Written by SD
All the details.
Stoke Park Relays report and Cross Country outlook 2009/10
For the second time in years, on Saturday 3rd October, K&P young athletes participated in the Bruce Judd Surrey County Cross Country Relay Championships at Stoke Park. This is a team event, with three athletes per team. The first leg runners in any one age group start at the same time, running one lap of 2.5km and handing over to the 2nd leg runner. This runner does her/his lap, hands over to the 3rd runner who, after yet another lap of the course, finishes the race for the team.
While all this sounds quite easy, it is not. The 1st leg runners are surrounded by others, which aids pacing. Yet the 2nd and 3rd leg runners are usually quite spread out and hence, have to pace themselves. And more importantly, all athletes playing on the County XC Stage are there – you’re up against the best. But our athletes proved that they were up for the challenge.
First year U13 Gabriel Finch opened the competition for us, and with a fine run (9:59 min) laid the foundations for what was to come. Then recently joined U13-2 Joe Mallet showed that he’s a real asset. In storming 8:58 (37th fastest time on the day), he brought the team to 21st place. U13-1 Oliver Phelps was able to improve on this further, and in 9:24, he moved the team up to 19th place. With 96 runners and 35 teams altogether, this was a very nice result indeed. Well done!
Then our U13 girls. First year Nadia Allan started the winter season where she’d left it in the summer: 26th best run on the day in 9:40, and our team was in 13th place. It was great to see U13-1 Caitlin Dimbleby to run next. After a long, serious illness, she clearly is back, and in 10:13, she held on to 13th place. And finally, U13-2 Laura Cook (9:47, 30th fastest leg) moved the team to 10th place. With 67 runners and 23 teams competing, this top-10 performance cannot be praised enough!
As Nikolaj Schubert and Adam Curran were needed for their school team, it fell to our first year U15s to represent the club in this age group. Samuel Vassall started the team off with a great run indeed (8:51, 34th fastest) and handed over to Thomas Dawson in 15th place. Thomas, despite his pained knees, fought to keep the team in 16th place (9:25), and Nathan Judson Richardson (9:40) brought us back to 15th place. Nikolaj, after two seasons ridden by growth and injury related problems is coming back into form, and, significantly improving on last years result, finished in 9:04. Adam, vision slightly incapacitated by a bothersome hair band, finished in 9:54, and overall, their team came 13th. Considering that 70 runners and 27 teams participated, these were again results to be proud of!
Our U15 girls team consisted entirely of first years, as, sadly, our U15-2 runners are regular absentees when it comes to competitions. Layla Thompson, definitely out-competing everyone in the best-socks-contest, started the “A” team off, handing over to her sister Mae in 19th place (9:39). Mae, improving significantly from last year’s time, moved the team to 18th place (10:19), and Jenny Miles (9:57) pushed this further, bringing the team home in 16th place. Unfortunately, the “B” team was one runner short and therefore, did not score. Yet Minty Allen surprised herself by significantly improving on last years time (10:18), and also Alex Bartle held her form in 11:20. 22 teams competed altogether. Well done, ladies!
Finally, our U17 women. We cannot praise enough that Ellie Felicien and Marion Vincer, both not normally operating on the XC scene, agreed to come out for the club to support our top runners in this age group, U17-2 Molly Renfer and U17-1 Gaby Miles. With three to score for the team, Ellie agreed to run with the outgoing first leg runner. She held her race together well, finishing in 11:56. Molly was 1st leg runner for the scoring team, and with a breathtaking run (8:05, significantly improved from last year and 4th fastest on the day), she handed over to Gaby in 2nd place. Gaby, also smashing her last year’s time (8:44 and 9th fastest) held second place. In an admirable run in 10:26, Marion brought the team home in 5th place (of 10 teams). The best team result and a jubilant end of the day!
Finally – the difficult question: what should you run this XC season ?
For those bidding for Surrey selection: The selection is based on the performance in the Stoke Park relays and on the results from various leagues, opens, relays & schools events (details on http://www.surreyathletics.org.uk/). So participation in the Surrey League Races, County Champs and County Schools Champs is advisable. Surrey League Races are on Sat 10th October, Sat 14th November, Sat 12th December, Sat 6th February, the Surrey County Champs on Sat 9th January (U11 can participate when they are 11 on the day), and the Surrey Schools XC Champs on Sat 23rd January.
For those aiming for selection for the County Schools XC championships and higher: You must perform well at your Borough Schools XC Champs, for which your School must enter you.
Kingston Borough Schools Champs: Tuesday 24th November, Richmond Park, Kingston Gate
Merton Borough Schools Champs: Thursday 10th December, Sir Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, Martin Way, SW20 (The course is mostly on Cannon Hill Common)
Richmond Borough Schools Champs: Friday 27th November, Richmond Park
For all our U11, U13, U15 runners wishing to train with the middle distance competition group: To earn your place, we expect you to represent the club in competition. Key events are the Surrey Young Athletes’ Downs XC League Races on Sun 8th November, Sun 6th December, Sun 21st February, Sun 7th March (all: Epsom Downs Race Course) as we wish to defend the U13 and U15 trophies we won last year. We also expect you to enter for the Surrey County XC Champs on Sat 9th January, Lloyd Park, and the combined Belton/Holland/Yates Schools Races – K&P Club Championships on Sat 30th January, Richmond Park, Kingston Gate. The Downs League and Belton races are not too difficult (about the same as the Stoke Park relays) and, actually, great fun.
Have a fantastic XC season
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