23 Nov

Hundreds Of Youngsters Revel In London Mud

Youngsters in action at London Youth Games cross country

Saturday's Balfour Beatty London Youth Games cross country event at Hampstead Heath was an enormous success with over 700 youngsters from 29 London boroughs competing on the iconic Parliament Hill course. At the end of six races for under 13, under and under 17 boys and girls, Richmond came out top ahead of Barnet and Wandsworth.

Afterwards, Richmond Team Manager Jennie Platt said: "I knew we had some good runners and we had high expectations, but you never know. It was quite a strong field; other boroughs had top runners out too. We used runners from the mini marathon earlier this year and our own mini marathon trials.

"They all train quite hard anyway with athletics club and for school competitions. There are two Park Runs that go on every week in Bushy Park and Richmond Park. There is also an athletics club at St Mary's, so that's mainly why we have strong endurance runners."

Southwark's Katie Snowden was the individual winner of the girls' under 17 race and afterwards said: "I was really pleased to win today. It was quite challenging but I really enjoyed it. I think on the third lap I knew I had one last hill to get through and it was downhill from there, so I pushed on and pulled it off.

"I came here to finish in the top three, so to actually win has exceeded my expectations. I really enjoy running for Southwark."

Russell Findlay, Chief Executive, London Youth Games said: "We were really excited to be starting our season with cross country. The Balfour Beatty London Youth Games is the catalyst of year-round competitive sporting activity for tens of thousands of young people in London.

"As we get closer to London 2012, the big response from the London boroughs to the re-introduction of cross country demonstrates the hunger for competitive sport among young people and the need to provide a focus for their energies."

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