McCains Cross-Country Challenge – Cardiff – 20 January
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
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 Dence’s 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
I’d 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.
I’m looking forward to next year already, let’s hope there will be some
more WACers joining us next year it’s a great one to do!!!