Parliament Hill SEAA XC Championships Race Report

I have loved every minute of the cross-country season so far. So, given the chance to run at the sport’s mecca, Parliament Hill, in the South of England AA Championships, I jumped at the chance.


After a leisurely train journey to Hampstead Heath, I spent the morning following our juniors around the course – offering support and being inspired by their impressive performances. The senior races were later in the afternoon so I had plenty of time to walk (trudge?) around the park to get a feel for the course. It was surprisingly hilly for a London park, and it was muddy… very, very muddy!


The senior men’s race would be 15km (3 laps). The first lap, I was told, would take care of itself – stick to your line and enjoy. The second lap, dig in. The third… good luck!


Lining up on the start line, it felt like I was joining a piece of history. I thought of all the great runners who had competed here – I tried not to think about the ankle-deep mud! The gun went off, and so were we: a field of 1,200 men from all over the South of England, ranging from everyday club runners to the elite.


Charging up the iconic hill I soaked up the atmosphere and before I knew it, we were at the top. The warm up was over and the real racing began. There were too many runners to pick a ‘dry’ line – so through we went! Downhill, uphill, crowds cheering, slipping round corners, ankle-deep mud, bells ringing – this really was cross country at its best. My pace wasn’t quick, but everyone was slowed by the conditions. I dug in, pushed on and tried to keep to a rhythm. By the final lap my legs were screaming but I had enough left for one final surge down to the finish.


The race was one of the toughest I have encountered, but also one of the most enjoyable. I crossed the line in 59:49 and a respectable 334th/1172. I’ll be back next year; and hopefully with a few more seniors to join me on the starting line.



Jack Bradley


We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies

  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

For perfomance reasons we use Cloudflare as a CDN network. This saves a cookie "__cfduid" to apply security settings on a per-client basis. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features and cannot be turned off.

PHP – To load and browse the website


Decline all Services
Accept all Services