Two Young Athlete teams travelled to Mansfield for the annual National CC Relays and came away with some excellent results. Originally four teams were entered but a couple of slight injuries ruled the other two teams out. The sun was shining for us but there was a bitingly cold wind blowing across the course. The going underfoot was good.
Under 15 Boys
Sidnie Ward started the ball rolling for the green and white hoops. With over a hundred runners starting out on the undulating 2k course, the start was a fast one, and Sidnie gave his all and, although 48th, he was only 30 seconds down on the leaders.
Kai Boggon took care of stage two. Kai had recently returned from Dubai with an excellent win in an international triathlon and was full of confidence. He ran an excellent leg and steamed through the opposition to move us up to 27th, and his time of 6 minutes 57 seconds was only bettered by 13 other runners on his leg.
Joe Geller set out on the last leg intent on moving the Woodies even further up the field. Joe ran brilliantly to improve another 11 places to bring us in 16th and only just lost 14th on the line as three runners crossed the line together. Joe ran 6 mins 40 secs, a 27 second improvement on last year and only 6 runners on that leg were quicker. Joe was also inside the top 30 overall times on the day.
Given that two of the runners are still eligible for this age group next year, and that we were only a minute behind winners Aldershot Farnham and District, this was an outstanding performance from the lads who are clearly benefiting from training during the week with our junior internationals Canaan Solomon and Daniel Rowden.
Under 13 boys
Maxwell Chinn set off for the Woodies with a field of 90 runners starting. Maxwell ran strongly throughout for 52nd but, like Sidnie, was only 30 seconds down on the leaders.
Jimmy Geller showed no nerves on stage two despite the 11 year old giving two years to his rivals. Jimmy ran brilliantly and moved us up 21 places to 31st with an excellent time of 7 mins 40 secs, which was bettered by only 20 runners on this leg.
Another lad just turned 11, James Brigstocke, who came 2nd last Saturday in the Essex League Under 11 race, stepped in at the last minute as one of the other lads was unable to get to Mansfield. James ran with great courage and only lost three places to bring us in 34th.
This was an excellent result with two 11 year olds in the team, and Max is only a year 7. So this bodes well for the future, as all three boys will be eligible for this age group next year.
The parents and athletes made it a great atmosphere. All six lads can feel very proud of what they achieved with the club. Finally a big thank you to the parents for transporting the athletes to Mansfield and back.