Hampshire Cross Country League 2021-22: Race 1 – Kings Park, Bournemouth.

A team of six athletes Travelled Friday evening to Southampton to attend the Hampshire cross country league. The league is made up of five races and the first race was held at Kings Park in Bournemouth.

On arrival we took the opportunity to walk the course. The ground was relatively comfortable under foot with no mud to compete with and a few ups and downs in the woods.

The day began with the under 13G event and first up was Isla Hall. Isla took it in her stride as always and took a leading position from the first 500m. Isla kept hold of that lead right to the finishing line. Isla finished the 3K race in 11:34, 8 seconds ahead of her strongest competitor.

Next up was Seanna Silvester competing in U15G. A fast field of 43 Athletes all fighting for a front position, Seanna showed real determination and managed to settle into a steady rhythm. Seanna raced 4K and finished in an impressive 10th running it in 16:20.

The first of our male athletes competing was Bradley Andrews-Callec in the U15B. Bradley lined up with 54 Competitors and kept control of his pre-race nerves. Bradley settled into the front pack of five athletes who led the 4K race. The boys disappeared into the woods and reappeared eight minutes later with Bradley holding his own in front position. Bradley maintained his lead and finished first in 13:20 just 3 seconds in front of his Southampton rival.

We quickly turned our attention to the U17G race which Libby Atkinson was competing in. Libby clocked some of her competitors who she had raced against previously but stood strong on the line along with the other 28 athletes. Libby settled well into the race and went into the woods in forth position. A few minutes later they all emerged and Libby completed the race in 15:57 and took 5th place.

Casper Whitewood (U17M) was up next and was looking forward to his 6k race. Casper went round the first corner in 7th place and looked relaxed. The men had to run one medium loop and two large loops and he looked strong after the first of the large loops. Casper reappeared from the woods in 5th place and held that position to the finishing line. He finished the race in 19:44.

Last to compete was Tom Atkinson. Tom had a staggering 311 competitors in his race from U20M, Senior men and Veterans. It was three large loops for Tom which certainly looked exhausting from where we were watching! Tom finished an outstanding 57th overall and 4th in his age category for his 10k!

Each athlete performed at their absolute best in fabulous race conditions – just another great example of how our off island competition is so very valuable to our athletes. All our Athletes managed to finish in top positions and are now up for selection for the South of England Inter-County Cross Country Championships being held next month. We wish them all the best with the selection process.

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