Select Grantham Athletic Club youngsters took part in the New Balance English Schools Cross Country Championships which took place at Norfolk County Showground on Saturday.
The competition brought together the best athletes from 45 counties to compete to be the best in the country.
GAC athletes had to be selected by their Lincolnshire county team manager who considered performance in the previous county and inter-county matches. Five very proud athletes from GAC were selected to join the team.
Racing first was Isabel Hobday, the only female athlete from GAC to make the selection, who joined 345 girls in the inter-girls 3.75km category, in what turned out to be a very flat and fast course, very different from the normal knee high in mud experience. It was Isabel’s first year running in this age group and, despite nerves, she finished in a respectable 258th with a time of 14min 56sec.
Next up was junior boy Gareth Lee who was competing at this level for the first time. Gareth had a fantastic race against the other 345 competitors and stormed home to finish 72nd overall and first for Lincolnshire in a time of 13:34 on the 4km course – an amazing achievement for an athlete who has only just started running longer distances.
Last to race were Will Tucker, George Hatton and Aaron Hunt. The inter-boys GAC athletes took on the 6km distance against a field of 338 athletes with great determination.
Aaron brought the team home in 134th place with a time of 20:11, followed only nine seconds behind by Will Tucker who finished in 152nd place with a time of 20:20. A gallant effort by George Hatton saw him finish in 332nd place with a time of 22:57.
This brought the cross country season to a brilliant end and GAC are extremely proud of all their athletes selected to represent the county, and are now looking forward to the track season – but only after a well-deserved rest.
l GAC are happy to welcome all athletes to their family-friendly training sessions. Find them at The Meres or check out what they are up to at granthamac.com