Hampshire Cross Country League 2021-22: Race 3 – Prospect Park, Reading

This weekend saw three junior athletes travel to Prospect Park in Reading for the third Hampshire cross-country league races: Isla Hall u13 girls, Bradley Andrews-Callec u15 boys and Casper Whitewood u17 men.

The morning started at 2° with thick fog and visibility at less than 50m. Upon arrival at the venue it was clear from the start that it was going to be a difficult and challenging course. Thankfully the fog had lifted and was completely clear before the start of the under 13 girls.

Isla was first up and as usual started strong alongside 36 other athletes. The under 13 girls raced 3K over the undulating course. Isla held her lead throughout the course and finished 8 seconds ahead of second place in 10:53.

Bradley was next up and stood with 33 other athletes whilst the sun broke through the clouds. Bradley took the lead from the beginning, after avoiding a collision with a loose dog, and held on to it up the hill into the woods. The downhill caused a few problems for some of the athletes but Bradley continued to hold first place to the end of the 4K course.

By the time Casper came to race the ground was a complete mud bath having had 6 races beforehand! Casper settled nicely into 11th place into the woods where he had to attack the hill twice on his 6k course. As he approached the downhill for the second time he had crept up into 8th place, which he held to the finish line.

The three athletes all said it was the most challenging course that they had competed at this season, with the added difficulty of breathing in the cold air but are all excited to be attending the fourth race in February.

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