Well done to the Juniors who braved the cold and mud at the Middlesex Cross Country Championships at Greenford on Saturday and the Surrey Cross Country Championships at Denbies Vineyard in Dorking on Sunday. The former were faced with the sort of cloying, sticky mud that often results in lost shoes, the latter experienced hills, mud and flint. And to think that their Coach told both groups that the courses were 'easy'.
Standout run of the weekend came from Timin Kanani, who carried his current training form through into the Middlesex Champs., finishing fourth U17B, and securing a Middlesex vest in the upcoming Inter Counties. The confused look on his face when he crossed the line and received the letter offering him the place in the Inter's was a joy to behold, and certainly well worth the pain of having to stand watching our athletes for 3 hours on a freezing cold field, feet under water, wearing five layers of clothing. Timin has another year in this age group - there's no reason why he couldn't win next year.
Maddy Whitman had an excellent run earlier that day against stiff competition to finish 11th U15G. Maddy has another year in this age group and if current training is anything to go by she will blitz the race next year.
Henry Shippey confused us all by smiling - we thought maybe he was ill. Or maybe he'd found a tenner in the car park. He actually smiled before his U13B race, AND AFTER, having finished in a commendable 46th. However, never one to break with tradition completely, Henry still managed to give his Coach a piece of his mind about the mud, which was clearly the Coach's fault.
Hanna Wallrock battled through the U13G despite a cold and looked strong, finishing 19th. Again, another one of our athletes with another year to go in this age group.
In the U15G the ever present Juliette Michot ran an excellent 38th. It's always hard to tell with Juliette but I think she actually enjoyed it. Again, Juliette has another year in this age group for cross country competitions.
The biggest smile of the day came from Emmanuel Golshaie, who despite looking as if he had fallen in every mud pile on the course, and wearing white, came home grinning, as always, in 59th. It's great to see our athletes actually enjoying themselves, whether they are on the podium or just supporting their colleagues on a cold mid-Winter day.
Over in Surrey we had Joseph O'Clery and Zayd Addicott competing in the U17M, Joseph finishing well in 36th and Zayd not far behind in 44th. Denbies is not an easy course, so well done both of you. In the U13B we had Sam Pound competing in what was the biggest Junior field of the weekend, and finishing a highly creditable 95th
Full results and times can be found here: