Cross Country Guide

Warrington Road Runners

Warrington Road Runners take part in the North West Sunday Cross Country League (NWSCCL) over the winter months. About twenty clubs of all sizes from Merseyside/Cheshire and Lancashire take part in the league and there are 3 cross country races over the winter.

The concept of the league is to provide cross country races over the winter, encourage participation and provide a sociable environment for runners. Runners of all abilities are encouraged to run.

Each race takes place at 10am on a Sunday morning and is hosted by one of the league member clubs. We host one at Runcorn Town Park.

The race is about 4.5 to 5 miles and is entirely off road. The terrain will vary and can be muddy if it has rained before hand.

The league is competitive and to allow us complete with some of the larger clubs we are teamed up with Lymm Runners for scoring purposes only.

The dates for 2023-2024 season are below. For more information, including previous year's results, see and the Facebook group.

1 Sunday 22nd October, 10am Clarke Gardens Penny Lane Striders
2 Sunday 19th November, 10am Beacon Park Skelmersdale BH
3 Sunday 17th December, 10am Arrowe park Pensby Runners
4 Sunday 14th January, 10am (Provisional) Runcorn Town park Warrington Road Runners
5 Sunday 4th February, 10am (Provisional) Croxteth Hall Country Park Liverpool Running Club
6 Sunday 10th March, 10am (Provisional) Forest Park Spectrum Striders Running Club

All you wanted to know about mud but were afraid to ask

Typical Runner

Male teams require six runners and female teams three. One runner in each team must be of veteran age category and runners must be first claim club members. A club vest must be worn (contact Dan Green if you need one). It helps the cross country captain to know in advance who will be running for the club so please let Alison know if you are intending to run or more importantly if there is a problem preventing you from running.

Aim to arrive at the course early. This allows sufficient time to walk the course which is recommended so that you can assess the mud and hills (it really does help to know what's coming).

In the last season or two some races have been arranged to commence at 10 am (so please check details) and are approximately 4 ¾ -5 miles distance with the occasional hill thrown in for interest.

Both men and women line up at the start. At the end of the race each runner is given a token which represents your position. This is handed to the cross country captain(s) and the first six male finishing positions from our team made up of WRR/Helsby/Lymm Runners, are added together as are the first three female positions to give the team total. Guest runners are allowed to take part but cannot score and are requested not to take a finisher's token and should make themselves known to the host club Most venues have shower and changing facilities available and the club hosting the race provides refreshments, sandwiches and tea/coffee (beer if we're lucky) after which the results of that day's race are announced (this is subject to Covid restrictions).

Prior to the first race, we aim to set up training sessions specifically for the cross country season (see below). Ongoing details will be in the newsletter and on the website. To get the best out of your race in mud, or at very best soft grass, specific training is the best way to benefit race day performance as you will be used to the terrain.

What Not to Wear

Here are some WRR "trade secrets"

In addition to the very "de rigueur" WRR vest, most competitors run in shorts whatever the weather, but still wear gloves and hat if extremely cold.

Footwear - teetering about in mud is by no means easy and cross country spikes will give more traction to dig in on hills (up and down) but if it's your first attempt then the use of trail shoes or old trainers will be fine.

Mud is the new black - wearing thin black socks will not worry the fashion conscious runner as running without socks can give a dermabrasion effect to the feet by the end of the race.

Packing the sports bag - Can't make up your mind which outfit to take, don't worry, take everything - you'll need a possible three changes of clothes. If walking the course proves to be muddy and wet, clean dry clothes for after the race will be needed. An old towel to scrape of the mud prior to showers so you can use the nice fluffy one when you're clean. Plenty of carrier bags won't go amiss to put all this mucky stuff in. Your spikes will last a lot longer if mud is removed as well as being more comfortable to run in next time. Having tried several methods; in the sink; in the bath; in a bucket, my tip is to get the jet wash on them - done in an instant; stuff with newspaper which will absorb the water quite quickly and then take out to finish off.

Finally, you may be surprised, or possibly disappointed to learn that cross country races are NEVER SELDOM canceled!

Final Arrangements

And finally, enjoy some videos taken recently of cross country races...

Beacon Fell (2006?)

Town Park, Runcorn 15/1/2012