English National XC Championships 2017

A very “Cross Country” course at Wollaton Park in Nottingham greeted the hordes of runners turning up for the National XC Championships. Robbie’s U17m race due to commence at 12:35 gave us plenty of time to walk the course and investigate the swamps. The course had plenty of diversity, some good hills, some smooth good going, some heavy going and some very boggy areas made a good mix.

Target was top 20, with a push target for top 10 but alas it wasn’t to be, a week away from college, a birthday and a couple of birthday celebrations took their toll on Robbie who simply didn’t have the legs on the day ultimately finishing 34th in 21:48, not a totally bad result, but not where we wanted to be. Time to get his head back in the game with the last Hampshire League this coming weekend, and Inter-Counties and English School just around the corner, preperation is everything now.

The silver lining from the day is that AFD had another great spread of team results, out of ten team races winning 4 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze, one of those silvers being from the U17m’s race, so Robbie managed to walk away with a Silver medal on the day.

Exit the Mud

Staunton Country Park – Hampshire League (2016/7) 4 of 5

With half term hitting on many of the participating Counties the younger races were a little light on numbers this week, but AFD came on mass to up the stakes and had a great club day out.

Girls / Women
U13 – 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 19 – Team 2nd
U15 – 6, 9, 10, 12 – Team 2nd
U17 – 4, 17, 18 – Team 3rd
U20 – 2, 4, 6, 11 – Team 1st
Senior – 9, 12, 15, 18 – Team 3rd

Boys / Men
U13 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 – Team 1st
U15 – 2, 3, 11, 12 – Team 1st
U17 – 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 – Team 1st
Senior – 4, 10, 12 – Team 1st

So a great day for boosting the League positions across the board. Robbie had a great run in the U17’s with the previous league leader (Lachlan Wellington) missing a second race and dropping out of contention the race was still going to be hard with current 2nd place Zac Mahamed, and 3rd place Jacob O’Hara still running. The strong AFD squad looked keen from the start and by the end of the 1st lap, of the 3 lap race, a break away group had formed comprising of Zac, Jacob, Robbie and the AFD possie, Max Heyden, Marcus Shantry, Ollie Percival and Lewis Reid. Coming over the top of the hill and Robbie decided to push the pace a little, taking the others a little by surprise it wasn’t long before a gap began to form, and before the hill was reached for a 2nd time Zac had pulled out, leaving Robbie clear at the front, chased by Jacob, in turn chased by the rest of the AFD boys.

With the boys about to come over the rise for the 3rd and final time the starting horn is blasted and a stampeded of senior men explodes down the starting straight, Robbie hears the horn and puts everything he has in to his finish in a successful attempt to get past the merge point before the Men joined the course, which caused not a small amount of confusion for the boys caught in the middle of the madness. Robbie clear, but being chased down now by a rampaging pack of seniors managed to stay ahead of them for the 20m dash to the peel off point for the finishing straight, where the others were was to be honest hard to tell, and with conflicting advice being shouted about hard to see where they were going to come from. But despite the chaos the positions coming up the hill remained the finishing postions of the runners;

1st – Robbie Coupland (AFD)
2nd – Jacob O’Hara (Portsmouth)
3rd – Ollie Percival (AFD)
4th – Lewis Reid (AFD)
5th – Marcus Shantry (AFD)
6th – Max Heyden (AFD)

Well done to everyone who ran through the snow, over the cobbles and battled the chaos. A really good day out for AFD.

AFD looking strong and dominating the numbers in the leading pack

South of England Schools Inter-County XC Championships 2017

So the second event to be missed, though Anna and I were back at home before Robbie started his race, we were sitting on a plane flying back as he travelled over to Brands Hatch.

Little feedback from this one to be honest other than Robbie’s “twas alright” comment. But from the results I am assusming a good run, with Robbie holding 3rd place for the vast majority of the race, being pipped in the finshing few hundred meters by fellow Hampshire Athlete Toby Roe to finish in 4th place.

Great runs from all the Hampshire team led to the boys taking home Gold, and Hampshire being crowned South East Schools, Senior Boys Inter-County Champions.

First 6 runners count in the scoring team, placings shown below:

3: Toby Roe : 21.09
4: Robbie Coupland : 21.12
5: James Heneghan : 21.24
8: James Beeks : 21.31
11: Sam Costley : 21:36
14: Lewis Reid : 21:54

Overall, through the 3 age categories (Junior, Inter and Senior) and the 2 sex categories (girls and boys) Hampshire got 3 team golds, 1 team silver and 1 team bronze.

JG : 2
JB : 3
IG : 5
IB : 1
SG : 1
SB : 1

Well done to everyone who ran, it sounds like a great day out, especially well done to the Hampshire team on such an awesome showing.