By Henry Fagan
The second cross country meet of the term took the ever-growing Hampton cross country team to Guildford to participate in the annual Haskell relays. Each of the three teams comprised four members who had to run two miles of a difficult course, adding to a total of eight miles. There was a vast array of schools form the South East taking part, Hampton being unique in fielding so many teams, when many schools could only field one team of their four best runners.
To say the course was hilly is an understatement. The elevation of the course was equivalent to around seven of the RS towers stacked on top of one another. The hills were all positioned in such a way that it made it ever more difficult to run the race. The uphills were long and the downhills were steep thus making the running seemingly impossible. It also didn’t help the athletes taking part that it began to rain halfway through, making the wet grass challenging to run on. The organiser of the event likened it to “running the wrong way up a waterslide.” The flapjacks we were given after the race all the more welcome.
The race was a debut for many Hampton athletes with Osborn Zhu, Edward Mason (who showed real determination to finish the race ahead of another competitor), Oscar Mitchell, Tom Schtasel and Henry Liu running their first cross country race in Hampton colours. Sam Shephard of the Lower Sixth said of the race: “the competition was strong, and the atmosphere was exciting. Overall a great day.” Our next race is in two weeks’ time on the more familiar territory of Richmond Park where many of the team train. We hope to carry on the form we have enjoyed recently.