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Hampshire Cross Country League 2021-22: Race 2 – Wellesley Woods, Aldershot

December saw the second of five Hampshire cross-country league races being held at Wellesley woodlands in Aldershot. The sun was shining but it was much colder than the previous event in Bournemouth.

We took three athletes over on this occasion, Bradley Andrews-Callec U15B, Zane Simpson U13B and Isla Hall U13G.

After a little car trouble, we arrived in the woodlands later than we had anticipated. There was just enough time for the younger two athletes to walk the course and complete a warm-up ready for the race start at 12pm.

First up was Isla Hall, who stood on the start line with 46 other competitors. Isla led the pack from the very beginning. After the first loop the three front runners had a lead of 15m. This continued well into the woods before they disappeared. After a few minutes Isla appeared in the distance and had a good clear lead. As they came into the final stretch it looked like Isla had ran the majority of the race on her own and finished in 11:18 ahead of second place by 26 seconds.

Next up was first timer Zane Simpson. This was Zane’s first independent trip with the Club and, although nervous the night before, he settled once we had arrived at the location. Zane stood on the start line with 51 other competitors. It was a quick start for the U13B race. There was a little bit of elbow barging at the beginning whilst the leaders took their front positions. Zane was in the leading pack all the way round the first loop and into the woods. After some time the boys started to reappear and Zane looked comfortable holding his own in ninth position. He maintained that position around the final loop and finished the race in 11:30.

Last up was Bradley. Bradley was a lot more comfortable on the start line then in the previous league race and looked a lot more relaxed. 40 other athletes stood together on the front line and started very quickly at the gun. Bradley lead from the front and had a 5m lead heading into the woods. The 4.2k loop had Bradley running over logs and through lots of mud and streams before heading out of the woods towards the finish line. Bradley had a clear lead and finished in 14:35, 20 seconds in front of second place.

Next weekend three athletes travel to Croydon for the South East inter counties competition. We wish them all the very best.