Why I love cross country and why your SAL membership is real bargain

Tuesday 26th September 2023

Photo via the club

West End Road Runners club website

The start of the Lindsays Cross Country Season is only ten days away.

Rhona Proctor (aka The Boat), of West End Road Runners, is among hundreds and hundreds of athletes at our clubs who loves the discipline and can’t wait for the season ahead.

Rhona loves it so much she wrote a blog about it. And, as our Annual General Meeting looms large this coming Saturday (join us online), she also recommends you pay your Scottish Athletics membership.

Don’t just take our word for it, read on . . .

By Rhona Proctor

I LOVE cross country.

And, you will too… once you’ve given it a try! Just look how happy we all look… Allen is smiling under that wolf mask, I promise!

Cross country is hands down my second (?) favourite type of running . . . and No, my first favourite isn’t ‘every other type of running combined except cross country’. My favourite is marathon running.

But whereas marathons aren’t for everyone, cross country most definitely is . . . everyone who’s signed up to Scottish Athletics, that is. You need to be a member to compete at cross country events and membership is a bargainous £22 (for a Senior).

Membership also gives you a small discount at other running events throughout the year, so if you enter as many races as WERR legend Davy Roberts it’ll be paying for itself in no time!

You’ll also (probably) need spikes . . . some people run cross country in trail shoes but spikes definitely help you grip the ground better.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll take any help you can get if it keeps you upright. Not of course that people always stay upright at cross country – but don’t let potentially face-planting in a field in Falkirk put you off!

So, back to that inclusive appeal of cross country. Events range from small local meets with our friends from other clubs in DAAA, slightly larger west district events, right up to the Lindsays Cross Country Season national events held this year at Cumbernauld, Lanark and Falkirk.

I know these aren’t the exotic locations that we see WERR members doing parkruns in every week, but I once did cross country in Johnstone, so it *could* be worse!

Lindsays Cross Country Season: Our list of dates and venues for 2023-24

Events are also run over a range of distances i.e. Short Course, (4k)  Relays (4k per leg) and then in February the main event, the Lindsays National XC at Callander House in Falkirk is run over ‘about 10k’ (it always measures slightly over).

You will also see people of all ages competing from juniors to people as as old as your auld da, as well Olympians and RUMOUR HAS IT, Graeme Jack and Stephen Brown will put in an appearance, too. Well, they have both bought snazzy new Nike spikes so they can’t back out now!

Another great thing about cross country is us, yes, us! The WERR do cross country in style. One of the things I enjoy most about cross country is the supporting (which is just as well since my Achilles isn’t behaving as well as I’d like right now) and we are THE BEST.

No, this isn’t just a biased opinion, some wee guy told Kirsty and me last year in Falkirk that we were giving the ‘best support I’ve heard all day’. . . and boy can we be heard when we get going.

Anyone who was lucky enough to hear Team WERR at the recent Monument Mile Classic event in Stirling will know exactly what I’m talking about!

Support aside, we also have the biggest flag and best gazebo. Pro tip: be terrible at putting it up and they’ll never ask you to do it again. We also have the best baking/treats and no cross country meet would be complete without the baking buffet.

As well as all of the great things I’ve already highlighted . . . we have the best colour of running vest, which you must wear to cross country events! This isn’t a Boat Rule, it’s an actual Scottish Athletics  rule, so if you don’t have one yet, you can order one on the website.

Lastly, if this hasn’t convinced you, below are some photos of WERR from the finals in Falkirk last year, I’ll put a link to others and the password in the chat again!

I hope to be running cross country with you all soon (please send good vibes to my Achilles) but will definitely be out in support!

The Boat



Three more years! Lindsays Cross Country Season to run and run (to 2026)

WERR making great strides with strong ethos


Tags: Lindsays Cross Country Season, Rhona Proctor, WERR, West End Road Runners

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