XC League



12th November 2023

Women's - Aldridge Airport

Despite the fact it was a bit of a cross country route, over brambles and the odd dodgy slope to get to our actual race, we arrived in plenty of time to check in and get the numbers. As we warmed up Millie G looked baffled by shoe tape and we learnt that Rosie has some insane plaiting skills! The immediate startling gun noise caught Lucy and lots of the teams around us off guard as we set off into the woods. A scoring four of Katie, Lucy, Beks and Millie M was a solid performance for the team, who this season, is rapidly increasing in numbers.  As we cleaned up and headed home Millie G slipped on a hill, Becks became our little mum (ensuring our safety in Walsall) and Lucy made sure that we didn’t miss our bus. Sadly, our fastest sprinting was not through Birmingham new street where only some of us made the first train, however, with solid runs by all and the group making it home safely we are left in good stead for the next race where fingers crossed we have vests and a full team 🤩

Men's - Pitville Park, Cheltenham

Firstly I’d like to shout out some of the no-shows to the race. First up is none other than Ryan Splarn himself, his reason for not coming is that he had a lot of stuff to do. So instead of getting on with that stuff he made the trip all the way to Daventry just to do a parkrun, shameless from an exec member. Next up is some silly fresh behavior as Max Winfield bashed his knee the day before rendering him unable to run, or maybe that’s just an excuse I’ll let you decide. Other honorable mentions go to Levi and Ben Winfield.

Secondly, a HUGE thanks to Cameron for being our volunteer for the day and making it all possible, as well as to our pres TJ for still coming along while injured to support the lads, awesome work!

Now to finally get into the day itself. The group met up in the whole at platform 7 in Birmingham new Street where we were graced with shouting and chanting from some drunk football fans which showed me that we needed some enthusiasm and WUAXC chants of our own. The footy fans got on the train with us, much to the displeasure of Joseph Hearn who had to sit with them and bear the noise. I recently found out  they were from Wigan which explains their behaviour (brummies are usually lovely right?)

On the bus over most of the guys decided that they would rather stand at the front instead of sit down, although strangely they all stood in silence probably dreading what's to come as we arrived at the park to the scary sight of Will Barnicoat, leaving VJ scared about how he can defend his title against far superior athletes.

The race started soon after with the boys in the middle of a massive field, being cheered on everyone did well to start at a sensible pace! The course was not hilly but was never flat for long and plenty of bumps and mud plus a stream crossing in a ditch, no matter for the guys as Matthew Taylor stormed into being the first Warwick round the first U-turn.

Soon we all made it round to the finish line and since I wasn't distracted chatting afterwards, I definitely saw everyone finish and how well they did(where are the results😭). Vinnie raced amazingly to be first Warwick closely followed by myself. Then Matthew Taylor made a great debut Brum league to 3rd place followed by Toby then Scrutz with Morzy sneaking in to the last scoring team spot.

The others came soon after with Jacques and Dan Hayes. Then Zhi took a B team scoring spot with a great debut for WUAXC, with Simon right behind. The rest of the guys were not too far behind with Joe Lunt and Parmenter finishing very close together with Pav also in the mix.

Last but not least we had veteran of the game Matteo along with newcomers Will and Fred. Then Joseph followed by James brought an end to a very successful first race. And I expect an even better turn out next time.


2nd December 2023

Women's - Stratford Upon Avon

We all met at campus nice and early before driving down to Stratford for a race at Clopton Park. A big shoutout should go to Bek for providing transport for some of the team. After a peaceful cafe stop on arrival, the girls set off to HIKE to the race. Safe in a more scenic location of Stratford, we were definitely glad to be out of Walsall high street. On a frosty morning, conversation quickly turned to a discussion about our freezing fingers and toes (a mention must be made to Millie and Blanca who made a somewhat unconventional choice and ran in their jumpers to prevent the frostbite 🥶). The race was held on two lap course of a surprisingly long 6.5k. The loop was so hilly that it resembled fell running more than cross country, but proved light work for the girls who tackled it nicely. It was a solid day and great runs from all. A scoring four of Katie, Bek, Millie M and Rosie closely backed up by Blanca and Millie G brought all the girls home in impressive form.  Well done to Blanca on her midlands league debut 🤩. Race three sees the return of our favourite town Walsall as we head to Pelsall North Common for our BUCS A team trials and the third race in the series.

Men's - Wolverhampton

Another week, another Birmingham league and this was a good one. The temperatures were extremely cold which meant that we all had loads of layers on for the occasion, which led to a problem for those of us getting the train as masses of people seemed to be trying to escape Coventry for the weekend, don’t blame them. We were all split up unfortunately but I was still accompanied by Theo Jacques himself although things did get a bit too hot (as we had too many layers on). The train group gathered for the first time on the next train apart from Fred and Ash who tried their best to run up the escalator the wrong way but still missed the train. Finally, after a bus ride over complaining at the Winfields’ lack of running at races this year we arrived. I’m sure those driving had a nice smooth journey of course.

We quickly got our bags down and went off for a warm up. Most of us went for a jog but Casey and Zac warmed up by sitting inside. Birmingham league champ VJ was pulling off his finest stretches for the camera, scaring both the competition and the guy who has to go to the loo after him. The rest of us got ready and were spiking up with Dan Hayes finally deciding to show up, although not as bad as Josh since as we were preparing to go he suddenly respawned in for the race not even leaving time for his signature box jumps whilst everyone was waiting. 

Then the race started catching everyone off guard, the lads had to tackle a section completely frozen with plenty of twists and turns and although short the steepest hill most have seen in a XC in the middle of the lap that wasn’t there last year. Shoutout to volunteer Tom and spectators Ben and Fred for cheering us on all the way! After pulling away on the final lap Matthew Taylor finally showed his full potential in a Warwick vest placing 5th in maybe the performance of the day. I was in 9th albeit my broken rib, clearly carried round by the painkillers I was taking (told you all it would work). Toby and Jacques managed to get themselves round in the top 30 providing very solid performances for the team, and then after a bit of time Levi came through in 45th to give Warwick the win just edging out Birmingham, absolute scenes!! Oh and VJ did well for the A team too.

Very closely behind Levi, Iwan charged home into 52nd to start of the B team, surprising everyone with how high up he was able to place himself. Josh, Ash and Dan came in short succession all in the top 70 to continue our great start for the B team, good to see Ash still running well after disappearing for the term. Simon and Joe rounded off the B team unfortunately they were pipped to 1st by Loughborough’s B team but still took a commendable 2nd! Splarny, who was having the time of his life forgetting he was in a race for the first 2 laps eventually gritted out to finish right behind Joe. Zhi Yan was so cold at the start that he had even his whole face wrapped up but soon he braved the elements and chose to breathe air, racing to our next stop. There was then a big gap to Matteo with most of us heading back to our bags to put layers on instead of watching, but still the boys came through without our support as Casey, Zac, Joseph, James and James to follow. Finally, Henry came through and we were all done

With the cold everybody rushed off their own separate ways, then in the best news of the day Toby, Jacques and I bagged ourselves a lift from Dan. Poor TJ, Ash Fred and Splarny were the only ones left to get the train back. In our car we quickly forgot about them as we slapped on the Christmas tunes and headed home, even discovering an Amazon original song. I’m sure that was all very boring because Will Grey wasn’t there but don’t worry he says he’s going to be at race 3 and going to be fitter than ever (unless he gets injured again of course). The next one is in Warley Woods and is going to be big as it’s BUCS trials but until then enjoy the Christmas break :)


13th January 2024

Women's - Pelsall North Common

As we set off to  back to Walsall the girls were in high spirits. We were treated to a much nicer day than both our previous races and arrived in good time to prepare. Credit must go where it is due and as usual the bus organisation was a product of our great mum Bek, without whom, we may never have survived both journeys.  The race was a short lap and then two longer laps of Pelsall North Common. The girls began to get warmed up however, slight distraction came from the boy in the tree who appeared to be swaying from a branch? Him safely brought to the ground the preparation continued. Despite initial information suggesting the course to be 6km it was a shock to many to find it only to be just over 4 ! (Not the best prep for BUCS but oh well.)

A solid scoring four of Izzy, Katie, Bek and Lucy saw us get our best league team result yet. A massive congratulations must go to  all who finished well jostling for great places and also saw us gain our best attendance yet at a record high of 10- something we hope to repeat ! The way home saw a failed Bolt attempt and a series of trains, however, with us all safely back it was time to clean up and head out to the social to wrap in up a great day..

Men's - Warley Woods

It was a chilly day, and spirits were low when the guys arrived at New street. I can’t blame them, after all we were in Birmingham. And once we reunited with Ash after Thiago and him disappeared we got the bus and headed over going past all the attractions. On the bus there was a lot of chat from Tom about how embarrassing it would be for Splarny if Tom beats him at BUCS although unfortunately for Ryan I’m backing Tom to make the comeback and end his career. We arrived at the sight of our very own Josh Morland chatting up Birmingham league king Omar himself, who are apparently best friends now. Although, Omar did look a bit like he was being held hostage when he was talking. The boys got on with the WU and the football comparisons were being made, Ryan started yapping about how Warley woods is a tough place to come on the road before stacking it on a jump over a 1m gap straight to the floor in front of everyone. Nothing much else happened in the WU apart from the long toilet queues and VJ’s usual comments about might having to drop out of the race to go to the loo, so after we made the dream work with our teamwork with some group leg swings, we headed over and got ready to go. 

Will Barnicoat was in attendance but not running, clearly the Euro champ was too afraid of reigning Brum league champ VJ who stormed round to 8th place without a trip to the portaloo. Just as it looked like I was going to catch up with VJ, I managed to stack it even worse than Splarny earlier down the hill, spiking myself to give myself a pretty impressive war scar but I still made it round to 2nd Warwick. Then it was Matthew Taylor, followed by an in form Jaques outsprinting Toby followed by Scrutz to make up the A-team to take a solid 4th placed performance as well as a spot on the BUCS A-team too! Next up was Omar’s best friend, Splarny, Parmenter, Max Winfield on his debut, Ashwin and Albert to make up the B-team that also took an impressive 4th place. Matteo was next just beating Joseph in a tight finish with both getting the same time, maybe Rizz will be 2024 word of the year too! Last but by no means the least, the team finished with Stan and Noor to complete a huge day for WUAXC! 

As it stands the A-team are in 4th, the B-team are in 3rd and individually VJ is winning the Brum league yet again. Hopefully, the great success will continue into the next one, which is BUCS in Leeds coming up very soon!


Women's - Worcester

Men's - Northampton

Race reports coming soon!