English Schools Cross Country Championships – report from Seb




On Saturday 18th March I travelled down to Norwich for the English Schools National Cross Country Championships.  After setting off from Giggleswick at 11 o’clock on the Friday before the race, me and the rest of the North Yorkshire team arrived at our hotel in Norwich at 6:30pm (some 7 and a half hours later!).  We stopped at a Holiday Inn right next to Carrow Road (Norwich City’s football stadium).  My room overlooked the pitch and stands!  Once there we spent some time in our rooms and then met up for tea.  After tea we were given our kits (vests, coat and tracksuit bottoms) and had a team briefing.  We then settled down for the night.

I woke up on the Saturday morning feeling good and was more excited than nervous about the race. I had never run in a race as big as this so was looking forward to seeing how I competed against the best in the country. The course was bone dry, which I was surprised about – many people opted for shorter spikes. There was a 500m start, then 2 laps of a large field (each lap 1500m) then a 500m finish.  I started off 6th in our pen so had around 250 people in front of me on the start line.  However, I managed to get a decent start and weave in and out of people and ended up around 100th at the start of the first lap.  I slowly made my way through the pack on the two large laps.  It was very windy so I tried to stick behind people so they blocked the wind and coming up to the 500m finishing stretch I was in around 60th  place.  I managed to build up some speed and overtake a group of runners, finishing 52nd   .  North Yorkshire came 2nd team out of 45 and I was the final counter, which was a great feeling.  Also, all of our team (8 runners) were back before any other county so we got another award.  It was a great experience and it was amazing being part of a successful team.