The final race of the 2013/14 cross country season is the Schools National event, this year held at the famous Donnington Park near Castle Donnington, Derbyshire.
This is a big event for all involved, teams are selected by county schools athletics associations, each county taking a maximum of 8 runners. Robbie once again being selected to represent Hampshire Schools. The team bus set off for Derbyshire on Friday, the whole team, all age groups heading up to stay in a hotel overnight before the races on Saturday.
We arrived as spectators to a level of confusion as the organisers started to announce changes to the course, extending the Junior boys race from 3.5k to 4.3k. Of course the athletes had already completed their course walks so concern was quite evident, but in the end the changes weren’t massive and the events got under way.
Age Groups: Juniors Years 8 and 9, Intermediate Years 10 and 11, Senior Years 12 and 13 (6th Form)
12:30 Intermediate Girls (Hampshire 13th, Surrey 1st)
13:00 Junior Boys (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 11th)
13:30 Junior Girls (Hampshire 6th, Surrey 3rd)
14:00 Intermediate Boys (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 6th)
14:35 Senior Girls (Hampshire 5th, Surrey 2nd)
15:05 Senior Boys (Hampshire 4th, Surrey 2nd)
Boys aggregate (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 4th)
Girls aggregate (Hampshire 4th, Surrey 1st)
Robbie had a great race, running the first loop in 2nd place before slowly dropping back to 15th place where he sat as they entered the finishing straight a huge effort and burst saw him push past two boys, and drag a number along behind him for the ride, pipped on the line by Will Crisp to knock him back in to 14th position. Still an excellent result, and despite not making the cut for England, it is definitely in sight, with the knowledge that he has beat most of the selected runners at least once over the season. he can finish the year with pride and a lot to look forward to in the future. Now it’s time for track, bring on the 1500m and the 3k. More PB’s to follow.