Written by Paul Chadwick
Everything you wanted to know about cross-country but didn't know who to ask...
The Club's Cross country season gets underway in October when the first of five Gwent League fixtures takes place at Bridgend. The Gwent League races are suitable for talented Year 5s in the Novices race and those age 11 upwards in Years 6 & 7 making up the u13 team. There are age groups all the way up - u15s; u17s; u20s through to seniors. We sometimes have more than 50 Harriers competing across the age groups. In some years we have won team medals in most age groups and had a number of individuals who were triumphant.
There is also usually 50 youngsters from all of the competing Clubs in each race and we find that it suits our youngsters to be competing in such big fields against runners from far away - it really does them good in preparation for the various Championship events that come later in the season. Entry cposts the Club £1 for junior; £4 for u20s & seniors if requested.each athlete has to be entered on the day at least 15mins before race start. Each age group is entered on a separate sheet - parents you need to be organised to ensure your juniors are entered. Perhaps one of you is team manager for a particular age group? If there is no team-manager then volunteer.
Transport? In some previous years we have hired a minibus or two but as it always fell to the same volunteer coaches, we can no longer provide these unless a non-competing parent can volunteer to drive the minibus. Alternatively in the absence of a minibus driver or two, we expect parents to take it in turn to offer lifts to other ream-mates. Cost £5 per minibus seat If there is a volunteer driver.. Harriers will pay for minibus hire.
All athletes whether they are from the Harriers section, or the YOAC section, compete in the Royal Blue & yellow vest of the Harriers. Please make sure you have bought your vest in advance or have requested one 2 weeks before the fixture from one of the kit managers. (see contact list elsewhere on the Harrier website). Cost £10.
The team is often found with the Wells City Harrier Club tent at the venue - set up at about 10.30am/11.00am.The full list of Gwent League fixtures are as shown on the Gwent website as sometimes the venue or day changes due to unforeseen circumstances:http://www.gwent-league.org.uk/ No race numbers used at Gwent League but Instead the finisher receives a position disc and that finish number needs writing on the finish envelopes and the disc put in the envelope before posting in the results box by finish line. 1 envelope per age group collected at registration by the parent that is team-managing that group..
Please put the dates in your diary and check the website to see what changes of dates & venues might arise. We EXPECT juniors to compete at least once a month for the Club.
Another league, not as tough or competitive, that some members will compete in (Harrier team affiliation paid for) will be the Wessex XC League. All details of dates & venues- all 4 fixtures on a Sunday before Christmas - appear on the website: http://www.teamdorsetathletics.co.uk/ Neil Biss & his sons are likely to compete at these and he can supply information and advice about how to enter if not clear from the website.Race numbers to be collected at the event.
COUNTY, REGIONAL & NATIONAL XC CHAMPIONSHIPS - The Championship season starts with the County Championships in December - all Harriers are encouraged to compete by entering on line at least 10 days before the event. After the New Year there are then the South-West and Southern Championships in January, and the National XC Championships follow on. All of these Championships have early deadlines.- don't miss them! It is the athletes responsibility to make sure they are entered.
SOMERSET COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
WE EXPECT all those who train regularly with the Club to compete in the County Championships.
The entry list will be shown on the entry website a few days before the race so you can see who your opponents are. The first three home for Somerset will be awarded medals by the County Champs secretary. Race numbers to be collected from the organisers at the event.
In addition some members may wish to compete at the National XC Championships - in Mid February - but entry has to be made early in January - on-line entry; athlete enters themself. Individual team managers/coaches may encourage and be able to support any talented junior that decides to enter.
For the regional and national Championships, WE ANTICIPATE that the best 3 or 4 athletes from each age group that train with the harriers/YOAC will be good enough to enter and compete at this higher level, but others can take part to gain excellent experience. Parents are encouraged to support their athletes! This is a great day out and will be the biggest event that most of the youngsters have ever competed in (200-300 in each age group) Enter on line in advance and collect numbers on the day.
There is, of course, also School Cross Country fixtures.
The Harriers established the Mendip Primary school XC league with schools about 20 years ago. A representative Mendip schools team is selected to contest the races held at Bristol in November. Year 5 &6 juniors should consider doing Gwent league matches (see above) so as to make the step up to the more competetive fixtures they will face by the time they get to secondary school.
In the Mendip District the Harriers sponsor a Secondary Schools League for Years 7,8 & 9 and the League has 3 fixtures. These are held in September-October period. If your school is going with a team then they will help administer the results; if your school is not attending but you are going with a parent please ensure you collect a results envelope before the start. There may be a Harrier coach who can also assist at the event.. Training at the Harrier's Monday night will be geared up to help youngsters with these events.
In mid December-early January it will be the area Schools trials for the secondary schools team to represent the school District. Entry is by your school. Area competition leads onto the Schools County XC Championships organised by the schools on a Saturday at the end of January 2018
Schools dates for your diary:http://www.somersetschoolsathletics.org.uk/
PARENTS: You have a chance to play a volunteer role as an age-group team manager. SEE HERE for GUIDANCE - The volunteer coaches can advise you
Wells & Yeovil Coach Contact information Cross-country season
Competing in the Royal Blue & Yellow of Wells City Harriers.
Training with the Joint team for cross-country
At Millfield track, Street, with Wells City Harriers XC endurance group
- Monday evening 5.50pm-7.00pm:Juniors age 11-16
- Tuesday evening 6.20pm-7.30pm:Juniors age 14 -seniors
- Once a month Saturday morning hill sessions on Street Hill (dates tbc)
At Yeovil Arena with Yeovil Olympiads endurance group:
- Tuesday eve 6pm-8pm (sessions usually end by 7.30 for juniors)
At Ninesprings with Yeovil Olympiads endurance group:
- meet at Goldenstones car-park, Saturday 10.30am-11.30am
Also training for seniors from Wells Rugby Club on Wednesday 6.40pm for an hour plus(road circuit in winter; off-road in summer)
Membership of Wells City Harriers or Yeovil Olympiads gives you membership of the other club. Please make sure your membership & EA registration is up to date.