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…