id1358-Downs League M3 Epsom Downs February 19th 2012 Report

Written by SD   

Three down,just one to go!

Young athletes’ Downs Cross Country League Match 3

Bright light, but also some shade…

Let’s start with the light:

An outstanding team effort by Ben Paton (4th), Gregor Hooke (5th), Finlay Hardwick (6th), Sasha Reed (13th, 3rd girl), Kathryn Bartle (19th, 6th girl), Freya Gladstone (22nd, 8th girl) and Eleanor Bartle (23rd, 9th girl, new PB with 13.58 min) saw the K&P U11 team comfortably win Match 3 by 23 points. We have got an unassailable lead by 112 points, and all being healthy and laces done up well, we will lift the U11 trophy at the final match on 4th March. So I hope you all feel elated and you’ll come round for the last match for both the run and the merriment. It should not go unnoticed that club members Sam Shaw (3rd) and Annabel Hobday (16th, 4th girl, new PB with 13.11 min) had great runs, too, and brought their school team into 2nd place. In the overall rankings (must have done all races), Sam is 2nd, Gregor 3rd, Finlay 5th boy and Sasha is 2nd, Kathryn 4th, Annabel 6th, Eleanor 7th girl. For the upcoming track and field season, many of our U11s are moving up an age group, and thus, I believe, we will be able to field a very strong U13 team this summer.

An illness-depleted U13 team had unexpected reinforcement when Jorge Beltrao missed the start of his U11 race and did the U13 course instead, coming an impressive 6th. The race was once again dominated by Harry Reynolds (1st), backed up by George Chaplin (13th), Sam Woolhouse (15th), Rebecca Keddie (17th,7th girl), James Hinton (18th), and Rhianna Reynolds (23rd, 11th girl). George takes the crown for the most improved athlete as he smashed his PB by more than a minute. In the individual rankings (again, must have run all races), Harry leads, George is 5th boy, Rebecca 5th girl and Rhianna 7th girl. Team-wise, it was a very close contest, with Sutton winning with 31 points, Croydon coming 2nd with 32, us 3rd with 35 points, Epsom & Ewell 4th with 49 points. Overall we are 3rd, ahead of 4th-placed Croydon with a cushion of 59 points.

Also the U15 team was on the smallish side, but held its ground well. Phil Bearman won the race, equalling his PB with 11:12 min. Neil Wellard improved his PB by 10 sec (11:45) to finish 5th, Ellé Butcher came 12th (3rd girl), Joe Lavender 13th, Bridget Langford 14th (4th girl), Ella Shaw 15th (5th girl), Amelia Beltrao 18th (7th girl). In the individual rankings, Phil leads, Neil is 3rd, Ellé is 3rd girl, and Ella (4th girl) just about stays ahead of Bridget (5th girl). The team finished 2nd, keeping Croydon in 3rd by 1 point. Overall, there is not much between teams as Croydon is marginally ahead with 81 points, Sutton 2nd with 87 points and us 3rd with 96 points; just Holland Sports is well beaten with 217 points and Epsom & Ewell did not send a scoring team.

Given that all our athletes sailed very close to their PBs or further improved them, we should be very proud of their achievements – well done! And many thanks to parents, families and friends who come out in support – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Now, then, the shade:

A number of athletes were in touch to say that they would be out of the country for the half-term break, and I am aware that some are ill or injured – you’re all in my good book! Yet, we have 77 U11-U15 boys and 79 U11-U15 girls registered with the club, and most are training regularly and hence, are fit to run a 2.5km course. A significant number of those athletes won’t come out for competition and worse, can’t even be bothered to get in touch and let us know. Folks, please remember that in grassroots athletics, the vast majority of coaches, team managers and officials are unpaid volunteers who are giving up their free time because they believe in the sport and in the development of young people. However, we are not happy, and simply don’t have the time to run after 150+ individuals and phone and mail them many times over to finally hear whether they would be prepared to grace us with their presence. In fact, we are also not happy to coach individuals who don’t actually have an interest in the sport. For the record – we don’t expect you to win; it doesn’t even matter if you come last. We expect you to want to improve, and you can only find out if you do if you meet the challenge and participate in competitions.

So, with the moan done, what’s ahead?

We will have an extremely busy weekend on 3rd /4th March.

- Saturday 3rd March: for those living or going to school in the Borough of Kingston and born between 22/4/2001-1/9/1994, there will be the Kingston Minimarathon trials in Bushy Park that will allow you to qualify for the London Minimarathon on 22nd March. The online application form is available from www.kingston.gov.uk/sport, or mail [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ](mailto:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

) . Other London Boroughs – please search your council’s website.

- Sunday 4th March: the last and decisive Downs League match on the Epsom Downs Horse race course off the Junction Old London Road-Tattenham Corner; races as always at 10:45 (school years 5+6=U11), 11:15 (school years 7+8=U13), 11:30 (school years 9+10=U15). Let me know that you are coming!

Is this all do-able? The answer is yes, if you stretch and rest well after Saturday’s race, you will be able to do the double.

I am looking forward to seeing you at the races.

Your Young Athletes’ XC Team Manager Susanne Dietrich

[ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ](mailto:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

) , 0208-3997084

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