AFD – Boxing Day Handicap 5k

Great to watch the club race itself out on the roads of Aldershot today, some excellent performances were put in, notably Johnny Hay flying through the field after starting last, Jack Boswell powering along to an exceptional 15’36” 5k time. Robbie finished 11th taking in to account the handicap, clocking up (we think) the 7th fastest time on the day completing the 5k in 16’37”. His target time was 16’30” so very slightly behind, but not bad and still improving kicking the illness induced cobwebs out of the system.

South of England Athletics Association – Inter-County Championships

Saturday saw Robbie don a brand new Hampshire vest having finally outgrown his old one, but a new vest wasn’t to prove a good omen. Conditions in Oxford were good in the air, but very muddy under foot. The course was generally flat and fast in parts with a couple of sharp nasty hills and some very muddy trails thrown in for good measure. All round good XC conditions and Robbie was keen to get started, with thoughts of a top 5 finish in mind. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, Robbie sat with the group trailing the leaders for a long stretch of the race, but when it came to it he simply didn’t have enough to push past them and make something of the race, finishing in 12th place with a time of 15’41” nearly a minute behind fellow Hampshire and winning athlete Zac Mahamed (14’49”). A performance Robbie was dissapointed with, but you can’t win them all and the only thing to take from this is the need to dig in and build in training, with the 2014 races now finished, we are putting this one behind us and looking forward to 3rd January 2015 when it all starts again.

On a merrier note though, it was a good day for Team Hampshire, coming 3rd overall with 41 points, behind second place Kent also on 41 points and 1st place Herts on 30 points. Congratulations to all runners it was a real slog through that mud, and special congratulations to Zac Mahamed for his 1st place and Lachlan Wellington for his 6th place finish.

Team Hampshire - SEAA XC

Team Hampshire – SEAA XC

Popham – Hampshire League 3 of 5

After a week of coughing and spluttering there was some concern if we’d even make it to Popham and ultimately the decision to race was not unanimous within the Coupland household, fortunately we don’t run a democracy so Robbie headed to Popham to run the race. Mick recommendation to sit back a bit, take it steady and work through the pack were taken on board and by the 1k point Robbie had shuffled forward from 15th at the first corner to 6th, sitting on the shoulders of Tom Bourne and Lachlan Wellington and forming a trailing group about 20m back from the leading group of Zac Mahamed, Chey Kemp and Matt Rawlings. Distances between individuals and groups varied a lot over the second part of the course, but ultimately the positions didn’t change too much, the only noticeable change to that leading 6 was the addition of Ollie Percival (AFD) sliding in behind Robbie’s 5th place and pushing Tom Bourne down to 7th.

Chasing Group at the 2K point.

Chasing Group at the 2K point.

British Athletics XC Challenge (1 of 4) – Liverpool

Another long trip to the outer reaches of world saw us getting our heads down near Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. The Crowne Plaza offered a good nights sleep, Pizza Hut provided plenty of pre-sleep carbs, and MacDonalds supplied breakfast, talk about a healthy weekend away.

A manic chase down the long, wide starting straight saw Robbie hit the first corner in approximately 30th place, but a serious amount of hard work and determination soon saw him up on the shoulders of the leading group. Some excellent performances on the day ultimately pushed Robbie just outside the top 10 to finish in 11th place, but with the quality line up that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Stampede at Liverpool

Stampede at Liverpool

Well done to everyone that ran, top 11 shown below.

Matt Willis (9:44)
Reece Curtis (9:46)
Joshua Cowperthwaite (9:48)
Oliver Barbaresi (9:51)
Luke Davies (9:52)
Joe Body (9:54)
Callum Abberley (9:55)
Elliot Dee (9:55)
Joseph Pollard (9:56)
David Mullarkey (9:56)
Robbie Coupland (9:57)