Lara Ingram-Weston and Theo Cains made the journey to Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire this weekend for the 2019 English Schools Fell Running Championships.
With the remains of the ex-hurricane Lorenzo lashing the North-West with torrential rain prior to the Championships on Sunday 6th October, it was always going to make the notoriously difficult course even harder. Whilst walking the course early in the day with competitors from schools in Chorley, thankfully there was a break in the weather and the sun made an appearance. The race director announced, that the mandatory kit that needed to be carried whilst running, was just a waterproof jacket and hat, so waterproof trousers, gloves, whistles, compass and food where all removed from the runner’s packs!
The 2019 course of 4.2km with a 206m ascent for Lara & 6.4km, 276m ascent for Theo, provided a good introduction to experienced cross country runners who are not used to running on fells, but also gave seasoned and able fell runners plenty of challenge on a varied and technical course. Whilst it was designed so that there are no fences, walls, gates or stiles to cross there were road crossings to be made and whilst crossing points were marshalled, the runners were required to be aware of and give way to moving vehicles to avoid accidents.
First up at 11:20 was Lara in the Year 8 & 9 race, who lined up with 165 other boys and girls from across the English Counties to walk down the finish funnel in reverse towards the start line so they could be counted and given a short course and safety brief before the races start. Despite the tricky conditions underfoot, Lara completed her course without mishap in a time of 30:04 coming 38th of the 66 girls who started. Next up was Theo at 13:05 for his race briefing who lined up with about 80 other boys and girls and who also finished in 38th place. Well done to both Lara and Theo for showing great Westholme spirit and competing in some challenging conditions.