Seven of our young athletes toed the line on a course that was deep in mud for the majority of the route following heavy overnight rain.
Unfortunately, we were without the services of Ben Sloan, who was sick the night before and unable to run for Hertfordshire in the Under 15 boys race. Joe Geller picked up a nasty ankle injury last week and took advice from the physio not to run for Essex in the Under 17 Men’s race.
In the Under 15 boys race over 4.5k we had four boys running. Sam Sloan for Hertfordshire and Kai Boggon, Kieran Allgood and Rhys Edwards for Essex (photo above, left to right: Rhys, Sam, Kai, Kieran). Kai got a good start and was with the leading bunch as they headed out of the top field into the field below. Midway through the race Kai suffered a fall which meant he slightly lost his momentum. Despite this, he pressed on in impressive fashion to finish an excellent 13th, just 30 seconds behind the winner, Banicoat from Surrey. Behind Kai, Kieran and Sam battled hard together with Keiran placing 111th and Sam 122nd. Rhys was not that far behind in 158th from the 350 that started. Kieran was 3rd home for Essex and Sam 5th home for Herts, while Rhys was 5th home for Essex.
In the Under 13 boys race, held earlier over 3k, we had three boys running. Jimmy Geller and Nathan Wright for Essex, and Evan Johnson for Hertfordshire. Jimmy got a good start but found the mud-bound course tough and not to his liking. However he stuck to the task really well and was 142nd from 350 and 3rd home for Essex. Nathan and Evan were never far apart behind Jimmy, with Evan 191 and 4th home for Herts, and Nathan 199tb and 5th home for Essex.
Our lads gave their all against the best in UK. When you consider that, on County Championship day, nearly 3,000 runners per age group start out across 45 counties, our lads should all feel proud of their great achievements at these championships. They must remember that getting to this race is a great achievement in itself.