Upton runners defy weather in own-school championships

Cross country racing at Upton

When soggy conditions meant the Thanet primary cross country races were cancelled at Quex Park in Birchington, Team Upton still held their own championships on their school field.

The inter-school event was cancelled because the very wet surface around the running area meant parking for vehicles ferrying competitors was too wet and unsuitable.

Rather than disappoint their runners, Upton decided to go it alone with more than 500 children from all age ranges racing on the school’s large playing fields.

Year 3 and 4 pupils ran around 750m, while Year 5 and 6 covered about 1.5km, with eight categories for boys and girls in total.

Callum Noble, Upton’s Sport Coach and PE lead, said: “It was a shame that the event was called off – we didn’t want our children to miss out so we decided to create our own.

“The top eight in each race category received a badge that featured a running shoe with Cross Country 2024 on and the year group, category and placing written on it.

“It was so lovely to see our cross country regulars and children who do not normally sign up for these events taking part together and showing true resilience throughout the run.

“Each and every child at Upton should be super proud of their achievements.”

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Head of School Darci Arthur agreed: “Although it was disappointing that the inter-school run was cancelled, our alternative involved huge numbers of our pupils in a sporting event that really demonstrated the true spirit of community that runs through all we do at Upton.”