Seven young athletes represented their counties in these championships, which had 320 runners in each race representing 42 counties/regions throughout the UK.
Coaches John Stow and Richard Thurston made the journey too, giving much-needed support to the athletes. We actually had eleven athletes selected but poor Jimmy Geller, Sam Sloan and Evan Johnson are sidelined with injury, while Kai Boggon was competing in Abu Dhabi in an international triathlon event.
From L to R: Abigail Reid, Tilly Major and friend Ruby Naughton of VPH (pic: Sally Chapman)
The main feature of the day was the strength of the winds blowing across the course. In fact, before the races started you could hardly stand up in the winds. However, the course was a lot kinder than last year, with reasonably good going for the runners, albeit there were a few muddy bits to negotiate.
In the Under 13 Girls race Abigail Reid had an eye on another podium place and ran strongly throughout. Her slight frame was affected during the race by the strong gusts and she ended up in 7th spot, just 9 seconds behind third-placed Baxter from Bucks. Abigail has had a great first full season with us and should be delighted with her forward position. Next home was Tilly Major, running for Hertfordshire. The winds definitely affected Tilly as she battled hard throughout for a fine 56th and 2nd home for Herts. Just 8 seconds further back was Kezia Beeton, running well for Essex for 86th and 4th scorer for her county. The team race was a close thing and Essex, who won at Oxford earlier in the season, had to settle for 5th out the 40 counties.
In the Under 13 Boys, held earlier in the day, Luca Gormley and Nathan Wright had strong runs throughout to place 97th and 100th from the 320 starters. Nathan improved 100 places on last year's performance. They were 6th and 7th scorers for Essex.
Ben Sloan was in action in the Under 17 Men's race and also made the top 100 as a bottom year athlete. Ben was 3rd home for Hertfordshire and should feel pleased with his performance.
In the Under 15 Boys race Jacob Hardy earned his first Essex vest and was another to give his all for 232nd and 6th scorer for Essex. Like Ben, Jacob is a bottom year athlete.
Overall this was a great set of results for our athletes given the opposition are all county runners and had to make top 8 in their County Championships to make these finals.