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McCains Cross-Country Challenge Cardiff 20 January 2013

Grace Copeland reports.

After spending the night in a hotel we set off towards Cardiff. As we entered the city centre we stop to ask directions from a young man who looked like an athlete with his mum heading towards the race. We then found out that their car had broken down and he was going to miss his race. We bundle them both in to the car with a squash and a squeeze and he gave Dad the directions we needed. On the way there we found out he was Liam Lloyd the Number one triathlete in Wales and he trains with the Brownlee brothers at Leeds University and Liam is going to the Commonwealth Games.

That set the day off to a real buzz for me, Liam did really well finishing 3rd in the under-20s race we cheered him on all the way and managed to get a photo at the end. Amazing!!!!!!


Grace with Liam

The course was flat and fast with half of it running along the bank of the River Taff. This was a wooded area looking like Narnia in the snow with lots of twists and turns which made this part of the course fun for me to run. After about 1000metres Amelia Lancaster had pulled away so I knew it was all about 2nd place. I ran neck and neck all the way round the course with Lucy Dennis who is Welsh Champion for 1500m and Welsh Cross-Country Champion for 2012. I felt like I was running against a mirror. Every move I made she made too. So it all came down to the last 200m finishing straight. With every one cheering me on, Mum, Dad, Piers, Bridget Dences family and Jan Westhenry, I managed to find another gear and pulled 2nd place out the bag!!!!!!!


Grace and Lucy Dennis duel during the race

It was the best race of the season for many reasons, first I was racing again Lucy Dennis she showed great sportsmanship and I looked forward to our next encounter. Second reason was coming 2nd in a top event, third was winning 50 and fourth meeting Liam Lloyd. 


Grace with Lucy mutual respect

Id like to congratulate to my brother who also had a fab race finishing in 6th behind some big names in the under-15 age group.


Piers recorded an excellent 6th place

Also well done to the other Dorset runners there that day:

Ben Westhenry (Weymouth St Pauls) 6th in the under-20s men.

Glenn Balfour (Bournemouth AC) 7th in the under-13s boy.

Bridget Dence (Bournemouth AC) 5th in the under-15 girls.

Im looking forward to next year already, lets hope there will be some more WACers joining us next year its a great one to do!!!




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