Report from Team Manager Jay Potton
Beckenham is a lovely setting for a cross country championships. A stately home holds a dominant position overlooking a valley with a pond nestled in grassy fields with thick woods on the far side. Thousands of athletes across all age groups from a multitude of clubs descended on the venue for the SEAA South of England Cross Country Championships last Saturday. The field featured some of the very best athletes in the country and the competition was fierce. While the weather gave us a fine sunny winter’s day, the mud was still thick in places making the going very hard. Our athletes from Brighton did us proud putting in some great individual and team performances, despite some age groups running their longest distance of the season.
For a team to score they needed four runners and some clubs were not able to achieve that. However, thanks to the support of our athletes (and their parents/taxi drivers) we managed to field a team in all but one of the age groups.
- U13G team finished 10th out of 57 teams that were represented by 154 runners.
- U13B team finished 17th out of 50 teams with 174 runners on the field.
- U15G team finished 11th out of 60 teams with 183 runners.
- U15B team finished 17th out of 57 teams with 181 runners.
- U17M team finished 12th out of 60 teams with 166 runners.
- For our U17W, with withdrawals due to illness, Dulcie ran on her own coming a very impressive 25th out of 121 runners.
One of the cruel things about Beckenham is that having faced a gruelling trek across multiple terrain, through boggy fields, gravelly tracks, steep hills, and woodland paths, at the end, as you are drawing on your last reserves of energy, the route to the finish is up a seemingly never-ending hill! However, at the finish I witnessed some excellent sprints to the line to grab places from other teams, our athletes showing total dedication and determination to get passed the competition.
So what was my word(s) for the day? You thought I’d forgotten didn’t you? Dauntlessness. Our athletes dug deep against a huge field of runners who were powerfully fast, and could have easily intimidated, but our runners were having none of that as they sprinted for that finish. Once again well done to you all. You all make us proud.
NEXT CLUB RACES:
- Sussex XC League race 4 at Glyndebourne on 10th February (athlete entry)
- Sussex Road Relays at Preston Park Brighton 30th March (team selection)
Forthcoming schools’ races
- South East Schools Inter-Counties (SESIC) Cross Country 3rd February
- Yrs 8/9, 10/11, 12/13 = SSAA selected the teams based on top 20 on 16th Jan at SSAA Championships
- Held in Ardingly
- SSAA Cross Country 7&8 Championships 27th February
- Yrs 7 & 8 = schools handle entry
- Christ’s Hospital