Sunday the 2nd of April saw six of the Junior Endurance athletes travel to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park in London for their first road race of the season.
Spirits were high as they headed towards the iconic park displaying the Olympic rings. The course was still being set up as we arrived in plenty of time to register the athletes and walk the course. The athletes started to get nervous as we approached the registration area and saw their fellow competitors.
The two lap course was on traffic free roadways and looped under and over bridges, starting and finishing on the grass. This made for great spectator viewing.
The race was due to start at 11am and a last minute decision was made by the SEAA to separate the ages and race the U17’s at 11.10am. This meant we would have three U15 athletes take to the start line first. Rory Baines, Isla Hall and Ralph Depledge. It was at this point that Baines realised that he hadn’t put his race chip on and sprinted away to rectify it. The horn went and Baines was still fastening his ankle chip! The 36 athletes made their way from the start line whilst Baines sprinted back to the start line to make sure the chip registered the start of his race. Hall and Depledge both had fantastic starts and headed off towards the first bridge. Hall was leading the girls race and Depledge had settled comfortably into 8th. Baines was racing hard to gain places having started approximately 60 seconds behind the leaders.
At the half way point, Hall was still leading the girls around and Depledge was looking confident. Baines was gaining and was currently in 13th. The horn sounded for the start of the U17’s and they charged off from the start line and merged with the U15’s. All three men had a fantastic start with Bradley Andrews-Callec leading the Jersey team with George Carney and Edward Carney in hot pursuit. Over the bridge for the second time saw the three athletes holding onto their positions comfortably with Andrews-Callec in 4th, G Carney in 12th and E Carney in 13th.
The U15s were heading towards the finish line and Baines managed to secure 7th place after a very difficult start. Depledge finished behind him in 8th and Hall was overtaken on the last stretch and finished in an incredible second place as a first year. Depledge had taken a massive 1 minute and 12 seconds off his previous 5k best and Hall smashing her 5k previous by a minute.
The U17M were now on their second lap and a small pack had pulled away with Andrews-Callec drifting between first and second. E Carney had overtaken his twin brother to settle into 5th and G Carney was sitting in 8th. As the men came under the bridge for the final time it was difficult to decide who was going to take first place as they battled towards the finish line. Andrews-Callec fought hard but finished a second behind the leader. E Carney held onto 5th place and G Carney finished in 7th. All the men were pleased with their performances having smashed their previous pb’s. Andrews-Callec finished in 15.46, E Carney in 16.01 and G Carney in 16.13. Jersey took the U17M mens team Gold medal.
All the athletes performed exceptionally well and are looking forward to a strong track season.