English Schools National Cross Country

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.

Robbie holding on to 2nd Place at the end of first loop.

Sunshine and Blue Skies, definitely time to say goodbye to XC.

English Schools XC 2014 -Junior Boys Team Champions

Aldershot District Schools AA – District Selection Race

Today ADSAA held their annual selection race, the top 16 boys / girls in each section will be nominated to represent Aldershot in the Hampshire County Selection race.

The age categories are Junior (Years 8 & 9) and Intermediate (Years 10 & 11) meaning that Robbie is running as the upper age group in the Junior section. Although the event was a schools event, not a club event, there were obviously a lot of familiar AFD faces in the line ups, with AFD runners coming 1st and 2nd in the Junior girls, 1st and 2nd in the Junior boys, 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th in the Intermediate boys and I think 1st and 2nd in the Intermediate girls.

Robbie secured selection in to the District team finishing the race in first place, followed in to the finishing line by AFD team mate Billy Smith, with James Hier from AFD grabbing the last selection place in 16th position. Robbie’s Calthorpe School team mate Kye Buckley finished a very respectable 7th place securing selection in to the District team.

Robbie’s Race
Position: 1st
Time: 11:32
Distance: 3k

Salesian College showing an abundance of runners.

Robbie pulling away at the front.


Aldershot District Inter School XC (Match 3)

A bit of change today, no year 11’s, no private schools but we did have some additional state schools join the fun, including Connaught and Cove.

First race was the year 7 & 8 girls, shortly followed by the year 7 & 8 boys with the final race of the day being a co-ed race featuring all year 9 & 10 pupils.

Robbie re-enters the main field with a very impressive lead.

With the year 11’s missing Robbie was left to run out on his own and finish first at his home venue, 2nd place was also grabbed by Calthorpe who also came second in the Y7&8 Girls race and 1st and 3rd in the Y7&8 boys race. So a good day for the school.

Robbie finished the 2.56km course in 1st place with a time of 8:50.0.

Aldershot District Inter School XC (Match 2)

All the same rules, and competition layout’s as match 1, with Years 7 & 8 racing against each other, years 9 & 10 racing against each other and year 11 racing against themselves, only incorporated in to the year 9 & 10 race. So two races for 3 age groups over 2 sexes = 4 races 🙂

Boys Years 9,10 & 11.

Robbie approaching the last corner on a quick but hilly course.

Sorry all, I don’t have a full list of results, apparently they are subject to high security restrictions and are only available to school PE departments, if I manage to hack the SPE Database and pull down the full set of results I’ll post them up here, I promise. Do me a favour and keep an eye out for the Teachers in Black suits and Sunglasses.

Course was quite short, but contained a nasty hill which had to be negotiated twice. Distance approx. 2.3k.

Much like Race 1. Robbie finished 2nd overall, 1st in the year 8/9 section. AFD team mates Charlie Mills (1st Overall, 1st Year 11) and Reece Webber (6th Overall) were once again present.

Aldershot District Inter School XC (Match 1)

The first Inter School XC of the season, at least for Robbie, was held at Robert Mays school in Hook. A quick field based course, incorporating 3 laps of a 1k circuit.

This season a number of these races will be combined age group races, with age group positions being sorted out post race, and mixed positions being issued on the day.

Today’s race saw Years 9, 10 and 11 combine together in one race, with the results feeding in to separate performances for the year 9 and 10 age group and the year 11 age group.

Robbie finished 2nd overall with an approx. time of 10:20.0 (TBC neither Robbie nor I managed to start our watches on time). 2nd place overall provided Robbie with 1st place in the year 9/10 category with AFD team mate Charlie Mills taking the 1st place slot (overall and for year 11). In addition to Charlie and Robbie AFD team mate Reece Webber was also top 10 placed, finishing in 7th place overall (year 9/10 placing TBC).

North Hants Inter School XC (Match 1)

The End of an Era – Robbie’s 4th and Final Millennium Cup

Well here we are, once again at Lord Wandsworth college for another Millennium Cup. This year Robbie is running as upper age group, U11’s and is out to retain the title from last years victory.


A slight change in scene though this year, with both Steph and Mick busy an alternative English Athlete is drafted in to assist in the presentations, sorry but I can’t recall her name, though I do know she is the daughter of the organiser, so perhaps I’ll be able to dig it out and update at a later time.

The race goes much as expected with Robbie running the entire race from the front, Velmead looking strong as a team and a school with a good group of runners being brought to the mix this year, particularly in the U11’s.

Velmead Results

  • U11 Girls – Gold
  • U11 Boys – Bronze
  • Overall School – Bronze

Individual Medals (Velmead)

  • U11 Boys – Robbie Coupland – Gold

Robbie’s Millenium Cup III

Back again, Velmead attending the Millennium Cup, the venue has now moved to Lord Wandsworth College. Now running as bottom year Under 11’s Robbie is expecting a much harder time of it than last year.

After almost a year of training with AFD, and a number of Border League races Robbie’s experience and ability has come on much quicker than that of the boys about him, and he dominates the race from the beginning to the end. It was a great day, a great race and to stand and hear the British Junior Women’s Champion cheering Robbie on by name was also great.

Millennium Cup 2010

1st Place

Robbie’s Millenium Cup II

Ok a year on, at this point Robbie is still only running in the royal blue of Velmead Junior School, a lot of thanks need to go to his teacher, and the school caretaker for thie continued efforts to keep running on the extra curricular activities list for the school. Since his excellent performance a year ago, Robbie has gone from strength to strength in his school running and has put his name down on the waiting list to join Aldershot and Farnham Athletics Club (AFD). Though Rugby is still his passion, Football is now coming to the fore and running sits in there alongside both of them. For Robbie it’s all about the sport, and it seems that any sport is a good sport.

Millenium Cup held a great promise this year, and we were certainly hoping, and even expecting a medal. The race began and it soon became evident that Robbie wouldn’t have everything his own way, trailing in second place for the majority of the race, a major boost in the last 80m sees Robbie catch the number 1 runner, but unfortunately he just runs out of distance to take him in crossing the line almost together before his opponent trips and leaves Robbie to wander off believing he has won. It is over an hour later when we find out that the organisers believe that the boys were over the line before the fall, and that is the official ending 🙂

Anyway despite coming second, a medal followed and was greeted with great enthusiasm, presented by Steph Twell (British Junior Womens XC Champion) and her coach Mick Woods, to whom Anna had a quick chat with post race, and before you know it Robbie is invited to come along and train with Mick’s squad at AFD, circumventing an 18month waiting list.

Millenium Cup 2009

2nd Place

In the begining… 2007 Velmead Junior School & Robbie’s 1st Millennium Cup

An early spark of future possibilities as Robbie runs a fantastic leg for his class in the Velmead Cross Country Relay 2007.

The first major race that Robbie ran in was the Millennium Cup XC run annually by Grey House School in Hartley Wintney, it was here at his first outing that we realised that he may have a future in running.

Running in the bottom year U9’s (Year 3 at Junior School) Robbie competed against a large field of boys keen to show their athletic prowess. The race was run on a purpose prepared course near The Park health club and The Crooked Billet pub, just off the A30.

In a very competitive race, Robbie managed, despite the age difference, to do really well and keep up with the leading pack, eventually finishing his first ever competitive race in 5th place. Cheered over the line by a frankly astounded pair of parents.

Millennium Cup 2008

5th Place