A mild afternoon greeted our 40 young athletes at a picturesque Claybury with autumn leaves starting to form. Although overall a good turnout, we were really short of runners in the Under 13 and Under 15 Girls races. We did, however, provide 5 podium placings and another 8 placings in the top 10.
Under 11 Boys
10 Under 11 boys toed the line over a 1500 metre undulating course that was hard ground most of the way. To the delight of all Woodford Green officials and marshalls we had the first four to cross the line. Jimmy Geller coasted home just 20 metres ahead of Luca Gormley, who had 80 metres to spare on Nathan Wright who was 3rd in his first race for Woodford. James Robinson, also on his debut, was just a stride behind Nathan. Sid Cody improved by a minute from last year with 14th and William Bayley was two places behind Sid but also much quicker than last year. Lucias Paayi was 20th, Harrison O’Connor was 24th, Kaise Islam was 34th and Kisham Mehata was 39th. Woodford had the first two teams to finish and have a big lead on the other clubs.
Under 11 Girls
Kezia Beeton had the benefit of running with the boys and won by 80 metres, and was fast catching the 3rd and 4th placed boys. It was a fine run on her debut for the club. In 4th place, also improving by a minute from last year, was Molly Matheron, and just a stride behind Molly was Larna Morgan, who led our team home at Belvoir Castle last March, with another excellent performance. Closing our winning team in was Holly Hudson, a year 5 who, too, improved 30 seconds from last year. Macy Huthwaite and Rose Grady ran well for 16th and 18th and not far behind them were Alice and Emily Caton 20th and 21st, with Molly Wain, a year 5, in 26th. Charlotte Harrington, who has just turned 9, was 31st with Emily Pepper 33rd, Talia Woolf 36th Annabel Harvey 38th and Rebecca Thompson 39th. Woodford also have a clear lead in this age group.
Under 13 Boys
This was a fine showing from our boys to win the team event. Richard Reid, on his first ever race for the club, ran outstandingly well to claim 6th, less than 30 seconds behind the winner. Maxwell Chinn, winner of the Under 11s at this fixture last year, was close behind Richard in 8th spot, a fine run for a bottom year Under 13 boy. Alessandro Berni, like Maxwell, is a bottom year Under 13, and also ran well for 17th with Brandon Baldacci closing in our winning team in 25th spot. Woody Hudson was 50th. There were over 60 starters in this race.
Under 13 Girls
Unfotunately we only had three starters in this race. Hollie McArdell, recovering from injury sustained in another sport, ran well for 11th spot. Zahara Malcolm, another former WASP, primarily an 800 metre runner, did well to place 20th and she is a bottom year Under 13. In 40th spot, on her debut, was Isla Stockings.
Under 15 Boys
A good turnout for this age group. Kai Boggon, in his new age group, was probably one of the youngest running in this race. This not deter an outstanding performance of 2nd from 65 starters. Joe Geller, who was running with Kai earlier in the race, did really well to place 7th, nearly 45 seconds quicker than last year. Liam Waldron, like Kai, is a bottom year Under 15 but ran well too for 37th with Bradley Jay also a new Under 15 in 47th. Spare a though for Fred Taylor who was probably one of the smallest lads in this race. He did well for 55th.
Under 15 Girls
Wren Jackson is yet another to come up from the Under 13s from last year and she should be pleased with 13th after a strong second lap of the race. Siena Taylor, who has been struggling with a cold this week, was not going to let the club down, but the cold got the better of poor Siena, who came in 24th. We must spare a thought for poor Skye Stockings, who took a nasty fall and was unconscious for a short while. We wish her a speedy recovery.
So overall a good day, with the club well ahead in both the Under 11s races and a small lead in the Under 13 boys. With many schools races currently taking place around this time, we lost runners, and schools racing does override club races. We do hope at Stevenage there will be a better turnout. I want to personally congratulate all 40 runners who ran on Saturday.