10 October 2012

The John Lyon School - Cross Country 2012

Cross Country. The one day in the year where as many people who can be bothered trudge around a field do so. Year 7 run their own race (lucky idiots) and the Year 8s and 9s combine, as do Years 10 and 11 and Years 12 and 13.

In traditional style, the Sixth Formers go off the line first. So their race started and a man in a grey top sprinted off the line. Bhavesh slotted into second place as they went through the bottleneck but ran right round the outside in the first corner. A very bold move considering that he still had 3.3 km to go! Nonetheless, Bhavesh controlled the race from there.

The only other notable thing that happened before I had to set off was a double overtake as one person slipped in the space of 10 metres from fifth to seventh.

I did a small commentary on the start of the Years 12 and 13 race before I was called up to start our race. It had been raining heavily, so the ground was saturated. Only two people got off the line well and I was one of them. I was second heading into the bottleneck just after the start line (Niall O'Connell rocketed out of the blocks) but due to a small course infringement I lost positions and dropped to twelth. I overtook Joshua Neil for elevnth and Niall O'Connell for 10th. The anticlockwise circuit played havoc with my left ankle.

I wasn't as aggressive after the first corner as I should have been considering that it was downhill. Many others were, though, and I swiftly fell back to aroundabout 20th place. The usual suspect (who I've only ever known as "Ruben") took the lead and kept it. Neither Niall or I could maintain our fantastic getaways and fell back to 15th and 20th place respectively (Niall was one of the crowd of people who overtook me and went on to finish seventh).

Still, coming down into the sequence of corners I was maintaining a place inside the top 25 until I was overtaken coming out of the double-apex corner on the first lap. Down to 26th position but I felt that that was what I required. As I hit the second double-apex corner my anti-clockwise beta noire kicked in and my ankle gave up.

All downhills must have an uphill, so, strangely, the finish line was uphill. This uphill runs parallel at one point alongside the downhill stretch, but on the uphill leg a bank of thorns became an effective hurdle. No prizes for guessing what happened to me as my right ankle (it had to be, didn't it(?)) hit the thorns and so I limped up the hill. At the end of the first lap I was now down to a relatively stable 27th place, which was the way it was kept. A quick "pit stop" to re-tie my shoelaces (I did try but they were starting to come off) did nothing, yet I saw that I was catching up to Freddie. I gained on him but couldn't get it together for the sprint uphill finish and so he took 26th and I took 27th.

So, there we are. I took the top 30 (which was my target) but I was disappointed not to get much higher. Next year, perhaps, top 20?

Race order of what I know:

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