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Hundreds of schoolchildren tackle cross-country runs

The youngsters from Saxilby School who won the team contest in the annual cross-country championships.
The youngsters from Saxilby School who won the team contest in the annual cross-country championships.

A record number of 15 schools took part in the annual cross-country championships for youngsters aged 11 and under in the Gainsborough area.

On a fantastic afternoon at Lea Park, enjoyed by all, more than 190 children tackled the event, organised by the Gainsborough and District Primary Schools’ Sports Association.

Thanks to the dry weather this autumn, the course was perfect for fast times, and even the brambles and nettles were kept to a minimum!

An army of marshals, children from Lea Primary School and adult volunteers from the schools involved were on hand to make sure all the runners went the right way over the two laps, which covered a total distance of just over one mile.

The boys raced first, with a maximum of eight allowed from each school. For the first time in the history of the event, 100 children stood together for a bunched start and dashed to get to the single-file track as fast as they could.

They headed up the field, through the woods, back across the field, back through the woods and sprinted to the finishing line. Each runner was handed a ticket, showing their final position, to give to their team manager.

Taking centre stage next were the 92 girls, who also revelled in their cross-country experience. The scores of the first four boys and the first four girls from each school were added together to give the final results, which were announced by the race organiser, Rebecca Bishop, from Lea Primary School.

The boys’ winner for the second year running was Charlie Burgin, of Lea, who said: “I am delighted that I have done the double!”

The girls’ winner was Jasmine Tye, of White’s Wood Academy, who said: “To come first was brilliant. Most schools only get to train on a field, so to come and run in a real wood was very exciting.”

The winners of the main team competition were Saxilby for the third year runningl. They received a rousing cheer from all the spectators. In second were Lea, while Scotter were third. Saxilby, Lea and Ingham won the categories for school size.

Miss Bishop thanked the marshals, spectators, team managers, school staff and “all the wonderful runners”.