London Youth Games - Cross Country
Recently I took part in London Youth Games Cross Country. An estimated 1500 young Londoners representing 33 borough teams take part in the November event that takes place at the iconic Parliament Hill Fields in London.
To gain entry I competed a cross country race with other schools in the borough.
Waking up on a crisp Saturday morning at 6:15am to board our coach at 7am myself and the rest of the Havering Hurricanes cross country team gathered ready to try on our race tops and board our coach. I felt tired but very excited, boarding the coach all together was a fun start to the day. Supporting us on the coach were members of the Havering Sports development team.
Some people slept on the journey, but I felt wide awake ready to start the day! Upon arrival we had a team photo, cheered our team on and walked across the fields to get a sense of the course and set up our base for the day.
I had a small wait for my race as it was just before midday, so I used the time to relax, walk the course, eat and do some warm up exercises and of course cheer on my team mates, it's so important to encourage and support each other.
The start of the race line can be abit of a hustle and I looked up the hill eager in anticipation.
I ran outdoors across natural terrain including dirt, mud, grass and gravel. Every runner tries to win points for their team's overall score. Havering girls came fifth out of thirty-three London Boroughs and the boys seventh. I first took part in London Youth Games in 2019 and Havering girls came first and achieved gold!
Last year was very different, because of the Covid pandemic the games took place virtually, so it was great to get back outdoors. It was an amazing event and a wonderful setting for the race, with a vibrant atmosphere and I felt a fantastic sense of achievement taking part. The finish line brings a mix of emotions some people smile, some cry, some sprint or even walk across the finish line!
I smiled, I finished 65 out of 205 in a 2K it was tough but a great result for our team.
London Youth Games is reckoned to be the largest annual youth sports event in Europe. Notable past participants include four-times Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, Premier League and England Footballer Raheem Sterling and World and European sprinting gold medallist Dina Asher-Smith.