20.Jun.12 Young athlete Endurance Relays on Isle of Man
The Isle of Man Secondary Schools in partnership with the Isle of Man Athletics Network and the Isle of Man Athletics Association’s Athletics Development Officer, launched a new format of athletics at the National Sport Centre on 3rd May in some of the best weather we have seen this year. Sponsored by Kirby Estates Ltd the “Endurance Relays” were created by George Bunner the founder of Sportshall Athletics.
George Bunner told us, "This relay format is a very tough form of endurance training calling for pace judgement and stamina, and is excellent preparation for the Save the Children World Marathon Challenge - a virtual competition for Secondary Schools which will take place worldwide on 16th October 2012."
All six of the Island's Secondary Schools entered teams into races for year 7 and 8 boys and girls - with an attendance of over 200 children. Mimicking a popular speed endurance interval training session, each team consisting of five athletes covered a distance of 5000m split up into 25 legs of 200m. Pace judgement is vital to success in this event to maintain a steady rhythm and allow for a powerful finish.
The first race of the day was the year 7 girls. With some strong running from all teams it was the Castle Rushen-A team of Isobel Bridle, Ashleigh Lachenicht, Leah Morley, Ciara Danes and Grace Guthrie who came through the finish line as Year 7 Girls' Champions closely followed by St Ninians High School-A taking silver and King Williams College-A coming home for the bronze medals.
Ramsey Grammar school A and B teams really pushed each other hard in this race chasing for the fourth and fifth spot with the A team just edging out with a nine second lead on their team mates with a time of 15m31s. KWC-A grabbed another bronze medal position with 15m14s but it was East v West for the top spot between St Ninians A and QE2-A, who were also separated by just nine seconds with a victorious time of 14m30s going to the boys from Bray Hill - namely Tom Murray, Harry Wilson, Matthew Wilkinson, George Dickinson and Luke Murray.
Race three introduced the year eight girls, where QE2 B and Castle Rushen A fought tooth and nail for bronze with the southerners showing good stamina to grab the podium position in a time of 16m02s. King Williams College were in the medals again grabbing silver with 15m49s but no one could stop the QE2-A girls from grabbing gold in a fantastic time of 15m26s.
The final race of the day the gold medal was hotly contested with the podium places separated by only 19 seconds. Ramsey Grammar School A put in a solid performance and made sure they were not empty handed for the return journey over the mountain by taking bronze in a time of 14m24s. Castle Rushen Vipers ran hard to produce a fine silver medal performance of 14m14seconds taking medals in three of four races only bested by their southern companions from King Williams College who were very close to breaking the 14 minute barrier with a superb time of 14m05s.
With all the results in and the year group titles decided it was down to the Kirby Estates Endurance Cup. Points were allocated according to final positions with each schools best placed team from each race being used to calculate the overall winner. With a fantastic four podium places the Kirby Estates Endurance Cup winners were King Williams College.
All participants went home with certificates as a memento of their efforts in this inaugural event. Special thanks must go to the officials and volunteers from the Isle of Man Athletics Association, not forgetting the teachers who worked hard to prepare their athletes for the vigours of this tough event. Most of all thank you to all the athletes who put on a fantastic display of endurance running to entertain the crowds of parents in attendance. Click here for full results.
If you were inspired by this event and would like to get into athletics contact Trevor Christian ADO on 688576 or check out www.iomaa.info where you can find links to your local clubs.
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