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ISF World Schools XC Championships in Nairobi, Kenya

Following ESAA Schools Cup last year, Judd was invited to take two full teams to represent England at the ISF World Schools XC Championships in Nairobi. Despite tough conditions and having to race against elite national fields from other countries, the boys exceeded all expectations to finish 4th and 6th in the U15 and U18 races respectively.

The U15 race saw 8 Kenyans in the first 13 places with Peter finishing as the first European athlete in 22nd place, shortly followed by a brilliant run from Will, next home from Judd was Charlie (30th) in a group with runners from Qatar, Italy, Mexico and Uganda, then Luca running against students 2 years older than him in 33rd and Ollie working really hard for a creditable 42nd place. This team effort put England 4th behind Kenya, Uganda and Morocco. 

In the senior race there were over 100 athletes with Kenya dominating again, with many of these athletes likely to be in future Olympics or World Championships. The first Judd pupil home was Mark, showing a great time to produce his best ever run in 52nd place, racing alongside the best athletes from New Zealand, Italy and Nigeria. George was running in his second world schools champs, after running in Slovakia 3 years ago, he finished a superb 54th, just beating students from Saudi Arabia and The Czech Republic. Third Judd home was Jack in 60th, who had great tussles with Croatia and Chile's finest, followed by James (3 years younger than some athletes!) in 69th place and going past Luxembourg and Namibia's top athletes near the end. Ethan completed the team in 77th in his last race for Judd after 7 years of athletics and cross country competition. However, the trip extended far beyond the competition itself, and a series of fantastic days spent with athletes from all around the world has enriched the boys in so many ways. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience, seeing rare Black Rhino on safari and being hosted by the Kenyans in such a welcoming and enthusiastic manner. This also proved to be the last dance for our year 13 athletes, who have been key to the success of Judd XC since their junior years in 2017. While they may be looking ahead to university and greater (running) successes, their achievements and legacy shall long be celebrated here at Judd.

Very well done for representing the school so well on and off the cross country course - Jack, George, Ethan, Mark, Tom and James in the seniors; Peter, Will, Charlie, Ollie and Luca in the juniors. 

For anyone interested a youtube video of the event can be found here and details of the team rankings can be found here, individual results are here.