The Grove Cross Country – Autumn Term 1
2020 has been a different year to say the least, so much so that it is changing the way we do things in everyday life. For many people The Cross Country at school holds a real mix of emotions and so the emphasis has really been on preparing the competitors as best as we can and try to keep a positive mentality towards taking part. This year due to the circumstances, The Cross Country was run across three days to ensure age groups could stay within their individual bubbles. This way we could open the doors to parents in an outdoor environment and there wouldn’t be too much of a social gathering!
Up first were the U10/11’s. The conditions were fair, being overcast and underfoot the grassy areas where firm. All-round some good conditions for long distance running. As mentioned, The Cross Country really does cater for all. Some individuals will really look to push themselves from a time perspective and look to finish in the best placed position they can, and others are looking to push themselves as hard as they can with an aim to finish the race. The U10/11s set off at a good pace with the usual suspects leading from the front. Once the runners got into their rhythm and second wind the field started to spread into these two categories. Tomas Garcia, Oliver Whittam and Emily Foster really starting to stretch their legs over the 1st kilometre. Tomas all in all was able to pull away from the rest of the group and finish in a respectable time of 15:30.03. All the staff that where strategically placed around the 3km course were extremely pleased to see the determination and positivity the competitors had to complete the race. Special mention must go to Oyin Omotosho who really embraced this and pushed herself extremely hard.
For the first time in The Grove Cross Country’s history, the Juniors on the following day had a pace setter. Mr Thorne braved the elements and as a pace setter ran the record time which stands at 07:05s for the boys. A Record that has stood since c.2011. The aim was for Mr Thorne to show the competitors the importance of pacing and for those competitors at the front, just how hard they need to push themselves to hit that record time. It is very easy to be happy with where you see yourself when comparing yourself amongst your peers and so Mr Thorne was hopefully going to provide that further motivation. The excitement however got the better of a few and for a period of time where running ahead of Mr Thorne, something they would later regret! Matthew Coomber and Matilda Bradban put in a fantastic effort to win for the Boys & Girls. With Matthew running an impressive time of 07:29:86 It was extremely pleasing to see the effort all the juniors put in. With all of them completing the race.
The Seniors went into The Cross Country with a greater weight of expectation placed upon them with the minimum expectation for them to all finish and push themselves as hard as they could. They didn’t disappoint with a reduction of 10 minutes in their range of times as opposed to the U10/11’s range. Some strong efforts from Jensen Sharpe, Ahad Abdul Qureshi and Alice Alder with the remainder of the pack pushing themselves over the now wet 3km course. It was really pleasing to see the maturity that the Seniors took towards their preparation and mental application during the race. Something that I hope they can pass down to the years below them.
At the end of a busy week The Cross Country has provided all competitors with a goal to aim for. Fitness will always remain an integral part of the world of The Grove and the Sport & PE department would love to see all the competitors beat their times at the next event. Let's take this opportunity to learn and improve on areas we need to develop and remember The Cross Country is just as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. You can do it.