Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships 2018

Grace, Mary, Libby, Daniel, Jonah, Harvey, Ella, Josie, Harry, Sam & Luke all competed in their County Cross Country Championships on Saturday. As a multi-event group to have 11 athletes out there competing in this gruelling, demanding, character building event gives me great pleasure and hope for the future. The attitude, understanding, commitment and maturity of the group, in general, is excellent. Technically & Tactically we can always improve but I can always see a lot of learning taking place and that is what is so important with young, developing athletes. From a performance perspective, all things considered (multi-eventing focus, training ages, training frequency, illness, injuries ......etc etc) I think those who achieved top 20 results have to be very pleased with themselves. They are competing in an event where early specialisation is very apparent and as such the pace is of a very high intensity throughout.

Extremely well done to you all! Looking forward to the Northerns in Leeds.

MACCL Race 3 - Kenworthy Woods

The group had 10 athletes competing at this event. Cross Country is one of the toughest events an athlete can put themselves through both physically & mentally. For that very reason, I am extremely pleased with the effort and commitment put in by Luke, Sam, Harvey, Jonah, Daniel, Josie, Lauren, Ella, Grace & Libby.

From a performance perspective, I am delighted that the group has two U17 Boys in the top 20 in the region in Luke (9th) & Sam (18th). I am also very impressed with Josie (19th) & Harvey (20th) who are in the first year of their age group and they have to be really proud of their top 20 positions as multi-eventers.

A final mention goes to Lauren who had far from an ideal preparation leading up to the race, but in true Lauren/group fashion got on with it and put in a really tough/gritty performance.

As Human beings we cannot always be at our best or perform at our best, for a vast range of reasons. Sometimes we need to use races as a means of getting back to full fitness, a training session at the highest intensity.

I'm sure the whole group is very proud of these really tough young athletes.

SHAC & MHAC Primary School Cross Country Leagues

Our Primary School group have been really busy this Autumn, with their 7th XC of the year taking place this Saturday at Woodbank Park. With this very young group, the priority is very much technique and learning. If we get the process right the outcomes will take care of themselves, over time, as we follow the LONG TERM ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT MODEL.

Dillon's consistency as a year 3 against year 4s is excellent and he is learning a lot in his first Cross Country season about running over longer distances. Jacob is getting technically/tactically better all the time and Kate produced a season's best in the last SHAC XC with a gritty, more determined effort.

I was delighted that Lily got her first Cross Country in at the last Woodbank event. In the same very tough conditions, Ava produced her best result of the season, which will help her tremendously with her main sport. Natalie is beginning to make some massive technical strides forward, as is Alexa. Alexa's consistency, in terms of results, as a year 5 against year 6s, bodes very well for the future. Jack is also doing very well off once a week training, achieving his best result of the season at the last MHAC race. His Athletic intelligence is second to none.

For a variety of different reasons the coaching group are very proud of this young group of athletes.

3 Podium Finishes at this years Indoor Quadrathlon

Congratulations to Jacob (U9 Boys), Ollie (U11 Boys) & Jonah (U15 Boys) for excellent Silver medal performances in their respective Indoor Quadrathlons this year. Harvey (U13 Boys) & Alexa (U11 Girls) got close to podium finishes with their very good 4th place finishes.

As lead coach of the group, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the above achievements, along with the multitude of PBs that were achieved by the Group. I was very pleased that we had 19 members of the group competing at the event. For Annabel it was her first ever club competition and for some it was their first experience of indoor competition. In general, there was a lot of good experience and learning taking place across the group.

Quadrathlon and the open events on the day, lend themselves perfectly to Power athletes, athletes with good speed & strength and so I am delighted that as a group, we continue, irrespective of what our future event focus will be, to invest as much time & effort as possible, into these two fitness components. This I can assure you in the long term will be of benefit to every member of the group.

Watching the middle distance races gave me a lot of satisfaction for a variety of reasons. This is the one event that brings attributes other than what is required for a good throw, jump & 60m sprint. I thought the youngest in the group learnt alot about the event, whilst the older members of the group looked technically very good. What impressed me the most, was the positivity and gutsy way in which the majority of the group ran their races. The group that stood out, were the athletes who realised that they needed to lead their heats from start to finish and set a gruelling pace of their own, as they were the best athlete in the field and if they did not do so, the race would be far too slow and would develop into a sprint finish. This is by far the hardest way to run a race, but it was achieved by large margin victories by Mary, Ella & Annabel. Tactically correct, positive and very gutsy! Jonah & Louis achieved their results in a more tactical manner, both running excellent races. I think with slight adjustments to their starts Ollie & Harvey would improve even further on already good runs. A final word for Daniel, who has not been training consistently for a very long time now. As a coach, I was very impressed with the positive manner in which he tried to race.

Well done to the whole group who chose to Compete in an excellent event for ALL THE RIGHT REASONS!

Manchester Harriers Primary Schools Cross Countries 2017/18 - Race 1

Manchester Harriers Primary Schools Cross Countries 2017/18 - Race 1

Our young group of Primary School athletes got the Cross Country season off to a bang. Considering most of them were doing a multi-event competition, only two weeks ago, they all did extremely well for their first race of the season.

Kate got the group off to an excellent start with her first top 20 finish, coming 18th in the Year 3/4 Girls race. A really well deserved result for a young athlete who approaches competition with an excellent attitude! The year 3/4 boys, Dillon & Jacob, were both making their debuts in Cross Country and were both really impressive for different reasons. Dillon(Yr3) came 16th & Jacob came 11th. Both will improve for the run and the experience, but most importantly I hope they enjoyed the event. Well done to our Yr3/4 group - great running!

In the year 5/6 Girls race, Alexa(Yr5) led the way with an excellent 11th place and Ava(Yr5) 24th & Natalie(Yr5) 27th, put in two good solid efforts. It's the first time that the girls have raced over this longer distance and they would have learnt alot and gained some valuable experience. In the Yr5/6 Boys race Jack ran a good race to finish 13th and Ollie(Yr5) put in the outstanding performance of the morning coming an excellent 5th. It's a really well deserved result for a young man who trains twice a week and is completely focused on every exercise he is asked to do in Run, Jump & Throw events. Not only is he a multi-eventer he is doing some excellent multi-activity through his swimming and other sports.

Those may be the outcomes, but as a coach of young developing athletes, I am more interested in the process and it is always good to see what children do in a competitive environment, as opposed to the training sessions. There are further improvements to come from getting the process right.

A really good start to the season! Congratulations to all our young athletes!