Heavy rain fails to dampen pupils enthusiasm at schools' cross country in Landrake
A SUDDEN and unrelenting rain storm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the young athletes taking part in the enduringly-popular annual Sir Robert Geffery's School cross country run at Landrake Cross.
Despite the torrential downpour, 541 children from 35 different junior schools in south-east Cornwall took part in the stamina-sapping race now in its 33rd year.
The run follows a two-mile course which crosses a variety of fields, goes through woods and across a tidal salt marsh by the River Lynher.
The children were led round the course by two local runners, Ollie Jones and Paul Arrowsmith, who compete for East Cornwall Harriers.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Race organiser in 2013 and for the past dozen or so years is Helen Ralph, who runs the cross country club at Sir Robert Geffery's School on a voluntary basis.
Ralph, a member of the Tamar Trotters' running club, paid tribute to the tenacity and commitment of the youngsters and to the volunteers 'who help make the race such a successful event'.
She said: "It went very well and in spite of the dreadful weather we had 541 children braving the hard rain and competing over wet and tough terrain.
"We are about 30 down on last year's entry list of 570, so I'm pleased to say we're holding our own in terms of numbers.
"And there's no doubting the competitive instincts of the children, who gave it their all."
Ralph added: "The first three children to complete the course in both categories, like the other pupils, can be very pleased with their efforts.
"It rained very hard in the race which would have added considerably to their discomfort.
"But, as usual, no-one complained and we didn't lose any children, maybe just a couple of running shoes to the marshy ground."
Ralph gave thanks to Julie Curtis, who is headteacher at Landrake, for her 'invaluable assistance' in staging the race.
And, in addition, to the East Cornwall Harriers, she gave thanks to Tamar Trotters, who helped make the race run smoothly by supplying 50 marshalls and race signposts.