On a sunny but chilly day our cross country runners made their way up to the former PoW camp Cultybraggan, the base for the Strathearn Harriers cross country race. The setting was spectacular and conditions perfect if you were running. Underfoot the route was very exceptionally muddy in places, especially through the bogs!
Our under 11’s started first. Going out up the hill at quite a speed. From the start, Robert F was almost keeping up with the first place Strathearn Harrier, until he sadly lost his footing in the bog – whilst the top places eluded him, Robert’s determined sprint finish was the best of the whole day. At the finish line we waited with baited breath to see who would come in first, a very fast Strathearn Harrier appeared and came down very quick towards the finish, he was followed around 20 seconds later by Ewan FL and another Harrier battling for second and third place. Their sprint finish was brilliantly fought, despite starting the sprint from behind, by pushing all the way to the very end, Ewan just made it into second place on the line – brilliantly demonstrating how important it is to keep going even after you think you might have won. Running along side the Under 11’s was Antoine C, unfortunately he was too young to be timed and actually compete but he ran the whole way with a huge smile on his face.
Following the under 11’s race were our under 13’s. On the start line were quite a number of boys and girls jostling for position. Once they had started they quickly spread out into a long line of varying speeds. With Ardvreck pupils spread out amongst the pack it was clear that there would be quite a race for each position. The under 13’s race was a little longer and so we lost sight of the group for quite a while as they ran around the hillside. Occasionally, we would spot a runner in the distance, perhaps climbing a steep section or trying to run through the bogs. Each time we would try to work out what was happening to their position and speed. Finally, a runner returned to the finishing stretch. The first place was taken by another impressive performance by the young Strathearn Harriers. The next group were well over a minute behind and included another Harrier and our first Ardvreckian, Harris. A well fought finish took place and Harris P pushed very hard right to the finish line just finishing in third place. We were delighted that all the Ardvreck pupils pushed themselves and excellent individual races. They even came straight back to cheer and support all the other runners as they finished all the way to the final runner crossing the line. A mention should go to Flo A as she was the only girl to compete and she came 3rd out of all the girls competing. (Mr Banks)