Written by Susanne
When David Barrington, Matt Hyett and his partner Tukki, Frank Schubert and I convened on the Downs early on Sunday morning to get the course up, a silent, eerie atmosphere was lingering over the grassland with thick fog making face recognition an adventurous task. By 10 am, the sun had cleared the fog, one could find the last of this season’s grass pinks and scabiosas, even the sky larks were singing. Unheard of from the Downs, we took clothes off! But when the first race was up at 10:45, the fog had rolled back in again, with temperatures dropping and water droplets settling on hair and eye lashes.
Thanks to K&P volunteers Tukki, Paul Keddie, David Barringtion, Gill and Ian Broderick, Harriet Lester and her partner, Maurice Joyce and David Hillyer, however, we had every turn of the course covered by marshals; James Bell and Colin Watts were ready to time-keep, and Susanne Mischke, Mary Dimbleby, Susy Bean and Richard White were in position to shunt the runners through the funnel at the finish and hand out the discs. Even better, Matt Hyatt had offered to “hare” the first two races and lead the runners round, and Nicky Atkins, after having raced the previous day, still had made herself available to “sweep”, ensuring that any runner with problems had a person to immediately turn to. And so, all went well, and - there were even some PBs!
Our U11s were led home by Charlie White, who had an excellent start to the season, improving last year’s PB by 2s. He was 18th in 12:30min. Next was Poppy Parry in 20th position (3rd girl), who with 12:47 min shaved 13s off last year’s PB. Then came Hannah Chowdhury, 22nd place (4th girl) and 12:50, only 2s off her PB. It was nice to see our newcomers do well, too, with Daniella Townsend coming 26th (7th girl) in 13:07min and Jacob Skinner 27th in 13:11 min. We closed the team score with Daisy Parry who was a bit disappointed with her 29th position and time of 13:46 – we know she can run faster. Yet a 9th place in the girl’s ranking is a solid base to build on for the next matches. Overall, the team came 5th, just one point behind Carshalton.
Also our U13s lacked a few household names. Yet those who were there were brilliant, and secured a fine third place for the team. First to come round was Mack Downey, who in 8th place and 12:40min set himself up very nicely indeed. Next was Matteo Leforestier in an excellent 12th place and 12:56 min. Both are new to the course, and have to be praised for their expert pacing. Next home in 16th position and 13:13min was Josh Bellamy who knew the course from last year, yet improved by a full 55s. Likewise, we saw an enormous improvement by Michael Webb-Bourne (17th and 13:22min) who had stepped up from U11, and Gemma Watts (23rd place, 5th girl, 14:11min) who has improved last year’s PB by 14s. They were followed in close succession by Louis Orlovac (25th, 14:18 in), high jumper Freddie Crosby (26th, 14:20min), and first year U13s Sebastian Chang (28th, 15:12min), Max Dickson (31st, 15:41min) and Esme Cerilli (32rd, 9th girl, 15:44 min). We closed with Tom Williams (34th, 16:21min), a sprinter, who showed that he has stamina, too.
We were on shaky ground in the U15 age group, since we only had five runners, requiring at least four to go through to get a full team score. And when poor Amelia Bell fell sick several times and couldn’t finish, we really had an anxious wait. Sam Shaw, equalling last year’s PB in 11:17min, had an outstanding run and was the clear winner of the race. A breathtaking sprint finish saw Annabel Hobday in 13:46min (9th/ 3rd girl) just about pip Kathryn Bartle (13:48min, 10th/ 4th girl), and new runner Lucy Horler came in soon after in 14:16 (12th/ 6th girl). This great effort saw to the team finishing 3rd, only 1 point behind Herne Hill and 3 points behind Croydon.
) ) know that you are coming.
Your TM Susanne Dietrich
PS. the District/Borough School XC Champs are coming up soon (Kingston: 10 Nov. at: Ditton Fields, Kingston Grammar’s ground, Summer Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RD). Make sure you are selected to run for your school to have a chance to qualify (usually top ten per age group) for the County Schools' champs (Surrey: 23 Jan. at Reigate Priory). From there, the top runners will go to the Inter-counties and/or English Schools' Champs. All of that is quite prestigious and material for job or Uni (UKAS) applications…
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