All five under-11 lads would have won the prize for the best turned out team. Looking splendid in new vests and spikes plus bags of enthusiasm this young group made a very positive start to the season.
Fred CUMMINS (28) in his first race for the club looked like he was really enjoying the experience and will shortly be pushing for a top 20 position.
Sam STEVENS (32) also new to the group is another real asset and, now he has found his feet, his next race should see him running with great confidence.
Zachary ROE (59) should see a higher position next time definitely on the cards with a bit more training. Balancing football matches and running races is always tricky but luckily for us the race was on a Sunday.
Ishmael ALI (64) who is the third new lad to join recently carried out my race instruction to the letter i.e. start slowly and finishing smiling. Cycling to training twice a week does not phase our newest recruit!
Harry CONSTABLE (66) has been training well and perhaps this result is not a true reflection of his consistent training. I am sure next time he will be pushing hard to make the scoring team.
Shortly after the Under-11s finished it was time for the more experienced Under-13s to toe the line. Thanks to Steve Harding Hill they were all warmed up and at the start in plenty of time. By this time it was more like a Summer day than the start of the cross-country season. The gloves and woolly hats were definitely not required.
Aidan OSCROFT (10) who confesses to not liking the course still put in a valiant effort to lead the club home against some very strong Welsh runners. Finishing in single figures will be the aim at the next fixture.
Jay AKBAR (19) ran impressively especially as he is new to the Gwent league and so is still finding his feet. I am sure he will continue to improve with every race.
Beck HARDING HILL (22) who last year finished 78th in the same race proved what hard work and determination can do. This to me was one of the best performances from the group and was well deserved.
Cole EDMONDS (29) was clearly not at his best but decided to have a go such is his commitment to the team. Once he is well again he will be right in the mix for a top 20 place.
Joseph HULL (49) has now moved up to the older age group and gave a very good account of himself when leading-in the B team.
Jacob ROE (60) has improved considerably from last year and is a true team player always giving it a go whatever the standard of race.
Amos KINGSTON (73) is another first year Under-13 and ran very much to form but I feel he will rapidly progress through the ranks once he has his racing hat on.
Vinnie WILLIAMS-BEESE (87) clearly gets his money’s worth from the course and on this occasion perhaps the sun was just too much but I give him full marks for always finishing in good spirits.
The next League race is at Brecon Leisure Centre on Saturday 12th November 2016. As a coach and team manager it will be massively easier because we will not have to negotiate a bridge to get to the start. We have begun the season well but we need as many athletes as possible to be available so we can try and gain a few more points.
Thank you to everybody who made the day possible and to those of you who stayed on to cheer me on my way.
A link to the full result will be added when available on the Gwent League web-site.
Ali Hurford Reports