It takes a lot for a cross country event to be cancelled. But that’s what’s been happening up and down the country as Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara battered our shores…..and the after effects have been horrendous; with record floods throughout the land there were question marks over whether the Nationals would be another casualty of the aftermath.
But the organisers were determined that the event would go ahead; the races themselves would not be cancelled due to the condition of the course. In fact, the thinking was, it would probably add to the excitement, although there were concerns regarding parking for the thousands of spectators!
To say the ground was saturated, even waterlogged, is an understatement!
In fact, for parts of the course, a pair of waders or a canoe would have been more useful than a pair of running shoes! As it turned out, the weather on the day was fine, but the conditions underfoot were some of the worst ever seen at a cross country event. And as expected, it did add to the excitement and the spectacle of the whole event, at least for the spectators anyway!
We had several of our juniors battling their way around the course, and as usual they gave it maximum effort, in spite of the conditions.
Under 13 Boys
Unusually, we just had the one U13 boy who’d taken the trip to Nottingham. Harry Lyons might have been the only DHAC vest lining up at the start of the 3k course, but as we’ve seen many times before, he gave it his all, grafting hard against the other 384 athletes.
Finally, he crossed the line in 110th place in a time of 16:25. Great work, Harry, well done!
Under 13 Girls
There were two more of our regulars from the U13 squad in the girls race, Zara Jones and Libby Hammond; also over a 3k course, and another huge field of 358 athletes. Zara, incredibly still in her first year of the age group, has shown us all season what a real talent she is. She pulled off yet another unbelievable run today, finishing 30th in a time of 16:29. This certainly bodes well for next year!
Unfortunately, Libby got off to the worst start possible, and as the initial scramble settled down there were only two athletes behind her! But she dug deep, gradually pipping off the opposition, and did amazingly well to finish 259th in 19:44. A fantastic effort from both, well done girls!
Under 15 Girls
The three ‘M’s were back again for the U15 Girls;
Marissa Boon, Mia Wetherill and Macy Kelly. All three have been regular competitors during this cross country season with Marissa being one of DHAC’s real success stories.
Like Alex Boyer and Zara Jones, she currently tops the leader board of the NYSD series, and she shows no signs of faltering. Today was another impressive performance against some really tough competition, but she took things in her stride and confidently crossed the line in a tremendous 27th place out of 395, in a time of 20:22.
Mia and Marissa have both had really strong seasons as well, and are not far behind Marissa in the NYSD, currently lying 3rd and 4th respectively, with only 3 points between them. It must be something about the number ‘3’ as it was a close run thing again with only 3 places and 3 seconds between the two of them!
Mia hit the finish line in 167th place in 22:43, closely followed by Macy in 170th in 22:46. As always, a fabulous effort from the three ‘M’s, well done girls!
Under 15 Boys
We just had the one U15 Boy as well today. Dylan Wilson has been a regular face on the cross country scene this season, and it wasn’t a surprise to see him in the starting line-up for the Nationals. It was another solid performance as he took on the other 363 athletes for the 4k race, handling the conditions like a seasoned pro! He crossed the finish line in 212th place in a time of 20:10. Great job, Dylan, well done!
Under 17 Boys
There were three of our U17 Boys in action today. First of all we had twin brothers, Adam & John Russell, battling it out against the other 284 competitors. As we know there’s never much to separate the two boys and over recent times it’s generally been Adam who’s finished first out of the two.
However, for their last few encounters the tables have turned somewhat, and it’s been John getting the upper hand over his brother; and that was the case again today. He completed the punishing 6k course in 61st place in a time of 25:04.
As always, it was a close run thing between the two and Adam crossed the line in 77th place in 25:26. The third of our trio was Harry Wilson; he was just a few minutes behind John and Adam, but with such a huge field there were quite a number of athletes in between. It was a fantastic effort though, and Harry, crossed the line in 241st place in 29:14.
One thing to remember here; all three are still in the first year of U17 so I’m sure they’ll be back to do battle again next year! Well done lads!
Under 17 Girls
Back again for more cross country action was our regular U17 competitor, Millie Grayson. She’s been a real credit to herself this season and is yet another DHAC athlete who currently tops the NYSD leader board. The tough 5k course coupled with the demanding conditions was enough for even the most experienced of endurance runners, but she dug deep, and just got on with the job. She finished in 242nd place in 31:45.
A fantastic effort, Millie , well done!
In the ladies race, Jade Hutchinson finished 204th in 41:57 with Nova Tarn 413th in 47:04 and Sarah Wilson 603rd in 51:24. Of our two men running it was Wes Tarn first home in 338th place in 52:18 over the longer distance with Kevin Wilson 1112th in 1:04:23.