Some excellent results at the first fixture at the very testing Norfolk Park. Heavy rain and very muddy in places made this testing course even more difficult …. This is one of the toughest cross country courses I have been to in 15 years but this didn’t stop our athletes performing to the best of their abilities.
Under 13 Girls – Issy Waugh (Hallamshire Harriers) stepped up an age group this year. This age group is very strong with some of the best track runners in the country over 800 metres and 1200 metres. We had a plan which was to go of hard and try and split the chasing group. Issy did exactly this and by half way round the first lap of two there was a slight gap opening up to second place with third place quite a bit further back. The next plan was to go hard after the first lap and again Issy stuck to the plan and did just this and got stronger as the race went on. Coming home in first place 16 seconds ahead of 2nd place and 28 seconds ahead of 3rd. Issy’s overall time would have finished 2nd behind training partner Annie Naylor in the Under 15 Girls race. Issy has to an have an operation the beginning of November which is going to put her out for a while but hopefully will be back on top form come the new year for the Yorkshire and Northern Championships. Issy’s training partner Heather Berry (Rotherham Harriers) who is working really hard in training and is getting better every week. The hard work and determination from this young lady showed here with an excellent 6th place and was 2nd home for runner’s in the first year group. Watch out for Heather over the next few years as this is a girl who will stick with it and surprise a few of the more talented runners.
Under 13 Boys – Will Platts (City of Sheffield & Dearne) again stepped up an age group and the distance these boys run compared to last year is a big step up. The plan was to set of relatively easy on the first lap and work our way through the field on the the second lap. After the first lap Will was just inside the top 10. Sticking to the plan Will pushed on and worked his way through the field coming home in 4th place. Will was 2nd runner home for runners in the first year. George Wallace (City of Sheffield & Dearne) set of really strongly and was in the top 3 after the first lap. A slight twinge in George’s back after the first lap made the second lap hard and George faded to 8th place. George will be back next race hoping to get into the top 3. Elliot Reed (City of Sheffield & Dearne) who like Will stepped up and age group this year. Running a consistent race throughout the two laps Elliot came home in 11th place out of the 20 runners.
Under 15 Girls – Annie Naylor (Hallamshire Harriers) had the same plan as Issy which was to go of hard and split the group up straight away. Again sticking to the plan half way round the first lap Annie had opened up quite a big lead over the chasing athletes. Once Annie had opened up the lead the plan was to keep pushing on and have a good run out to see where we are and what needs to be worked on before the bigger races in the new year. Coming home a clear winner 31 seconds in front of the 2nd place runner. A few months of hard training now will hopefully see some similar results to last Cross Country Season for Annie. Rebecca Evans (City of Sheffield & Dearne) who has been working hard with Annie the last 4 weeks had a great race finishing in 3rd place just 4 seconds behind 2nd. Rebecca will only get stronger throughout the cross country season as the training leading up to Christmas will increase so I am excited for the bigger races coming up. Bobbie Waugh (Hallamshire Harriers) has been training really well and once we get Bobbie a little more confident to go of harder we will see the results we know she is capable of. Setting of fairly comfortable on the first lap Bobbie worked her way through the field on the second lap to finish a creditable 8th place and was 4th first year age group runner. Polly Platts (Hallamshire Harriers) was always going to find this kind of course tough after the injury she had during the summer season missing months of training. Polly got her head down and ran well to come home in 14th place out of the 25 runners. Again like Rebecca Polly will now try and increase her training slightly leading up to Christmas with a chance of going to the English Schools Cross Country for a third year running.
Under 17 Girls – Shen Wigfield-Turner (Hallamshire Harriers) who is only in her 9th week of training with Team Russell and is still getting used to the different training schedule ran extremely well coming home in first place 15 seconds ahead of the second place runner. Not a great fan of cross country and with no previous mileage she has one thing in mind which is to get much stronger for the summer season so expect to see Shen at a few more Cross Country races throughout the year whether she likes it or not. Well done Shen great running on what was far from an ideal course for track runners.