Harriers Youngsters Back Racing Again

With Group training resumed and eyes firmly focused on the forthcoming track season, which for most klick off with the Kettering Open meeting on 17th April, two of the Harriers youngest & talented middle distance squad members took place in what is believed to be the first cross country race of the year in the rearranged ATW race at Merchant Taylors School, Northwood.


On a very cold but dry day U11’s Rafferty Davey and Harlee Hooker faced the elements for an early start in the bumpy, very undulating 2k terrain amongst a field of 86 u11 athletes. 


As with previous events the race was chip timed and run in waves of 20 runners setting off 20 seconds apart  - which meant every athlete was up against the clock rather than just the person on their shoulder. 9 year old Rafferty Davey set off in Wave B and had a look of determination from the outset. A long, steep 250m hill was the first challenge and Davey led his group as they reached the summit with Wave A runners the target ahead.


The course then flattened for a period before a loop which involved a sharp downhill and testing uphill - during this period young Davey began working his way through the field, noticeably during the uphill sections. 


A downhill section was next with tree trunk logs requiring to be negotiated - this was different to the norm and with a fierce determination Davey set about the last 300m working as hard as he possibly could to finish in a magnificent 3rd place in a time of 8:40. Encouragingly Rafferty has another year to run in this age group.


Harlee Hooker who only joined the squad at the tail end of 2020 was racing the course for the first time and the unknown element of an unfamiliar course led to a slightly more cautious approach for the talented youngster. Being placed in Wave D he ran a fine race and finished in a highly credible 15th position in 9:23. 


the Track season will provide some great opportunities for Hooker & Davey who spearhead the young talent coming through the squad, and both are showing fantastic potential as middle distance athletes.


Well done to both athletes!