Monday, 17 October 2011


  I  had never observed or competed in a race before  which the competitors were told to line up in  a single file and  counted through...for safety reasons.  Not quite possible for a race with thousands in,  but with fields only amouting to dozens easily possible at yesterday's ENGLISH SCHOOLS FELL CHAMPIONSHIPS hosted by Cockmouth School in the northern Lake District.
 This was only the 4th time these championships were being held  with competitors  representing their school  rather than their county as they do in the English Schools T. & F. and cross country championships. So the numbers taking part are relatively low, the majority northern based, making the safety count an easy one.  Having said that 123 contested the mixed  under 16 race,  70 the under 14, 76 the under 12 and 63 the last race for sixth formers.
 Pat and myself were there to see if friend Sally's ever improving daughter, GEORGIA MALIR could get amongst the medals in the under 16 girls race.  The gold and silver looked out of reach on previous form but if she fought well a 3rd place was up for grabs. 
  She was the sole representative from St. Mary's Menston, the school where I taught in the 1970s.
 She didn't disappoint; fighting hard to stay ahead of the 4th placer who was finishing hard on her heels  as they passed me with just 300 metres left.
With a recent win in our COMPLETE RUNNER cross country league and a 19.10 5K on the road (at just 15!) she is certainly emerging as a very versatile capable young athlete. 
  It was also pleasing to see another young lady receive a silver medal in the under 14 girls race.  We had met RHIANNON WICKHAM and her dad, Paul, the previous day in the shop when we fixed her up with some INOV 8 Mudclaws for the race. .  They proved a good choice for the mud strewn course with its steep inclines.  Well done, Rhiannon and your  winning Clitheroe Royal G.S. team.
To be able to attend the event I'd switched the "long" run (well long for me) to Saturday.  We were working at the Nelson branch but with boss Pat's permission I was allowed out to enjoy a run on a beautiful autumn morning.   I ploughed  up the canal  past REEDLEY MARINA
towards Burnley for 5 miles in 44.41 ,  feeling the effect of Thursday's track 5K,  but with a breeze behind surprised myself coming back in 40.23 adding an easy mile for 11.
  That left me just an easy 3 Sunday a.m. for 44 on the week  which proved more than enough  for a pre-breakfast run!

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