On Wednesday 9 March, almost four hundred runners from over twenty local schools headed to Windermere School for the biggest cross-country event the school has held to date.
This year’s event saw the introduction of a challenging, new course for the runners, as well as the introduction of a new ‘spectators green’ where visitors were able to watch not only the start and finish of each race, but were also afforded excellent views of most of the course itself. Visiting teams were given clear areas to set up camp and a refreshments marquee gave spectators the opportunity to escape from the wind if necessary.
The event provided a challenging and exciting afternoon of races. For many it was their first ever experience of racing, while for others it was an opportunity to improve on previous performances while competing against almost one hundred competitors.
In the Girls’ U10 race, all the runners showed great spirit. A superb run from Sophie Rylance (Lindale) ensured she went home with the gold medal, Jessica Edmondson (Coniston) took the silver and Sophie Roberts (Selside) the bronze. Good performances from Taya Wade-Wilson in 4th, Bethany Saunders in 5th, Brooke Machell (Year 2) in 25th and Patia May Pickering in 27th meant Windermere School won the U10 shield.
The U10 boys had an equally challenging time, running against some speedy competitors. Hector Westmoreland-Nicholson (Windermere) put all his training and knowledge of the course into good use, timing his attack well to take 1st position and the gold medal. Edward Sergeant (Penny Bridge) took the silver and Charlie Allmond (Crosthwaite) the bronze. Great runs from Jonny-Lee Machell who came in 4th, Eddie Lewis in 13th and Felix Stewart in 22nd led Windermere School to victory and the U10 shield. In the U11 races, Olesia Winder (Penny Bridge) put in an exceptional run to take 1st position in the girls’ race, with Hannah Gaynor (Windermere) taking the silver medal and Rowenna Hamilton (Langdale) the bronze. Stramongate School won the Girls’ U11 Shield with good runs from Georgia Beresford (5th), Rowan Hebblethwaite (13th), Emma Foster (16th), Amelia King (19th) and Mia Bryant (24th).
The boys’ race had some equally quick runners. An exciting finish saw Henry Hunter from Stramongate School take 1st place and the gold medal. James Bowen (Hawkshead) took the silver medal and Harry Bowen (Hawkshead) the bronze. Good running from Matthew Ansell (5th), Dylan Cater (6th) and Ethan Ross (45th), meant that Stramongate School also went on to win the Boys’ U11 Shield.
All runners finished the afternoon with a burger and a chocolate bar, and most of the participants still had a smile on their faces!
The school asked for special thanks to be passed on to all those involved in making this such a successful event. From the grounds staff to the catering team, the first aiders (who fortunately were not called on for anything too serious) to the marshals and the hares, their involvement was invaluable in making this annual event the best yet!
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.