Hampshire Championships

Tomorrow (Saturday 9th) will see Robbie running in the Hampshire Championships, with no training for 4 weeks due to an IT band problem it will be interesting to see how he gets on. Still hoping to finish in the top 8 and get selected to represent Hampshire in the National Inter-County Championships on the 12th March.

Good Luck to Robbie and to everyone racing in their county championships this weekend.

South of England – Inter Counties XC Championship

Well the weather seems to be changing, quite a nip in the air today, the chill accompanied by a horrible drizzle and a very cold wind set for miserable conditions. The footing was generally good though, no swamps, no puddles just grass and a little mud to contend with. Robbie running in the white and green of Hampshire started well, the race quickly breaking down to Ali Kinloch way out in front, followed by a chasing pack, followed by another chasing pack, followed by the rest of the field. Robbie sat comfortably in the second group for some time before pushing to the front of that group and pulling it along in an attempt to close down the group in front. The group worked hard and well closing the gap and presenting opportunities to pull back some places. For most of the race Robbie was the leading Hampshire runner, closely followed by New Forest Runners Connor Lopez, but the last 1km saw Jack Boswell come through to sit behind Robbie and subsequently pass him on the finishing straight.

Top 5
1. Alasdair Kinloch Kent 14:59
2. Terry Fawden Middlesex 15:07
3. Ben Davies Bedfordshire 15:08
4. Jamie Goodge Kent 15:11
5. Will Perkin Buckinghamshire 15:14

Hampshire Results
Team Position 4th (1st 4 runners score)
14. Jack Boswell 15:40
15. Robbie Coupland 15:41
19. Connor Lopez 15:49
27. James Beeks 16:10
28. Sam Costley 16:12
51. Luke Powell 16:43
53. Sam Metcalf 16:45
62. Keir Sullivan 17:07

Good run by everyone who attended, an excellent race to watch, well done boys.

Robbie kicking hard down the hill, about 1.2k to go.

Robbie kicking hard down the hill, about 1.2k to go.

Team Hampshire

Team Hampshire

Bournemouth – Hampshire League 3 of 5

Another wet and windy day in Bournemouth saw some good results for AFD overall with Team 1st in U13 and U17 boys, 2nd in U15 boys, the girls winning at U13 and the U20’s and coming second in the Senior Women.

Robbie’s race went very well, with Sam Costley taking on the wind and the weather to pull away early, a decision that ultimately cost him, as the chasing guys clung together in a group of around 20. That chasing group slowly closed the gap until they caught and pulled past Sam, and pushed on with Connor Lopez taking the bull by the horns and pushing out at the front a place he held until about 1k to go when Jack Boswell caught and overtook him, pushing hard and soon pulling away from the group. Connor feeling the effects of leading the pack slid back to 4th place with Jack holding 1st place, Sam Maher taking 2nd, Matt Rawlings taking 3rd.

Robbie’s race went well, sticking with the chasing pack and being as sensible as he could, kicking a little at the 1k to go point as the leading 4 pulled away and fiding himself in 5th place with nobody around, like Sam and Connor before him, breaking through the wind took the legs out from under him, allowing Sam Rodda to catch him, and on the finishing straight take him and push him back to 6th place. Still a strong run executed very well.

Individual Results
1. Jack Boswell AFD 19:34
2. Sam Maher Jersey 19:41
3. Matt Rawlings Reading 19:45
4. Connor Lopez New Forest 19:54
5. Sam Rodda Reading Reading 19:55
6. Robbie Coupland AFD 19:58

Reading 3rd Runner – 11. Micheal Lennon 20:31
AFD 3rd Runner – 10. Ollie Percival 20:22

Team Results
1. AFD 17 points
2. Reading 19 points
3. Basingstoke 56 points

Individual League Standing
1. Jack Boswell AFD 3 points
2. Matt Rawlings Reading 4 points
3. Sam Rodda Reading 8 points
4. Robbie Coupland AFD 11 points
5. Sam Costley Southampton 12 points

Team League Standing
1. AFD 4 points
2. Reading 5 points
3. Basingstoke 12 points

About half way....

About half way….

UK Cross Challenge – Liverpool (2 of 5)

A long trip up to Liverpool for the UK Cross Challenge, but a great experience, watching some great runners compete. Steph Twell coming 3rd (behind Gemma Steel and Kate Avery) in the Senior Womens and guaranteeing a place in the GB XC squad, with AFD pushing 2 runners in to the GB squad at the Junior Women level, Amy Griffiths finishing 3rd and Grace Baker finishing 5th. The men having a little success too, with Johnny Hay qualifying for selection in 4th place in the senior men, but unfortunately, despite some good prospects, nobody qualifying in the Junior Men category which was won, amazingly, by U17’s Ben Dijkstra, with Hampshire favorite Mahamed Mahamed performing well and coming 3rd  in his first season in the Junior Mens race. AFD continued with good results in the older categories, seeing Niamh Brown (2nd) and Lucy Pygott (5th) finishing high up in the U17 Women and Jack Boswell (5th) doing the same in the U17 Men. Unfortunately the younger categories were very scarcely populated as far as AFD were concerned, with no runners in the U15 girls and the U15 boys, but at least a little flag flying from Emma Boswell (U13G) and Patrick Brown (U13B) who both had a great first outing at such a massive and major event. What an experience for all who ran.

Robbie looked strong, relaxed and fresh throughout the U17 men’s race, perhaps a little too relaxed finishing 37th overall. The field was very strong, and for the first time in an age I witnessed Robbie do a sprint finish to complete the race, another sign perhaps that he over relaxed in the race. Still a confident run, against strong opposition, in hard conditions so there are plenty of positives to take away. A special congratulations to Matt Willis, bottom year U17’s, in his 3rd place finish and of course to Jack Boswell (AFD) for his 5th place.

1. Tom Mortimer 17:28 (Stroud)
2. Scott Beattie 17:35 (Morpeth Harriers)
3. Matt Willis 17:38 (Wrexham)
4. Sol Sweeney 17:45 (Perth)
5. Jack Boswell 17:47 (AFD)

37. Robbie Coupland 18:49 (AFD)

Slowly Picking Off the Opposition

Slowly Picking Off the Opposition

Aldershot District XC Championships

Weather good, but after years of running the same course at Lord Wandsworth College, there were some changes this year. The finishing blast, up the hill through the farmers field, now closed, is gone and a re-route back to the horrible loose stone path that the runners run down and away from the college on is required. Bad enough running it on the way out, horrible to run it on the way back, with tired legs and spikes, not the best of under foot conditions.

Still, once again a very well organised event, that ran smoothly and on time so thanks to all those at LWC and the other volunteers that made the day a success.

Robbie, now running as upper year Intermediate Boys, had a great race, battling hard for the first 1500m against Dan Brooking from Yateley School before slowly pulling away and starting to build a gap. A great and convincing run from Robbie, who felt comfortable and relaxed throughout and in his words “Had plenty more in the tank” had it been needed. Good run, great result, roll on the County Championships.

1.   Robbie Coupland   Calthorpe park School   17:07 2. Dan Brooking Yateley School 17:53 3. Sam Bramwell Robert Mays School 17:57 4. Billy Smith Robert Mays School 18:04 5. Ethan Hartley Robert Mays School 18:58

With fellow CP runners Richard Oliver (20:59), Simran Lall (21:17) and Jack Watson – injured (31:55) finishing 19,21 and 44th leaving CP in 4th place in the team event.

Still a good day out for all, well done Calthorpe Park, and especially well done to Robbie Coupland.

Robbie running the lonely road in at LWC 2015

Robbie running the lonely road in at LWC 2015

Popham – Hampshire League 2 of 5

A very wet day at Popham Airfield for the 2nd Hampshire League match. Robbie, still suffering with a slight sprain in his hamstring only raced due to the fact that this event is the Hampshire Team selection race for the Southern Inter-Counties, wasn’t expecting to do very well, but hoped for top 8 in Hampshire to ensure that team slot. As things went, Robbie was the forth AFD runner, 10th overall and 4th Hampshire runner over the line, so mission accomplished despite the injury, which was evident in the performance. Still we are expecting a fairly swift recovery from this one and hope he will be race fit for the next race, district schools championships and selection for the district team on Tuesday 24th November.

Individual Results (Top Ten)
1st Matt Rawlings (Reading) 18:13
2nd Jack Boswell (AFD) 18:21
3rd Sam Rodda (Reading) 18:29
4th Sam Costley (Southampton) 18:32
5th Micheal Lennon (Reading) 18:42
6th James Beeks (Basingstoke) 18:46
7th Alex Rodrigues (AFD) 18:48
8th Dominic Willmore (Poole) 18:50
9th Ollie Percival (AFD) 18:56
10th Robbie Coupland (AFD) 18:59

Team Results (Top 3)
1st Reading
2nd AFD
3rd Basingstoke

Leading group splashing in the mud.

Leading group splashing in the mud.

National XC Relays – Mansfield – 2015

Ok… So I am very slow, but there was Rugby, and Beer and other stuff that got in the way…

Anyway, a day off work to spend in traffic jams driving to Nottingham was a wonderful start to the weekend, The XC’s kicked off great for AFD, getting team Gold in Event 1 (Junior Women), Event 2(U17 Women), Bronze in Event 3 (Junior Men) but for AFD the U17’s Men’s race was the first non-medal event of the day. Robbie didn’t have a great start, and to be honest never looked like pulling it in, he looked tired and disheartened as he ran, performing well, but no where need his top level capability, finishing Leg 1 in 25th Place in a time of (09:37). Jack Boswell took over and stormed the second leg to come in as fastest runner for his leg (09:15) and bringing AFD up to an amazing 6th place. Jack handed the proverbial baton on to Jake Cvetkovic who despite weeks of disrupted training due to injury smashed the last leg (09:13) and brought AFD up to 4th place, an excellent finishing position in a major national event, just a shame that medal was out of touch.

A special mention to the AFD U13 Boys who finished 1st and 2nd. Well done boys.

U17 Men
1st Tonbridge
2nd Bedfors
3rd Cambridge
4th AFD
5th Charnwood

Overall a good day for AFD, and not a bad result for the U17 Men, but Robbie needs to pull something out of the bag to stay up there with the top runners, and ensure his place in the AFD A Team.

Leg 1 - Robbie Pushing it along.

Leg 1 – Robbie – Floating Downhill…

Farley Mount – Hampshire League 1 of 5

The Hampshire League Cross Country League’s is one of the strongest leagues in the country, the name comes from the fact that it is Hampshire Athletics Association who organise the league, but the league is not restricted to Hampshire athletes, it attracts a large and strong field with teams and individuals coming from Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Dorset and the Channel Islands.

Today saw Robbie in his first U17’s XC race, though the race was only 4.7k, not the expected 6.0k it was still a hard course and an interesting opportunity. Reading, who proved very strong in the road relays this year had a large team entered in the U17’s and are pushing for a team gold in the league this year, trying to topple AFD from the top spot.

The race kicked off fast, then settled down some on the first hill, the top 5 places soon formed and hardly changed for the whole race, a fast finish from the two top Reading runners (Peter Cook and Matt Rawlings) saw those individuals pushing away from AFD runners (Jack Boswell and Robbie Coupland) to secure 2nd and 4th Place. Still AFD had the best of the day, with Jake Cvetkovic in 1st, Jack in 3rd and Robbie in 5th three runners in the top 5 looks good for the team results. It looks very much like this year’s Hampshire League is going to be a close fought battle between reading and AFD. Well done to everyone who ran today, a special mention to Niamh Brown, still eligible to run U17 but finishing the day as the winner of the Senior Women’s event and to Judith Squibbs in her first ever Hampshire League, the AFD vest suits her well.

Provisional U17’s results (Top 20)
1st Jake Cvetkovic AFD 16:26
2nd Peter Cook Reading 16:39
3rd Jack Boswell AFD 16:42
4th Matt Rawlings Reading 16:55
5th Robbie Coupland AFD 16:58
6th Dominic Willmore Poole Runners 17:01
7th James Beeks Basingstoke 17:12
8th Sam Costley Southampton 17:22
9th Toby Roe Portsmouth 17:24
10th Luke Powell Southampton 17:24
11th Joe Steveni Reading 17:24
12th Jamie Domoney Salisbury 17:32
13th Sam Rodda Reading 17:32
14th Sam Metcalf Isle of Wight 17:33
15th Michael Lennon Reading 17:39
16th Piers Copeland Wimborne 17:48
17th Keir Sullivan Winchester 17:58
18th Isaac Farnworth Reading 18:05
19th Alex Rodrigues AFD 18:08
20th Shreyas Kanyady Reading 18:13

U17 Men - AFD off to a Flying Start

U17 Men – AFD off to a Flying Start

U17 Men - Top of the Hill at Farley Mount

U17 Men – Top of the Hill at Farley Mount

National Road Relays 2015

Lovely weather in Sutton Coldfield for the National Road Relays, and some great performances. The AFD U17 women getting team gold and winning by 50 seconds with Niamh Brown getting 3rd fastest overall and Lucy Pygott getting 4th fastest overall it is hardly surprising. Well done Ladies.

The AFD U17 men also managing to medal though not quite so spectacularly, still a bronze team medal at a National event is a great achievement, congratulations to winning team Tonbridge, and silver medalists Reading on excellent performances. Although Tonbridge didn’t win by the huge gap that they won the Southerns in, they still had a convincing lead.

Robbie started AFD off in the first leg managing a credible 13th place (26th fastest overall) in 12’22”, handing over to Jack Boswell who stormed at the runners before him taking AFD up to 4th place in a 2nd leg fastest time of 11’57”, with the Nationals only having 3 legs it was up to Jake Cvetkovic to make the final push to get AFD in the medal positions which he obviously did finishing 3rd overall, with the 3rd leg second fastest time of 11’53”.

Well done boys a very deserved medal in a very strong event.

Fastest Runners.
1. Tom Dodd (Birchfield) 11:43
2. Alasdair Kinloch (Tonbridge A) 11:47
3. Tom Mortimer (Stroud) 11:51
4. Alfie Thompson (Leicester) 11:52
5. Jake Cvetkovic (AFD) 11:53
6. Ashley Brown (Cambridge) 11:54
7. Matt Rawlings (Reading) 11:55
8. Jack Boswell (AFD) 11:57
9. James Puxty (Tonbridge A) 11:58
10. Sam Crick (Tonbridge B) 11:59 …
26. Robbie Coupland (AFD) 12:22

AFD U17 men collecting their team Bronze Medals at the National Road Relays.

AFD U17 men collecting their team Bronze Medals at the National Road Relays.

Southern Road Relays 2015

Well done to all the competitors in today’s Southern Road Relays, some excellent running and a great event to watch. Aldershot had a strong U17 men’s team this year, made up of Ollie Percival, Robbie Coupland, Jack Boswell and Jake Cvetkovic, but as always they were up against some very strong opposition including last years winners and favorites Tonbridge and last years 3rd place Cambridge, both of which looked as strong, if not stronger than last years teams.

As it went they both turned out to be very strong, with Tonbridge grabbing Gold, Cambridge seizing silver and AFD blasting out some excellent running to blag bronze.

<name> : <time> : <ind. position>
James Puxty   :   11:57   :   3
Jamie Goodge   :   12:00   :   =5 
Sam Crick   :   12:17   :   14
Ali Kinloch : 11:51   :   1

Rob Huckle   :   11:54   :   2
Jordan Wood   :   12:18   :   15
Oliver Sewell   :   12:29   :   
Ashley Brown   :   12:06   :   10

Ollie Percival   :   12:34   :   
Robbie Coupland   :   12:26   :   =19
Jack Boswell   :   12:04   :   =8
Jake Cvetkovic   :   12:00   :   =5

End of leg 2, the Beginning of Leg 3

End of leg 2, the Beginning of Leg 3