|Josh Jordan makes it look easy|
What a terrible day for taking photos not to mention running. Competitors were faced with cold, rainy and gloomy conditions and I hope all lads and lasses willingly prepared to get wet found it more to their liking than moi.
Still despite the crap conditions there did seem to be quite a good turnout no doubt because some important schools XC competitions are coming up in the next six weeks.
The course layout was roughly the same as in previous years although because of the wet weather the sealed path was used to navigate the outside the park.
Because of this change runners had to decide whether to wear spikes for the soft sections of the course or racing flats for the hard surfaces.
The stream crossing was especially hazardous this year as the creek level was higher than on a dry day and the rocks and the track leading from the creek were slippery. A few lost their balance here but it didn’t really hold them up. One boy did actually hurt himself when he slipped and banged his knee hard on the concrete slab that anchored a wooden bench.
Across the creek, the runners then had to climb sharply and get themselves across the steeply angled grass bit which is often where the mishaps normally happen.
The track then narrowed and wound around toward the rough 4 wheel drive track and the climb up through the wooded area. The course turns at the top to take the runners down again to the park and onto the sealed path before flat run around the park to the start/finish and the welcome lap hand over. When you look at the terrain to be covered it is not necessarily an easy course especially for those that might lack the strength, agility and experience to navigate the rough bits.
There are 3 grades each for each gender and they start off in waves with the senior boys first followed at about a 1-minute interval by the senior girls and so on.
If I understand it correctly there are 5 to a team for the boys (actually looking at the results there are 6) and 4 for the girls.
Results are not yet available but based on the first runners through past me it looked like Wellington College No 1 SB team had a big lead over Wanganui Collegiate Schools’ No 1 SB team.
The photos below are gloom and rained affected, meaning the ISO is set high which can result in noisy (grainy) and soft images.
As an update and following a gander at the results, I note that Jonah Seeds is now attending Wanganui Collegiate. I did wonder whatever happened to Finn and Jonah as they seemed to disappear off the face of the earth as far as Wellington running went. So now we know.
Also in the senior girls' race, it was the usual suspects of Ruby Barton, the Squire sisters and Katelyn Skeats picking up the fastest 4 lap times respectively.