Following their success in the previous two rounds the 13 boys (6 Juniors – Years 7 & 8 and 7 Inters – Years 9 & 10) were in a relaxed and confident mood throughout the six hour mini-bus journey.
Race day arrived and after breakfast they headed up to The Canon Slade School to have a walk of the course. One lap of the course consisted of approximately one mile of mud, water, ice and more mud; not to mention the numerous hills and uneven ground. All the staff were struggling just to walk it and were trying to hide their worries from the boys as the Juniors had to run two laps and the Inters three!
The Juniors were out first to run and on a gruelling course managed to pull together and produce a fantastic team performance. They finished 9th out a total of the best 24 school teams in the country. All the boys performed to a fantastic level, but special mention must go to their Team Captain, Gus Withers, who achieved a podium finish of 3rd. Gus was narrowly beaten by two boys who are ranked one and two in the country respectively.
Finally the Inters turn came and the course was in a terrible state as a result of the three races before. The boys used their experience and did not set off too quickly; they ran a steady first lap and positioned themselves well for the attack on the runners in front of them. Meanwhile George Elliott was at the front of the race setting the pace, but with plenty of company.
The business end of the race soon arrived and George was battling out with another runner for the gold medal, whilst the rest of team worked their way up the field. They finished 7th out a total of the best 24 school teams in the country. Again, special mention must go to their Team Captain, George Elliott, who won the frantic sprint at the end of the race to take gold. The cherry on the cake for the Inter Team was that they beat their local rivals Southend High by a narrow two points.
Overall it was a fantastic day for The Eastwood Academy and with two boys from two races finishing on the podium, the first time in the school’s history, we once again proved to many that we are the ones to chase.
The teams are listed below, a race that was definitely not to be missed.
Juniors: Gus Withers, Rhys Gillings, Rushwan Lewis, Jack Bloomer, Sam Cotgrove and Jez Willis.
Inters: George Elliott, James Hiscock, Callum Brady, Billy Harris, Daniel Frimley, Rob Alabaster and Connor Peralta.