NUAXC started their December advent off doing what they do best; another race. On Saturday 1st December 31 members travelled down to Leeds ready to compete in the annual Leeds relays against several other university teams, including Durham, Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield among others.
Even the prospect of running around a wet and windy field could not dampen the spirits of NUAXC once they arrived. Despite unfortunately losing the facepaint in the far and distant highlands of Edinburgh, team spirit was at an all time high due to the competitive nature of the Leeds relays. 3 mens teams, 5 womens teams and a mixed team meant that there was not only competition between Newcastle and other universities, but there was also competition between the Newcastle teams themselves.
First up was the women’s race, which consisted of a 3 x 2 miles loop. The course was around a sports ground with varying terrain, made all the more difficult by the practically horizontal rain. Newcastle’s A team came home in a very respectable 10th place out of a total of 34 teams, with Meg Ellison being Newcastle’s fastest women’s runner completing the course in an impressive time of 11.52. The competitive spirit was in full force between Newcastle’s women’s C and D teams, with the D team finishing ever so slightly ahead. A very impressive race by all teams, with every member running strong legs to make sure all teams completed the race.
Followed soon after was the men’s race, in which the mixed teams also participated, which was the same loop except in teams of 4. Here there were slightly more teams (48 in total), but Newcastle’s mens A team still finished in 19th place, with strong performances by Cameron Cutts and Callum Hanson. The competitive spirit flared up again in a dual between President Jack Holmes and XC Captain Sean Haycock, which meant that even those who had finished running were able to enjoy the race.
Whilst some members stayed for a dinner and social with the other university teams, other chose to head back to the homeland (good old Newcastle), of course blaring Christmas songs the whole way back. Despite the less than cheery weather, NUAXC made the most of the weekend, and every member put in a strong performance, of which they should be very proud. NUAXC will now take a break over Christmas, before hoping to come back even stronger in the New Year, as we edge ever closer to BUCS XC at the beginning of February 2019, one of the biggest races of the year.