators and marshalls, but most of them seemed to be very experienced cross country watchers and were well wrapped up. By the time our race was due, at 2.30, the weather had become even worse. I set off at a good pace and managed to keep it going for most of the route, passing one of the Central runners I had been chasing with a couple of hundred metres to go. I finished in just under 40 minutes (official time of 39.53), in 130th position out of 247 finishers - a much improved performance. It was my 27th race of the year. Strathearn Harriers finished 15th team overall and 13th masters team.
By the time I had showered and changed, the rain had turned into snow and I had to drive home in a blizzard. Within an hour there was quite thick snow lying on our driveway. Winter has definitely arrived.