The final round of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League took place at Pitville Park, Cheltenham.

This was an important meeting for Bourton Roadrunner juniors as there were several members with chances of individual and team county medals.

The first race was for the U11 boys and they needed a good performance from Michael Astor who at the start of the race was in 1st place overall and from the team who were, at the time in 3rd place overall. Michael was up against a very good runner from Cotswold Allrunners, with one win a piece, however Michael had an advantage of two places from a previous round. Michael put in a very strong run on the day for 2nd, which was enough for him to take 1st place overall, and gold medal.

The team needed another two runners to finish in high positions to secure at least 3rd place overall. With Charlie Astor and Lucas Hartley both having excellent runs for 4th and 11th respectively, this was enough to finish the A team in 2nd place on the day and more importantly, 2nd place overall and silver county medals for all members who had finished in the top three for the club, in any of the four rounds.

The next three runner’s home were Harry Bradley 14th, Ned Harrison 19th and after only just recently joining the club, in his first race, Reuben Long-Field 36th. All three put in excellent performances bringing the B team in a very respectable 6th place on the day.

Several of our younger runners also ran with Alfie Sanson 37th, Arthur Quli 49th, William Chalmers 51st and Toby Luff 63rd. Alfie, William and Toby are still only eight-years-old and will only move further up the field in future competitions and with Michael and Lucas still in the same age group next year, the prospect of another high finish looks likely.

In the U11 girls race both Grace Barrington-Cramp and Bella Harrison both put in strong runs for 36th and 42nd but unfortunately, they were again the only two club members taking part, so no team finish. Grace has another year in this age group and Bella three so hopefully next year we can make a team.

The club had a strong showing in the U13 boys with Kian Dee 11th, Jonathan Cook 24th and Wilf Harrison 30th bringing the team in in 7th place on the day. They were well supported by George Swayne 32nd, Edward Jones 39th, Dominic Luff 42nd and Arlen Hartley 43rd.

Overall, the A team finished 6th and Kian Dee was the highest individual finisher in 6th place.

Abigail Barnet was the sole club runner in the U13 girls race but again put in a strong performance for 21st on the day and impressively finished 15th overall. With another year in the age group expect a much higher finish next season.

On the day the club had no runners in the U15 boys competition but there was a much stronger showing in the U15 girls. Kiya Dee is again excelling this season and won the race with ease, deservedly taking 1st place overall. Sister Taya Dee was not to far behind in 5th place with another strong run and Heidi Mundinano had her highest finish of the series in 12th place with her best run to date.

The team finished 1st on the day and 2nd place in the competition overall with silver medals for the A team including Helena West and Isobel Barnett who were unable to run on the day. With Kiya, Taya and Isobel again in the same age group, next season and with some promising new runners recently joining the club, there is a great possibility of team gold next season.

Emily Field, Gabby Jones and Jake Astor were all in Individual medal positions coming into the race and they all needed a good performance on the day, for a top three finish in the competition.

Emily and Gabby both ran well with Emily finishing 3rd only 2 seconds behind the 2nd placed runner in the U17 girls and Gabby 4th in the U20 girls. Emily finished the competition in 2nd place overall and Gabby 3rd overall, superb results. Jake only needed to beat a Worcester runner to take Gold overall and made his move about half way round, opening a 20 second gap that he was able to hold onto until the end, holding onto 1st place overall and a Gold medal, impressive as he a has another year in the same age group.

Another fine set of results for our small friendly club in the North Cotswolds.

North Cotswold Primary Schools Cross Country Finals

The Primary School District Championships took place as in previous years at Moreton in Marsh Fire College on Wednesday 6th February. There were separate races for Year 6 and Year 5 and below, for both girls and boys, with the top ten runners in each race, qualifying to run for the North Cotswolds region in the Gloucestershire Primary Schools finals at Cheltenham in March. Unfortunately in the finals, only years 4 or 5 who qualified, can run in the year 5 races, so any years 3 or below who finished in the top ten, are not allowed to not run in the finals. A shame but this is the rule, but without doubt, once in year 4 they will almost definitely qualify in the future.

Bourton Roadrunners juniors who took part, all did extremely well.

The first race was the Year 6 boys with Harry Bradley running his best race so far, leading the race from almost the start to the finish for his first win. He has certainly shown great potential in training, but this by far his his best performance in a competitive race, so far.

Ned Harrison has also impressed in training and was always towards the front of the field, but once he worked his way into 2nd place easily held on to the end.

Hattie Phipps has recently started training again with the club, after previously being a member and did very well in the year 6 girls race for 6th overall and new member Zara Sampson did very well for 8th.

There has never been any doubt in Lucas Hartley’s ability and this certainly showed in the Year 5’s boys race, yet he is only a year 4. After a steady start, he worked his way through to 1st place over approximately 400 metres and eventually won the race with nearly 100 metres to spare, very impressive, especially as the race was only approximately 1800 metres in length. Arthur Quli despite missing a great deal of training through other commitments, ran his best race of the season, for an excellent 6th place. Alfie Sansom has impressed so much in training and was rewarded with a fantastic 9th place, despite still being a year 4 and after finishing 68th the year before. A massive improvement. New member Reuben Long-Field also impressed with 10th overall and will certainly move up the field with regular training.

There were also impressive performances from George Duckett 15th, Thomas Cassidy 21st, William Chalmers 29th. and Will Preston 32nd this year and 74th last year. Despite feeling very unwell Angus Graham bravely decided to run and did well for 69th and young Tommy Smith ran strongly for 87th.

Despite only being a year 3 Bella Harrison, certainly knows how to race and pace herself at such a tender age. In the Year 5 girls race she gradually worked her way through the field to finish a superb 4th place overall out of 100 runners, certainly a name to watch for the future and such a shame she cannot run in the finals. There were equally impressive performances from Jemima Hall in 14th and Izzy Lawrence in 24th.