Robbie’s Winter 2017/18 Event Timetable

Robbie’s Winter 2016/17 Event Timetable (Top Year U17M)
This page should form the definitive statement of events and results for Robbie in 2016/17. As dates change I will update them here, as results come in I will add them here.
A one stop shop 🙂

5 21:23:00 6.3k N/A

Date Event Location Ind. Pos. Team. Pos. Time Dist Awards
24/09/17 Southern Road Relays (6 Stage – Senior Men)
Crystal Palace
L1-60 N/A 16:41.00 5.4k N/A
14/10/17 Hampshire League (1 of 5)
King’s Park, Bournemouth
04/11/17 National XC Relays Mansfield L3-19 20 09:48.00 3.0k N/A
10/11/17 AOC South East Regional XC Championships Southampton 3
. 7.0k N/A
11/11/17 Hampshire League (2 of 5)
Queen Elizabeth Park, Petersfield
37:34.00 10.0k N/A
25/11/17 BA UK XC Challenge, Inc. European Trials
Liverpool 71 N/A 23:24.00 6.7k .
06/01/18 Hampshire County XC Championships Fairthorne Manor, Botley 5 N/A 30:45.00 8.25k .
13/01/18 Hampshire League (4 of 5)
Prospect Park, Reading 7 1 34:01.00 10.0k .
20/01/18 Hampshire Schools XC Championships
Southampton 5 1 14:18.00 4.4k .
27/01/18 Southern XC Championships Brighton 23 1 28:56.00 8.0k .
03/02/18 Southern Schools I/C XC Champs (By Selection)
10/02/18 Hampshire League (5 of 5)
Aldershot 9 1 37:39.00 9.5k .
24/02/18 National XC Championships
Parliament Hill, Hampstead 93 N/A 37:00.00 10k .
10/03/18 BA UK XC Challenge – Inc. National Inter-Counties Prestwold Hall, Loughborough
107 N/A 34:59.0 8k .
21/04/17 Association of Colleges XC Championships
Nottingham University, Nottingham 8 3 27:22.00 7k .

English National XC Championships 2017

A very “Cross Country” course at Wollaton Park in Nottingham greeted the hordes of runners turning up for the National XC Championships. Robbie’s U17m race due to commence at 12:35 gave us plenty of time to walk the course and investigate the swamps. The course had plenty of diversity, some good hills, some smooth good going, some heavy going and some very boggy areas made a good mix.

Target was top 20, with a push target for top 10 but alas it wasn’t to be, a week away from college, a birthday and a couple of birthday celebrations took their toll on Robbie who simply didn’t have the legs on the day ultimately finishing 34th in 21:48, not a totally bad result, but not where we wanted to be. Time to get his head back in the game with the last Hampshire League this coming weekend, and Inter-Counties and English School just around the corner, preperation is everything now.

The silver lining from the day is that AFD had another great spread of team results, out of ten team races winning 4 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze, one of those silvers being from the U17m’s race, so Robbie managed to walk away with a Silver medal on the day.

Exit the Mud

Farley Mount – Hampshire League (2016/7) 1 of 5

Wonderful weather for the start of the Cross Countyr season, and XC intro once again provided by Farley Mount, near Winchester. The Hampshire Leaugue circuit will offer some truly excellent competition for the U17M this year with Lachlan Wellington and Zak Mahamed (1 and 2 in the country at U15 last year) moving up in to the U17 age group.

As expected both Laclan and Zak set a fast pace from the begining with Wimbourne star Tom Bourne and Reading Athlete Sam Rodda in the mix, AFD showing a strong team prsence with Robbie Coupland, Max Heyden, Ollie Percival, Marcus Shantry all running well and pushing the the team efforts high.

Ultimately the race finished as below; (times to follow)

  1. Lachlan Wellington (Portsmouth)
  2. Tom Bourne (Wimborne)
  3. Zac Mahamed (Southampton)
  4. Sam Rodda (Reading)
  5. Max Heydn (AFD)
  6. Robbie Coupland (AFD)
  7. Jacob O’Hara (Portsmouth)

Lost track at that point will update when the official results are released but AFD definately top the team event with Marcus Shantry finishing 9th and Ollie Percival finishing 11th meaning that AFD had 4 runners over the line before 2nd place team (Portsmouth) got their 3rd runner in.

A great run but a lot of runners, Lachlan’s lead was impressive, Tom Bourne back in form, Max Heyden leading home AFD. Well done everyone who competed today, a special well done to Gill Pantony at AFD on completing her first XC race in a few years.

Robbie packed in on the starting straight.

All packed in on the starting straight.

National Road Relays 2016

Surprisingly the National Road Relays was held slightly North of the Southerns in it’s usual location of Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield. AFD didn’t spend so much time on the podium today, but everyone that was available put a good show in. The Youth section of the Road Relays didn’t have many notable performances, with only the U13B, U17W and U17M making the top ten. A very good performance from the U13B though, with the team coming 2nd overall and Harry Hyde placing 2nd in the fastest individuals, ansimularly great performance from the U17W with the team getting our only Junior Gold, and Lucy Pygott placing 2nd to take our 2nd Individual Silver.

AFD raced well in the Senior Mens event with Josh Grace finishing 1st in leg one, and achieving 6th place overall in the Individual Table, with the team placing 8th overall, once again AFD pride was carried on the back of the Senior Women who managed to get 2 teams in the top 10, placing 1st and 10th with Emily Hosker Thornhill bringing AFD up in to 2nd place in the 3rd stage ane Louise Small running an excellent final leg, placing 4th overall in the Individual table and bringing AFD Senior Women to the 1st place and Gold Medal place in the team event.

Robbie had a good run in the U17M’s race, having suffered badly with a chesty cold for almost two weeks, and missing a couple of training sessions because of it, speed and performacne were not expected to be great, especially given the short period of time he has actually been back at full training since his summer injury. He hoped for a sub 12min run and was somewhat dissapointed to only achieve 12:12 but giving the circumstances not a bad run. Once again Robbie took on the mantle of middle man, picking up the batton from Olly Percival who ran the 1st stage in 12:30, handing over in 19th position, Robbie picked off a list of individuals to take AFD up to 9th place, handing on to Max Heydn who picked off a further 2 runners and brought AFD up to 7th place and comlpeted his stage in 12:32.

All in all not a bad day out, even Jade came to watch, not that she saw much of the racing, she spent the whole day cuddling Trex, but hey, she’s been at Uni for a whole week so is bound to be missing him.

Robbie working hard, tired and feeling it.

Robbie working hard, tired and feeling it.


Robbie’s Summer Event Timetable 2016

Robbie’s Summer 2016 Event Timetable
This page should form the definitive statement of events and results for Robbie in 2016. As dates change I will update them here, as results come in I will add them here.
A one stop shop 🙂

Date Meet Location Event Event Time Result Time Result Pos. Team Result Awards
20/04/2016 Watford Open
Watford 3000 21:30
8:59:02 N/A N/A PB
27/04/2016 Aldershot Schools Basingstoke 1500 16:10 4:19:00 1st N/A N/A
01/05/2016 YDL (U20’s)
Oxford 1500
15:30 4:15:90 2nd N/A PB
14/05/2016 Hampshire Champs Portsmouth 3000 16:20 9:06:48 2nd N/A Ind. Silver
15/05/2016 Hampshire Champs
Portsmouth 1500 16:00 4:13:74 2nd N/A Ind. Silver
29/05/2016 YDL (Sunday)
Aldershot 1500
11:50 4:12:9 1st
(B Race)
01/06/2016 Watford Open Watford 3000 19:00 8:56.8 N/A N/A N/A
11/06/2016 Hampshire Schools Portsmouth 3000
12:00 9:28.1 2nd N/A Ind. Silver
Robbie Injured – Season Ended


Summer 2016

Well, thwe first run never happened, apparently as an Under 17 you can run 5000m races, but you can’t run 5000m races if they include anyone older than yourself. The 1500 doesn’t have this rule but was already full from an AFD perspective, so no run for Robbie.

So last night April 20th presented Robbie with his first track event of the season, a 3000m open at Watford Harriers home stadium and a late night was to follow, we got home about 11:45pm.

The race itself though went very well, three heats were created with runner in heat 1 aiming for times sub 8:40, heat 2 between 8:40 and 9:40 and heat 3 for runners expecting to be slower than 9:40. A few AFD team mates were there on the day, some running 800 and some running the 3k along with familiar age group runners such as Sam Crick. From the start Robbie was keen to keep with the leading runners, although 8:40 would be too fast for him, the pace wasn’t quite that hot anyway, and the first 200 (Robbie’s target 35 seconds) was hit in 36 seconds from there the 1 second out approach seemed to manifest itself in most laps the next 400 being run in 72 seconds (Robbie’s target 71 second laps) followed by 72,71,71 and just as things were getting on track a couple of laps saw Robbie forced a little wide on the bends and came in at 73 and 73 which still put Robbie on target for his PB (just) but would not put him sub 9 mins nor would it get the English Schools Qualifying time of 8:59:00. Robbie stepped up the pace as the bell rang running the last lap in 68 seconds with all the little bits added on the total time came in at 8:59:02 so a good 6 second PB but 200th of a second of the English Schools Qualifying standard. All said though a great, if cold night, extended by some naming problems on the score cards, but we are sure they will get sorted soon enough.

Watford Open - April 20th 3000m

Watford Open – April 20th 3000m

English Schools – National Cross Country Championships – Part 2

Cross Country can be a fickle affair, so many elements need to align on the day for things to work out. With a pretty much guaranteed top 15, and a good chance at top 8 and England selection, Robbie warmed up with confidence practically steaming out of his ears. Unfortunately that confidence was smashed away very quickly. The fairly flat course, with long straights, lent for a quick and aggressive running style, by the first corner Robbie is well back in about 35th place. His only thought as the pack starts to break up is “I need to be nearer the front”, and with that in mind he kicks only to find there was simply nothing in the legs to kick with, no strength, no power, no energy. The confidence smashed, the race already lost and all he can do is hang in and hope for the best. A final placing of  41st was testament to desire, but a highlighter that everything needs to be aligned. A very disappointing result, and a very disappointed runner as Robbie’s hopes of representing England Schools in Cross Country are ended for good.

Well done to the eight boys that did get those England vests, especially Lachlan Wellington (Hampshire), Josh Cowperthawaite (Cleveland) and Zac Mahamed (Hampshire) all three being bottom year runners, a stunning performance. ESAA XC Champion 2016 is Matt Willis with an amazing run, finishing the course in 17:58.

As for Robbie, the day was not completely lost, his 41st place helped Hampshire to a team gold and trophy position winning the Team Intermediate Boys event by a mere 5 points, so had Robbie given up, Hampshire wouldn’t have won. A celebration then for shear determination in the face of adversity.

Well done Hampshire.

Team Hampshire - Inter Boys Champions 2016

Team Hampshire – Inter Boys Champions 2016

English Schools – National Cross Country Championships

Robbie is heading off to catch the Hampshire Team coach tomorrow, taking the journey to Nottingham to run in the ESAA National Championships. Hampshire have a great Inter Boys team this year, and we are all looking forward to the event. Anna and I will be heading up to Nottingham ourselves tomorrow, spending the night in the Crowne Plaza (the old Royal Hotel) and taking the chance to wander the streets of Nottingham remembering our misspent years of drinking and partying on those very streets. The pubs have changed, but some old haunts are still there and you can guarantee we will visit Yates Wine Lodge, even if the visit is only brief. Saturday will see a vast number of young men and women, boys and girls, descend on Wollaton Park for the actual races, wishing everyone racing the best of look and particularly hoping Robbie can pull one out of the bag and make the top 8. Good luck everyone, hope you run well, do the best you can and enjoy the experience

English National XC Championships

Busy weekend for all, slow but steady trip up to Loughborough on the Friday night, an excellent choice in team hotel led to a few bevvies being consumed by the spectators whilst watching Rugby in the bar. A good nights sleep, a full English breakfast and a quick trip across the M1 to a very well organised Castle Donnington site. The U17 men’s course comprising of two 3k laps, some long and steep hills, a very long and wide starting straight, which triggered a few concerns about disproportionate distances to the first bend, and to add to the interest a few hundred meters of course running over turnips, which generated a delightful (not) smell. Robbie’s personal target for the day was to finish top 50, with a top target of top 40, personally I thought this was a little conservative, and still believe that he should have been targeting minimum top 40 with a top end aim of top 30. On the day the AFD team started way right in the pen layout, and immediately started voicing concerns, the right hand side pens seamed to have a longer distance to the first bend, and also started with a slight uphill requirement, where as most of the other pens were dead flat straight to bend 1, this may explain why some of the fastest runners in the field hit the first bend right back in the 50/60 positions, with Jack and Robbie coming round first for AFD in the early 60’s. A steady race ensued with Jack pushing through the numbers quickly to sit just of the leading 20 runners waiting for a chance to pick them off. Robbie on Mick’s advice took a steadier approach to ticking off the numbers, picking off runners on the uphill elements through out the race it looked like he may well break in to the top 30, right up until he started to cramp up, with about 1500m to go Robbie developed a severe stitch which lost him a good 7 ot 8 places as his breathing became harder and his speed dropped. Not willing to give up Robbie through everything he had left in to the finishing straight, managing to pick a few places back and fight off Dominic Willmore of Poole Runners, James Heneghan of Winchester and Oscar Subuh-Symonds of Dorking in a last 10m pitch battle. Robbie taking the line in 21:09, the other three in 21:10 so a very close finish. AFD’s third runner across the line was Ollie Percival who had a great run finishing in 48th place but only 5 seconds behind Robbie, a very close race with a lot of runners lends to large numbers with small gaps.

Robbie in the Mad Downhill Dash at Donnington Park

Robbie in the Mad Downhill Dash at Donnington Park

Well done to AFD on the day, especially the Individual and Team medalist;

Under 13 Boys – Team Gold
Under 15 Boys – Team Bronze
Under 17 Women – Team Gold
– Niamh Brown – Ind. Gold
– Lucy Pygott – Ind. Bronze
Junior Men – Team Gold
– Ellis Cross – Ind. Gold
– Gus Cockle – Ind. Silver
Junior Women – Team Silver
Senior Men
– Johnny Hay – Ind. Gold
Senior Women – Team Gold
– Lilly Partridge – Ind. Gold

Dibden Inclosure – Hampshire League 5 of 5

The Hampshire League is a particularly strong age group league, run by Hampshire Athletics Association it attracts clubs and runners from Dorset, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Isle of Wight and even the Channel Islands. The spread of clubs and runners provides all participants with an exceptional level of competition. This was Robbie’s 5th season racing in the Hampshire League where he has collected, through the help of some great team mates, a team medal in every season. 2011/12 saw AFD U13 Boys take Gold, 12/13 Silver a season dominated by Reading’s Matt Rawlings, 13/14 saw the Under 15 boys take Silver with Jack Boswell and Jake Cvetkovic providing most of the AFD winning points but being out-manned by a Reading trio of Chey Kemp, Matt Rawlings and Peter Cook, 14/15 and AFD claim another team Gold, but still no top 3 individual finish for Robbie 14/15 was supposed to be Robbie’s year, but bottom age group runners Zak Mahamed and Lachlan Wellington burst on to the scene and Robbie was plagued with injuries throughout the year.

So after 4 seasons, Robbie’s best race finish being 3rd and best league finish being 5th a bottom year U17’s season was expected to provide another team medal, and the season started really well with a 5th place in his first race (behind AFD’s Jake Cvetkovic in 1st and Jack Boswell in 3rd), but that first race was to be Jake’s last and with his loss a fierce battle for Team Gold would be contested between AFD and Reading with AFD’s Ollie Percival taking on the mantle of 3rd AFD runner and racking up some great races to keep AFD in with a chance. After two races AFD and Reading are equal on 3 points each, after 3 races AFD edge in to 1st place with 4 versus Reading’s 5 and going in to the last race AFD are 2 points clear meaning that Reading need to not only beat us, but beat us in the team rankings by 2 places, victory in the team event is all but assured.

This is Robbie’s second visit to Dibden Inclosure, the course containing some long straights, some very wet and muddy areas, some gravel like paths and a nice hard hill all lending a little something to a real cross country course, a course that saw many a runner splash down in to the mud and indeed saw Robbie take his 2nd ever race fall, his first being at Dibden Inclosure too. Despite the fall, the hard conditions this turned out to be Robbie’s best ever Hampshire League Individual finish, though to be honest the field of runners was obviously missing some of the medal contenders on the day. Robbie’s hard run race saw him cross the line in 2nd place approximately 31 seconds behind AFD team mate Jack Boswell giving Robbie his 1st ever 2nd place finish, and ultimately his first ever league top 3 finish, actually finishing the season in 2nd place and winning his first HL individual silver medal, along with his AFD team Gold medal.

AFD won the team Gold, the Individual medal winners are listed below.
1 – Jack Boswell – AFD – 5 points
2 – Robbie Coupland – AFD – 17 points
3 – James Beeks – Basingstoke – 24 points

The Leading Pack - Top of Hill 1

The Leading Pack – Top of Hill 1

It was another great season for AFD winning medals in many of the age groups including; (Note: In the lower age grousp a bronze medal is presented to 3,4,5 and 6th placed Individual runners)
U13 Girls – Team Gold, Individual Silver for Charlie Parsons and a 4th place Bronze for Alice Garner
U15 Girls – No team medal but Individual 3rd place Bronze for Abi White
U17 Women – Team Silver, no individual medals.
Senior Women – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Lucy Pygott and Individual Bronze for Katie Bingle
Although the Senior women and Junior Women is a combined age group, HAA still post the Junior Women individual places seperately so…
Junior Women – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Lucy Pygott, Individual Silver for Tilly Horton and Individual Bronze for Stacey Burrows

The Boys/Mens results aren’t in yet so the below is a bit of guess work on my part but…
U13 Boys – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Ryan Martin, Individual Silver for Sam Bodoano
U15 Boys – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Max Heyden, Individual 4th place Bronze for Marcus Shantry
U17 Men – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Jack Boswell, Individual Silver for Robbie Coupland
Senior Men – Division 1 – 2nd Place, Individual Silver for Matt Arnold
Junior Men – No team results posted, Individual Gold for Matt Arnold