Monday, February 4, 2013

See-yee eeyee Emily play - as Pink Floyd would have said

Well, she can wait to the end of this post, but the girl did well again this weekend.

But for most of us it was South West Schools Cross Country Championships (SWSCCC, if I have to type it again) at Blaise Castle. The seven counties of the SW take it in turns to host this and it was Avon's (sorry - Lesley's) turn again this year. The last time she did it, the weather was simply horrendous. Rain tipping down all day; ground waterlogged; the poor little scraps coming in drenched to the skin and nowhere for them to change.

But what a difference this time around! The sun came out first thing, and stayed out. The ground was still waterlogged and Dave Palmer, Westbury's course-builder extraordinaire, altered the course because in places water was over six inches deep with hidden stones underneath it. Six of the seven counties turned up,some of them with their organisation in place!

And it was simply a glorious day of racing. The senior boys provided the best finish: two lads sprinting for the line and falling over it. From my angle it looked as though the boy with the longer legs and the best dip got the decision. Of course, not every athlete performed as well as they hoped, but by and large, it was a tremendous day which no-one could fail to enjoy.

Lesley was pleased with the way it all ran. The man from English Schools said he was delighted, and emailed her on Sunday to say how superbly it had all been organised. Well - I could have told him that! The days (!) she has spent hunched over her laptop! (Unfair - her posture is never that poor). The officials' lunches we prepared; the phone calls to all and sundry; the close examination of the weather forecasts; the patient response to unreasonable emails - and on and on.

An interesting sideline on the lunches. Afterwards there were eleven lunch bags left for us to take home. They contained: 1 roll, 1 chocolate biscuit, five packets of crisps and TEN pieces of fruit. Someone had obviously been through the bags swiping the bits they wanted. Never let it be said that athletics officials always go for the healthy option! And no - it wasn't me.

She says she will never do it again. When Avon's turn comes round again she will be ******y-t**, so no - she won't be doing it again. Just as well then, that this last time was the best.

Sunday was spent checking the results. The number of times athletes had been declared under one number but ran with a different one. Or ran having not been declared at all. Or team managers scrawl on the envelope was so bad no-one could read it. But fortunately all the right winners got the right medals.

So now - what did Emily do in Birmingham? Only went and broke the Welsh record, which has stood since 2000. 24.72 seconds - the fastest under-17 woman's time. And then she was fastest again in the 60m - 7.76 seconds. Both PBs obviously.

I'm hoping to hear how our other athletes went on in Birmingham. If I do I'll post a supplementary post.

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