Bright future for Sidmouth juniors

The final East Devon Juniors' Cross Country race took place last Saturday at Morganhayes woods near Colyton.

The final East Devon Juniors' Cross Country race took place last Saturday at Morganhayes woods near Colyton. The three race series has given the chance for the junior runners from Sidmouth, Honiton and Axe Valley running clubs to compete against one another over testing terrain.The weather last week was just right for racing and, underfoot, it was slightly drier than it had been recently, but that didn't stop Dominic Walker losing his running shoes in the mud just before the finishing line! His Dad had the lovely job of trying to find them in the gloop! Dominic finished third, and Jacob Madeley fifth in the under-10s' race. In the girls' race, Dulcie Grierson ran strongly to finish second.Nick Smith once again won the under-13s' boys' race, but somewhat controversially as some of the other runners ended up going the wrong way, including Grey Grierson who eventually finished third. A terrific run by both of them. Ellie Stone showed her usual strength and tenacity by winning the girls' race, but couldn't wait to collect her prize as she was going off to a race in the afternoon! That's dedication for you.In the under-15 race, two of the club's rising stars, Kit Grierson and Jim Rampersad had a good battle, with Kit just edging it at the end. These performances helped the club to win the boys' team trophy for the whole series. Thanks go to Honiton RC for organising this race.l The club is always looking at new ways to develop, and the large number of runners we have turn out on a Saturday, Monday and Wednesday is evidence that most of our coaching sessions are appreciated, though sometimes through gritted teeth. Coaching any sport should be a continuous learning process, and you need to learn from the best. To this end, Di Puzey and Malcolm Bayer travelled to Aldershot last Sunday to spend the day with Mick Woods and Kate Haynes, the coaches to the junior runners of the most successful running club in the country at the moment, Aldershot, Farnham and District, most commonly known as AFD. It was an educational day and AFD could not have been more friendly, which also goes for their athletes who were happy to talk about their training and commitment. Look out for Steff Twell, Charlotte Purdue and Emma Pallant in future world championships and Olympics, just to name three of the AFD rising stars. Some of the training regime used by AFD will hopefully be integrated into Sidmouth's junior training and maybe, in the future, we will be the AFD of the South West!

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