Thomas Chadwick, Felix Kent and Alex Mulvihill ventured north earlier this month to compete in a windswept and rather wet National Cross Country Relays in Mansfield.
Following a top-10 finish at the National Road Relays in October, the trio stepped out of their comfort zone to once again test themselves against the best in the country.
The team finished 13th, the club’s highest ranking in the age category in recent memory, just 11 seconds off a top-10 finish.
Thomas set off at a blistering pace on the first of three 3k laps, and stayed strong through the second half to hand over to Felix inside the top-20.
“The pace from the start was incredible. I was running at 2:45 [per kilometre] pace and struggled to keep up,” said Thomas.
“It’s been a real eye-opener racing against such a high level lately, and makes me even more determined to close the gap.”
The ever-improving Felix continued the momentum and managed to climb one position, despite taking a dramatic tumble halfway through his leg.
“I guess I could have done without falling over,” mused Felix. “It certainly made things even tougher than they needed to be.”
The responsibility fell on Alex’s shoulders to anchor the team home. The Muswell Hill native glided over the mud, clawing back three more positions as he also ran inside 10 minutes for the distance.
“Running through the mud hasn’t always been my forte” commented Alex. “I guess the conditions have prepared us well, though, for the championship races after Christmas.”
All three boys, as well as a number of our junior athletes, will chase after parkrun personal bests in Dulwich next weekend.