NW Cross Country League 2017/18 Season

1. Introduction
2. Benefits
3. Races
4. Course Guide
5. Small print
6. What to wear
7. Cost & Entry
8. Directions to Events


Lymm Runners take part in the North West Cross Country League (NWCCL) over the winter months.

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.

Twenty clubs of all sizes from Merseyside/Cheshire and Lancashire take part in the league and compete to be winners at the end of the season. Because we are a relatively small club we have teamed up with Warrington Road Runners to create one team for scoring purposes only.

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

For more information, including previous year’s results, see www.stevesaunders.co.uk

2. Benefits

Jonnie at Town Park

Cross country is a great way of staying focused and race fit over the winter months and is great fun. Cross-country strengthens the legs and core muscles, develops ability to run on varied terrain and in varying weather conditions. The runner who is experienced in cross-country is more robust, more versatile and less likely to be thrown by a sudden change in the weather – an event surprisingly common in major championships in the UK.

The cross-country season provides tough physical training, working over a wide range of speeds, without the damaging effects of the cumulative jarring that results from track or road training. It will also potential to keep your weight in check over the festive season!

And finally running a cross country race absolutely and utterly entitles you to that hot bath, fantastic meal, and night in a comfortable bed afterwards.

3. Races

There are 6 cross country fixtures over the winter, all the courses are off-road and suitable to be run in running spikes. The courses are between 4 ½ and 5 miles in length and take place over grass, mud, dirt trails, hills, etc.

Every fixture is followed by refreshments supplied by the Host club (and sometimes showers). The results of the race are usually announced then.

This season’s events are:

Race When Where Host
1 Sunday 29th October, 10am Clarke Gardens Penny Lane Striders
2 Sunday 12th November, 10am Beacon Park Skelmersdale BH
3 Sunday 10th December, 10am Arrowe Park Pensby Runners
4 Sunday 14th January, 10am Town Park Warrington Road Runners/Lymm Runners
5 Sunday 28th January, 10am TBC Liverpool RC
6 Sunday 25th February, 10am Birchwood Spectrum Striders


4.  Brief Course Guide

Clarke Gardens

This is like an extended park run and is a lovely introduction to cross country. There are no toilets near the start. Full guide here.

Arrowe Park

Based behind Arrowe Park hospital, this is also a gentle introduction to cross country with plenty of running on grass.

Walton Park

Possible the easiest course, it is flat and largely consists of going around sports pitches.


An alternative to Walton Park, this has a easy section around playing fields followed by a technical twisty section through woods.

Runcorn Town Park

Has a bit of everything in it; it is twisty, sometime muddy, runs through woods and open grass and has the infamous ski slope.

Beacon Fell

The most challenging of the courses, this starts at the top of Beacon Fell and runs up and down and around it a few times. The views are breathtaking. The car parking next to the start is limited but there are other car parks near by.

Birchwood Park

The muddiest of all races, the course takes in all the bad bits of Forest Park in Birchwood, if it was not for the mud it would be a fairly easy course.


Race Effort Muddiness Facilities Parking
Clarke Gardens 5 5 No toilets near start. Good
Arrowe Park 6 5 Toilets at nearby cafe, but not always available. Good
Walton Park 4 1 Good Good
Otterspool 6 2 Good OK
Town Park 9 7 Good Good
Forest Park 8 10 Limited toilet facilities. Good
Beacon Park 10 8 Good OK

Previous Years results:

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

5.  Small Print

The League Rules are available HERE. The main points for members being:

  • You must wear a club vest/shirt
  • All club members are welcome to participate and join in although you must be 1st Claim with your nominated club for your place to score
  • Mens team is the first 6, 1 of which must be a vet
  • Ladies team is the first 3, 1 of which must be a vet.

6.  What to wear

Runners have to wear a club vest. You should expect to get all clothing muddy.

The courses vary in terms of muddiness and uphill running. The amount of mud greatly depends on the amount of rain the previous few days. The condition and layout of the course affects what type of shoe you should wear:

Road shoes.

Possible on a dry course flattish course, but when it gets muddy or steep then you will be slipping around in road shoes which will be tiring and could be dangerous.

Trail Shoes

These are a great compromise as they will handle mud and slopes and can be used on the trail races (like our own) throughout the year.

Cross Country Spikes


These are best for coping with mud, wet grass, hills etc. The shoes provide little cushioning (this comes from the mud!) and has a low center of gravity allowing the runner to twist and turn more easily.

Spikes usually cost between £30-70. When buying spikes make sure that you do not buy spikes which are smooth on the heel and around the individual spikes as these are for track running. The shoes will normally come with minimal size spikes, you should buy a bigger set (9 to 15mm).

7. How much does it cost.

Its FREE, even the refreshments are free. The club pays a one off fee at the start of the season after that as many members as possible can run in one or all events.

8. Directions

We usually go in convoy from Lymm Library, watch the form for more information.

And finally…

Cross country is a great way of staying focused and race fit over the winter months and is great fun.

The undulating terrain and hills means you are using more muscles than in any other type of running, in turn strengthening the legs. The uneven ground stabilises lower leg muscles and develops them into great ‘shock absorbers’, whilst the changes of pace help improve the cardiovascular capacity of runners.

The courses are often muddy and wet and you are recommended to wear trail shoes as a minimum, if you have fell or cross-country spikes then so much the better. “Normal” road shoes will not be sufficient. Ask one of the club coaches (Chris, Jim, Kieran) for advice if unsure.