On Saturday 17th March, six athletes from the club represented their county in the 2018 English Schools Cross Country Championships. This is the pinnacle of the schools’ Cross Country season with teams of 8 runners from all counties in England competing.
Set in the picturesque surroundings of Temple Newsam Park in Leeds, the runners had to endure freezing temperatures and snow showers which made for a very testing course, as they competed in their respective age categories.
First in action for the club were the Junior Boys. Harry Denton was competing for Lincolnshire in this race, whilst Ewan Rodell and Peter Braybrook represented Leicestershire & Rutland. In a fast 4.1km race with 346 competitors, all three boys battled well and were rewarded for their efforts. Harry was the first across the line in 71st place, followed by Ewan (132) and Peter (261).
Next to go was Rori Rodell, representing Leicestershire in the Inter Boys race. This age group comprises school years 10 and 11, covering a distance of 5.2km. Rori finished a respectable 263rd in the race, competing well against a number of older athletes.
The final race of the day was the Senior Boys. By this stage of the day, the conditions underfoot were extremely muddy and meant that the 6.8km race will have felt a lot longer. William Tucker and George Hatton got off to a strong start, using their experience from many previous races against such large, high quality fields. Both runners battled the tough conditions well to finish as first and third Lincolnshire athletes in 187th and 252nd places respectively.
This was the final race of the Cross-Country season for all our athletes and a fantastic achievement to have so many Grantham AC athletes selected to compete at this level. The endurance gained from a tough winter of training and races will hopefully translate into some impressive results on the track this Summer. – Sarah Denton