South of England Cross Country Championships

One of the biggest events of the year usually held at Parliament Hill in London, but sliding further south in years where Parliament Hill hosts the Nationals. This year, with Parliament Hill hosting those Nationals, the Southerns are held down in Brighton. Robbie has run both locations in the past with his last outing to Bristol being three years ago. This was to be one of the big races of the year for Robbie, with expectations for an individual medal place. Unfortunately it was not to be, a visit on Friday night to Stuart Butler (GB & England Athletics Support Team – Physiotherapist) highlighted that Robbie has suffered a torn hamstring, probably as far back as late November / early December 2014. Continued work and strain to the hamstring has resulted in a condition described as “weak hamstring”, Stuart explained that because the muscle was not being given a chance to recover, the body had started to “shut down” the muscle to prevent use and assist healing. Requirement for now is NO running, hamstring strengthening exercises followed by a gradual rehabilitation plan to get back to gentle running before stepping back in to training. The outcome 4 to 6 weeks minimum without competition, so no Southerns today, no School Southerns next week and for the moment we are not sure if there will be any more races this Cross Country season. Still at least we know the problem now and have a plan to move forward. Good luck to everybody running today, come on you AFD and congratulations to James Puxty (Tonbridge), Zac Mahamed (Southampton) and Lachlan Wellington (Portsmouth) who I am informed finished the U15’s race in that order, well done boys.

Hampshire Schools Inter-Boys Cross Country Championships

Despite 2 weeks of easy going and 4 sessions of Physio, Robbie’s ongoing Hamstring issue reared it’s ugly head once again at the County Schools Championships. With Robbie running in the bottom year it was always going to be a hard race for him, and the start saw two Southampton Runners set a fairly swift pace, the Aldershot boys, led by Jack Boswell, Jake Cvetkovic and Robbie, formed a group and sat back, letting the race ride out at their own pace, as the second lap kicked in Jack and Jake upped the pace, but Robbie’s hamstring simply would not let him push on, doggedly sticking in there and slowly watching other runners catch and over take him, slipping back from 5th, down to 8th, then 9th as Sean Pocknee, another Aldershot runner pushed past with 500m to go. 9th place is enough to make down selection for the Southern Inter County Schools, from which the 8 man team for the Nationals will be selected, that said though, it looks like Robbie will be out of action for a number of weeks, probably missing the Southerns, and ultimately missing that opportunity to race in the National Schools at the end of the season.

All in all a disappointing if brave performance, leading to a disappointing result and probably the end of his Cross Country season for this year. That said, Aldershot District Schools stormed the leader board with runners, with their first 4 runners placing 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th leading to a walk over win at the team level.

Jack, Jake and Robbie in Aldershot Tangerine, chasing Sam Costley and Luke Powell from Southampton.

Jack, Jake and Robbie in Aldershot Tangerine, chasing Southampton.

Unfortunately the times and official results haven’t been published yet, but I will update when I get them.

Reading – Hampshire League 4 of 5

Odd weather conditions today, but I guess that should be expected at a Cross Country meet. The 4th race in the Hampshire League series was hosted by Reading AC, who in turn had a strong showing at the event with Chey Kemp leading from the start across the flat and in to the hills section. The lack of current league leader Zak Mahamed saw a steadier start speed to the race, the hills took there toll on a number of boys, most struggling up them, but Robbie with a problematic hamstring which has kept him from training for a week and is still tight and sore when stretched, not liking the down hills. Lachlan Wellington had powered through the hills section in to first place, steaming down the  steep hill back toward the fields saw an unfortunate marshaling or course error, and Lachlan headed off in the wrong direction, by the time he’d corrected he was back in second place with Chey Kemp back in front. The race didn’t finish there though, with numerous changes over the long finishing straight, Robbie trying to stick in but with no length to his stride his pace could simply not improve found himself pushed back to a 6th place finish by Dominic Willmore (Poole Runners), Chey Kemp also found the final part of the race hard going as Tom Bourne steamed passed everyone to finish first, with Lachlan Wellington second and Alex Rodrigues in 3rd.

Timings now in, top 10 below.

1 Tom Bourne Wimborne 13:02
2 Lachlan Wellington City of Portsmouth 13:08
3 Alex Rodrigues Camberley & District 13:12
4 Chey Kemp Reading AC 13:12
5 D Willmore Poole Runners 13:19
6 Robbie Coupland Aldershot, Farnham & District 13:23
7 Nick Wiltshire Reading AC 13:27
8 Marcus Shantry Aldershot, Farnham & District 13:34
9 Joe Kelliher Wimborne 13:38
10 Sean Pocknee Aldershot, Farnham & District 13:44

Hampshire County XC Championships 2014-15

Another year of Hampshire Champs at Eastleigh and another year of lots of rain and plenty of mud. In places the footing was treacherous at best, but it was a true Cross Country course, stretching for 4.35km. With about 1200m to go and Zak Mahamed is storming out in front, with Robbie leading the chase closely followed by Lachlan Wellington, a tight turn in deep mud saw Robbie hit the deck, back on his feet fairly quickly but his rhythm thrown to pieces and Lachlan pulling away and Alex Rowe(Guernsey) & William Brown(Jersey) chasing him down and closing the gap quickly. With 800m to go Robbie is back in his flow and pushing hard, Lachlan is now well clear and Robbie is no threat to that second place position, but with his flow back he quickly starts to open the gap between himself and the Channel Island runners battling for fourth behind him.

1st Zak Mahamed 14:39
2nd Lachlan Wellington 14:57
3rd Robbie Coupland 15:10
4th Alex Rowe 15:18
5th William Brown 15:23

Unfortunately with only 3 runners AFD did not field a full team and as such could not compete for the team medals.

AFD Runners U15b:
18 Billy Smith 16:48
20 Sean Pocknee 17:00

Robbie Chasing Zak through the Mud of Fleming Park, Eastleigh.

Robbie Chasing Zak through the Mud of Fleming Park, Eastleigh.