Seven Truro School pupils travelled to Pittville Park, Cheltenham, on Saturday 6th February having been selected to run for Cornwall in the South West Schools Cross Country Championships. Each Cornish team of 10 runners was competing against similar teams from Avon, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire so the standard was high.
The team coach left at 6.30am in howling winds and torrential rain and the weather just got worse throughout the day! The course was only mildly undulating but was all the more challenging due to the constant rain, high winds, and deep mud. The earlier races had the ‘best’ of the conditions, but as the afternoon progressed, the course became increasingly churned up and at one point the organisers considered stopping the event.
The scene set, the Junior Boys were first up over 4.1km and what a race for Harris. He led from the start and delivered an emphatic win by 38 seconds, a remarkable result at this level. This adds the South West Schools title to the South West Counties title he won before Christmas. In the same race, there were also good runs by Elliot (36th) and Benjy (40th). Benjy did particularly well being a ‘year young’ in his age group.
Next up were the Minor Boys where Isaac (33rd) had a great race and Jacob (47th) also ran very well over their 2.7km route.
Finally, with conditions at their worst, Finn and Alexander tackled 4.8km of mud in the Intermediate Boys race. Finn, in fine form, ran superbly to take 5th place whilst Alexander managed a well-earned 21st despite a heavy fall. These results are all the better because both boys are also a ‘year young’ in this age group.
Harris, Elliot and Benjy helped Cornwall capture the Bronze team medal on the day whilst Finn and Alexander were in the Silver medal winning team.
All the boys are to be congratulated for performing so well in such challenging conditions. The additional reward for Finn, Alexander, Harris, Elliot and Benjy is that due to their fine performances on the day, they have now qualified to run for Cornwall in the premier cross country event of the season, the National Schools Cross Country Championships to be held in Nottingham in March. Minor Boys do not race at these championships so hopefully Isaac and Jacob will get their chance next year.