The Godiva kids’ cross-country liege is a series of three races set across the period of December to March. Each race is one mile; you run two laps.
Every year we go to the field by the university and run a series of races. These races are optional; they are very fun. The coaches take the athletes, from years three to seven, around one lap of the field for a warmup. This includes many different exercises and stretches. We thank the coaches for doing this because it really helps warm us up and have a chat with our friends!
The course is one mile and it includes the athletes running two laps around the field. You start off, where the path meets the field, by running into a slanted hill that immediately takes you onto the second field. You then go around the cone – that is on the corner of the rugby pitch. After that, you run across a straight to the other side of the rugby pitch being ready to turn to a graduate downhill. Down that hill the coaches advise you stride out. Once you get to the bottom of the hill, you turn left, it takes you around an astro and onto the finishing straight. If you have already run one lap, then you would cut into the the finishing funnel where the timekeepers will record your number and time. But if that is your first lap, you carry on round onto your second lap.
The course – that is sometimes very wet – is always open to the athletes. We run in the snow, rain and sun. Cross country is for whatever the weather! You can wear many different shoes including spikes, football boots or trainers. Luckily, we have some concrete patches that allow the athletes to change their shoes, but you can also change your shoes at the club house.
For each year group there are medals, the most improves boys/girls the first, second and third place boys/girls, there is also an overall fastest time. To be able to gain a medal the athletes will have to participate in two of the races. For the most improved race the athlete must improve on their time to most. For the first, second and third place medal the athletes two best time is added up and the quickest time wins! Last year, Faith Hodson won the most improved competition by improving her time by an incredible 114 seconds followed by Matthew O’Bartuin in second with 71 seconds and Matilda Taplin in third with 49 seconds.
We thank all of the coaches who help organise the cross country for example, the coaches who help warm us up, the coaches that take our time and the coaches that set out the course. We must not forget some of the coaches who stay after the race to total the times.
I would recommend the Godiva kids cross country to anyone who comes to Coventry Godiva harriers because it is fun and a joyous experience. You can pace yourself however you like and winning does not matter.