The Zone Cross Country

After a two-week delay due to all the rain that set the course under water, it was time for Alfie to compete in the Zone Cross Country.

Getting ready to race

Getting ready to race

In the big lead-up he trained once a week at Little Athletics where they worked on strength, distance and speed.  Even though he only had a few training sessions before the race, he improved a lot and also learnt race technique.

Looking forward to the race

Looking forward to the race

And he’s needed a bit of help with his race technique because in the past he’s been very slow to start his races, ensuring he then has to spend the remainder of the race overtaking everyone else.  And he used to think a casual stroll to the finish line was more than adequate.  I’ve been on the sidelines tearing out my hair as more competitive boys whip past him.

Listening to the rules

Listening to the rules


The big event was a few days ago and while the course wasn’t under water it was certainly muddy and slippery.  Around 15 schools made up the Zone and each school sent five competitors so there were around 70 in each race.

Marshalling area

Marshalling area

This year a highlight of the day was that his Beijing cousin was competing in the race just before his.  But alas, a virus and a fever saw her bow out of the competition.  There’s always next year!

Ready for the start

Ready for the start

I took Rosie as she loves to spectate and watch some fierce competition.  A few people did look at her and then say to me, ‘Didn’t you use to have two dogs?’  Never mind.

Off they go

Off they go

After a wee delay it was time for the Under 10 boys to compete.  They lined up in their rows behind the starting line.  If you came first in your school’s race you were put in first position behind the line.  It was with great relief that Alfie came first as he is not known for getting off to a great start.

Middle of the pack at the start

Middle of the pack at the start

Once the starter’s gun had fired, Alfie hesitated (but not for as long as he normally does) and then his legs started to move.  At the first corner he was in about 30th position.

Time to pick up the pace

Time to pick up the pace

I quickly ran to where I’d next see him as he emerged from the bush and by then he was in about 25th position.  Inching forward.

End of the first lap

End of the first lap

By the end of the first lap he was in about 15th position.  As his goal had been to get to the Regionals and as only the first six place-getters qualify for the regionals, I yelled at him that he’d have to step it up.

Partners!

Partners!

As he came around another corner he was in about 10th position running neck and neck with another boy.  I told him he needed to go hard and I saw him pick up his pace.  And the boy beside him picked up his pace too.

Side by side

Side by side

He and the other boy emerged from the bush side by side.  It was now a sprint to the finish.  And I saw Alfie sprint.  And that’s the first time he has ever sprinted to the finish.  He finished his 2km event in 8th position and just in front of the other boy.

Coming in to the finish

Coming in to the finish

The boy who had come 9th then dissolved into a flood of tears and had to be whisked away by his parents.  Competing can be brutal.

What a battle

What a battle

Alfie wasn’t in tears but he was a little disappointed.  He had run his best ever race but his goal had been to qualify for the Regionals.  Having finished in 8th place, he is a reserve.  Never mind; you can’t do better than your best and he certainly ran his best ever race.  Last year he finished in 13th position so he had certainly stepped up from last year’s results.

Giving it their all

Giving it their all

And next year he has more odds stacked in his favour.  In the Under 11’s he’ll have to run 3kms instead of 2kms and the longer the race, the better he runs.  As I’ve said before, there’s always next year.

After a bag of snakes and a packet of sour squirms (rewards), it was time to pack up and head for home.

Not even looking a bit tired

Not even looking a bit tired

But just for a little while.  Because then it was off to swim squads.  I thought he might have been too tired to swim but he didn’t mind going.  In the car on the way home he turned to me and said, ‘Thank you for making me go to swim squads because I really love them’.

A good day out for the little guy.

 

Comments

  1. Danielle says:

    Aww, well done Alfie! That is a great improvement from last year, just shows what a bit of instruction in technique can do for natural talent. Lovely pic of Alfie and Drew.

  2. He’s a trooper. Well done Alfie!! Handsome boys you have there, Charlie! 🙂

  3. Congratulations to Alfie on well run races, whether they were wins or not.

  4. Go Alfie!!!! Even as a reserve… I’m sure he will get to go 🙂
    Liz x

  5. Alfie’s done really well, he’s certainly an athlete! You must spend a lot of your time ferrying from one sport to another. GG

  6. Well done, Alfie and doesn’t he look like his dad. 🙂 Are you still swimming too?

  7. Congrats to Alfie! That is a great improvement over last year. And I suspect he’ll fair even better in the longer run next year!

  8. What a wonderful finish. Eighth out of seventy. I would say that’s outstanding. And how kind of him to thank you for taking him to swimming. Alfie is an all-around winner.

  9. Alfie really has the build of a long distance runner. I’ll bet the longer the race the better he’ll do (assuming he works on his endurance!). Moving up 5 spots in one year is good! He’ll be better next year. And as long as he’s having fun, that’s really all that matters.

  10. Woohoo go Alfie! Well done! Could I borrow a little of your energy please?

  11. Well done, Alfie. I think 8th is just great! And he is enjoying it, which is the best part.

  12. Well done Alfie and think all competitors who finished are winners!
    In my opinion, there is WAY too much pressure on young ones to HAVE to perform! There is much to be learned about the experience too! One only needs to look at the Spanish runner who helped the person who was deserving of first across the finish line…was very humble about coming second Charlie!

  13. Your Alfie inspires me to get off my butt and get active. Well done to your little man. 🙂

  14. Alfie is really perpetual motion! Good for him. I love that he remains positive about his training and accepts disappointment with grace. He is obviously continuing to improve and has a lot of years of growth ahead of him. I hope his enthusiasm holds! I’m impressed with his stamina. 🙂

  15. Ah bless he’s such a trouper.

  16. What an improvement from last year Alfie, good for you! Next year certainly seems like it’s a perfect fit with the longer race, good luck! Xo

  17. Well done Alfie, going from strength to strength!
    Have an awesome day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  18. Congratulations to Alfie, that’s an awesome result and, if he keeps improving at the same rate, he’ll be at the front of the pack before you know it! x

  19. I think Alfie’s laid back personality is really interesting! I love stories on him because nobody gets injured or hurt! 😛

  20. Great job, Alfie! Don’t feel bad, you did great. As Dory (Nemo’s friend) put it, “Just keep running”!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  21. Bless him! What a great race – congratulations Alfie!

  22. Competing can be brutal LOL
    you crack me up Charlie!
    Congrats to Charlie, he earned it.

  23. You are so positive! I love that about you. He has a great coach – right at home. Congrats to your adorable kiddo, he has done so well. It can only get better.

  24. He did GREAT!!!

  25. What a great story, it’s so nice that Alfie said that to you. He did great at the race and he should be very proud of his success. That’s a nice pic of Alfie and Carl, he really has Carl’s eyes.

  26. Top kid, top mum. Good on him for a great effort. Winning plays such a small part in character building. It’s how you lose that is the real mark of a man. Good on you Alfie for a huge improvement and giving it your best.

    Caro

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