The Midland Cross Country Championship held last Saturday at Prestwold Hall saw 10 athletes from Grantham Athletic Club competing.
The day started bright and sunny but with a cold strong wind that would challenge all the runners.
Under-13 boys Ewan Rodell and Harry Denton where first to race, running 3km against a field of 91 competitors. Both boys ran extremely well, against a very high standard.
Despite a shaky start, Ewan moved up through the pack and finished in a fantastic seventh place, a mere 20 seconds behind the winner, a massive achievement. Harry got off to a flying start and continued to race confidently, coming home in 25th place, just 37 seconds behind team-mate Ewan; a brilliant result.
Next up were the club’s two under-13 girls – Ella Rose Hobday and Ffion Trundell – dipping their toes into larger races for the first time.
Both girls were nervous but raced with determination and spirit. Ffion finished in 55th place in 15min 52sec and Ella Rose 97th in in 17:56, a real achievement considering both athletes are still recovering from recent illness.
Rori Rodell, GAC’s only under-15 male athlete, raced against 88 runners over the 4km distance and had the race of his season so far, coming home in 14:17 for 25th place. He passed three athletes in the last 50 metres, showing real determination for those precious three places, another amazing result for GAC. The hardest part of the race for Rori was avoiding the dog that managed to get on to the course at the start.
Sixty-five under-17 male athletes took to the start line next and joining them from GAC were team-mates Aaron Hunt and George Hatton. The 6km race tested them both and they did extremely well with Aaron coming home in 39th place with a time of 20:51 and George Hatton 54th in 22:22. For both these athletes, it was their first year racing this age category.
Last to run for the girls was Isabel Hobday in the under-15 category, covering 4km and racing against a field of 94 girls.
A good start saw Isabel in the top 20 for the first half of the race but, after a week of illness, she dropped a few places and finished the race in a respectable 34th place, one of which she should be proud.
Two senior Grantham AC athletes competed in the 12km male race. Veteran Arthur Short had a great race, coming home in a time of 65:45 for 204th, whilst Stephen Hobday also ran for the club and came home 294th place in a time of 72:49.
Grantham Athletic Club are extremely proud of all their athletes that raced on Saturday, their team spirit and attitude towards racing was commendable.
l If you are interested in athletics and competition or simply want to get fit and meet like-minded people, visit the club at The Meres stadium on Wednesday nights from 7pm. The first three training sessions are free. Visit www.granthamac.com