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The English Schools National Final was held in Blackburn at the end of March 2015. The top 8 runners from each of the 44 counties in England ran in this race, which therefore totalled 352 competitors. In order to qualify for this race and represent Gloucestershire I had to compete in the district, county and then South West Schools cross country races held throughout the winter. I had a great race and held 2nd place for much of its first half. I eventually finished in a comfortable 3rd place, being beaten by two of the best runners in England including a Youth Olympics gold medallist who won his gold in China last year in the triathlon.


The top 8 runners in this race were selected to run for England the following weekend in the Schools International held in Dublin. After the race we were given our England kit and all the details of the race the next weekend.


The following weekend the England team and coaches flew to Dublin where we spent the weekend. The course was 6km and the top 6 runners from each team earned points for their team. I came 7th in the race being the 6th English runner home, therefore receiving a team gold medal, keeping the record of an England team not being beaten for more than 20 years.


It was an incredible experience.


Tom Mortimer, 11F



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