Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners dreaming of a muddy Christmas

Colin Jackson, Rich Hynes and David Kelsey of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners

Colin Jackson of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners slogs through the mud on the club's Christmas cross-country course as Rich Hynes and David Kelsey wait their turn. - Credit: GFDR

A large number of cross-country races may have been cancelled this winter but Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners were determined not to miss out - so they organised their own mini version.

The Christmas Run in the Mud was held over the club’s Christmas course at Great Dunmow.

Jenny Suckling of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners

Jenny Suckling of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners slogs through the mud on the club's Christmas cross-country course. - Credit: GFDR

And the title was apt as, after a week of rain, there was no escaping the mud along the paths through the woods, following farm tracks and around field edges.

Gerard Geurts of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners running in mud

Gerard Geurts of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners slips and slides down a muddy bank on the club's Christmas cross-country course. - Credit: GFDR

The 5-mile route encompassed a section of the Flitch Way and involved runners crossing several streams.

Glenda Jackson of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners

Glenda Jackson of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners slogs through a stream on the club's Christmas cross-country course. - Credit: GFDR

The eight runners who accepted the challenge - Colin and Glenda Jackson, Gerard Geurts, Rich Hynes, David Kelsey, Hannah McIlvenna, Jenny Suckling and Martin Taylor - finished wet and muddy but happy with their efforts.

They and the rest of the club are now looking forward to competitive events resuming next year.

That could be a while though with England Athletics saying "competition licences within tier areas are suspended".

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Organised outdoor sport for U18s and disabled people is allowed but indoor sport for U18s is only permitted for education or to facilitate childcare.

Organised outdoor and indoor sport for over 18s is not permitted.

People can exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities, where they can continue to do unlimited exercise alone.

They can also go to a public outdoor place with their household, support bubble or one other person.

Outdoor sports facilities are allowed to open and can be used by individual households, bubbles or two people from different households. This applies to outdoor track and field provision where it is open locally.

The statement said: "Given the fluidity of the situation concerning the government’s decisions around regional tier areas and restrictions, please follow all the latest news and updates for your area as these could be subject to change at short notice.

"The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all our members and their loved ones remains the priority throughout this difficult and challenging period so it is vital everyone adheres to the government’s new local COVID-19 restriction tiers by area."

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