Three Counties Cross Country Series
By Andrew Heale
LFR belongs to the Three Counties Cross Country League (3CXC), which is a friendly Sunday league comprising 13 clubs from Bucks, Beds, Northants and Herts (four - I know!) and it’s open to all age groups and abilities.
As a member of LFR you may take part in the competition without any additional cost as the club funds the race fees although you must register with our cross country coordinator (watch out for emails). The season usually runs from October into January and comprises 5 races, each around 5-6 miles long starting at 10am on Sunday mornings. The courses vary from year to year, as clubs take turns to host events but you can be assured of mud (lots of mud!!), hills and finishing with tea, sandwiches and cake. Details can be found on the league website here.
Most venues do not have shower facilities and the Race HQ may be some distance from the start. So come with something warm to wear from HQ to the start, then once you’ve finished you can pop the warmer layer back on (be prepared for it to get dirty!). We always have someone looking after your belongings at the start / finish line. Everyone stays to watch and cheer on all our runners to the finish line before heading back for a hot drink, and food, did I mention cake?! Runners are encouraged to bring their own cups to help avoid unnecessary use of plastic cups.
Details of the 2023/24 season:
- 22 October 2023 Wellingborough
- 26 November 2023 Wootton
- 17 December 2023 North Herts
- 14 January 2024 Stopsley Striders
- 4th February 2024 Dunstable Lions
The main rules are:
- All runners must be a member of a league club and eligible to run all season
- You must register via the club coordinator, who will issue you with a race number
- You must keep the same race number for the season and must wear it.
- You must run in club colours, you may be excluded from scoring if not.
- Minimum age is 17 (on day of first race)
The first 8 men and first 4 ladies from each club score points for the team, based upon their position. The team with the lowest score wins that particular race. The overall league results are based upon the club position from each race. Separate scoring is maintained for mixed, male and female competitions. Confused? Don't worry, just turn up and run!
The courses may vary from season to season but the following provides a rough idea of what to expect:
Traditionally the opening race of the season is around Croyland Park in Wellingborough. It comprises a couple of laps of the park incorporating stream crossings - you will get wet - and undulating parkland. The course is just over 5 miles long and whilst spikes are recommended a decent pair of trail shoes will be fine.
The course is off road and consists of two laps of a country park and includes wooded areas. The course follows parkland, woodland, public footpaths and is suitable for spikes or studs. A five mile course although usually a reasonably long walk from Race HQ.
Standalone Farm, Letchworth
Hosted by North Herts this race is often timed close to Christmas, santa hats are encouraged and the marshals are often in fancy dress.In the last few years one marshal can often heard be playing christmas carols on a trumpet, and you will hear clay pigeon shooting and see Sunday morning football. The race HQ is based in the farm buildings, so it can be chilly. The course is one lap of tracks round fields of just over 5 miles. There are no rivers to cross. Studs are recommended
A great course close to home starting from Creasey Park Community Football Centre. The course winds its way through the undulating countryside known locally as Green Lanes, Tottenhoe Knolls and the Maidenbower, incorporating HeartBreak Hill. It is a one lap course of approximately 5 miles is a mixture of bridleways and footpaths and are mostly grass with several short Stoney or gravel sections, it is usually quite muddy.
If we are hosting, we will need volunteers and so spaces to race are limited. This is a tough route starting in Wing and runs mostly around the Ascott estate incorporating the infamous “Cow Poo Pond”, which you must navigate twice. This is single circuit route, although you start with two laps of the cow field and involves a pretty tough hill. The course as just over 5 miles long. We are famous for our great selection of cakes.
Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers
Bedford Harriers AC
Dunstable Road Runners
Northampton Road Runners
North Herts Road Runners
Team East Haddon
Wellingborough & District
Wooton Road Runners