Six of our young athletes made the long trip to the beautiful settings of Harewood House where the English Championships were being held for the first time . We were some athletes short due to this event clashing with half term. When the athletes arrived in Yorkshire the grounds were covered in mist with the sun gradually coming out. By the time the first race started the sun was shining to create spring-like conditions.
Abigail Reid (no. 1520, extreme left): started sensibly but... took the bronze!
Under 13 Girls
Most important of all with our team was that Larna Morgan, who had been unwell on the Thursday, chose to run and support the team. Larna throughout her time with us has been a great club athlete and this proved the case today.
With nearly 430 runners heading up the initial incline it was evident that three of our runners were in the top 40, giving us a great start. Abigail Reid was asked by her coach to sit behind the front runners in the early stages. This paid off as at halfway she was seen in 10th spot and looking good. She then applied the pressure to progress through to a brilliant bronze medal, just failing to catch the Midland Champion, Gilbody, who was awarded the same time as Abigail. This was a tremendous performance given that Abigail also has next year in this age group.
Abigail: closing fast on the first 2 athletes (all photos: Sally Chapman)
Another bottom-year athlete, Tilly Major, had been training at slight altitude leading up to the race. She produced another gutsy performance, also passing many runners in the latter stages of the race to claim an excellent 28th place, her best run to date in the green and white hoops. Kezia Beeton is another enjoying an excellent season and, having recently been boosted by selection for the English Schools as well as a brilliant 5k parkrun only last Saturday, she was seen in the thirties at halfway, and she held onto her forward position in great style to place an excellent 37th. Larna was next in. Our brave champion triathlete got round in 250th. Another bottom-year runner, Emily Caton, took a tumble early on but still finished in 308th.
In the team result we ended up an excellent 7th place, in front of big clubs such as Aldershot, Liverpool and Gateshead. This has capped an excellent season for our girls but with the front two still available next season, and with Molly Sherrin and Isabelle Kyson, our two star Under 11s, moving up, the girls will be aiming to be on the podium at Southern and National level next season.
Under 13 Boys
With injury, holidays etc., we only had Nathan Wright on the start line. Nathan is so reliable for us and for Essex, as he is now an established county runner. Nathan had an excellent run for 107th from 450 starters, which was 130 places higher than last year when this race was held in London.
In the thick of the action: Nathan Wright
Such was the beauty of the weather, the girls all enjoyed ice creams after their race and.... why not!? - they have had a great season! We must thank the parents who brought the athletes up to Leeds on the day. This is very much appreciated, as the Team Manager was brought up himself with one family.