HBAC Juniors and the Border League Cross Country Series

What is “the Border League”

The Border League is a Cross Country series which is participated in by several clubs predominantly from Hampshire, Berkshire & Surrey.

Historically the league started as a Sunday alternative training session for Coach Mick Marlow's young athletes group at Bracknell AC in the mid 70's. Dave Fearn Bracknell's treasurer at the time was coaching at Fleet and Crookham AC and brought along some of his athletes. Word got around that there was a local chance of a Sunday morning races and siblings were allowed to take part too. The league grew into what it is today.

The name comes from that of our sponsor The Newbury Building Society who pay for the medals and certificates. The league's funds are banked with them

The race series comprises four race mornings during the winter months on each day of which 4 children’s age categories are competed split between boys and girls (ie 8 children’s races in total).

Race positions and declarations for Match 3 and 4 are coming in, please contact Paul or Alex to state your availability

When and where does it take place

  • Sunday 13th November 2016 to be hosted by Basingstoke & MH AC at Down Grange, Basingstoke. Results here.
  • Sunday 11th December 2016 at Stoke Park, Guildford, hosted by Guildford and Godalming AC & YAC. Results here
  • Sunday 5th February 2017 at Reigate Priory Park, Reigate, hosted by Reigate Priory AC. First race at 11.00, Directions and Coursemap
  • Sunday 12th March 2017 at Royal School, Farnham Lane, Haslemere, hosted by Haslemere Border AC. First race at 11.00 with presentations after the races at approx. 1.30.

What are the distances and age groups, & what time do the races start

The times below are included as a rough guide, always check the specific instructions sent out before the match or posted above

Under 9 Girls 11.00 pm 1380 m approx  
Under 9 Boys 11.10 pm 1380 m approx  
Under 11 Girls 11.20 pm 1620 m approx  
Under 11 Boys 11.35 pm 2760 m approx  
Under 13 Girls 11.50 pm 2760 m approx  
Under 13 Boys 12.05 pm 3000 m approx  
Under 15 Girls 12.20 pm 3000 m approx  
Under 15 Boys 12.30 pm 4140 m approx  

How does the competition work

Standard

‘County standard’ athletes are banned from taking part but it is still challenging! It offers a good experience of race day atmosphere.

As a team

The first four athletes home in each race will comprise the scoring team. Haslemere combined with Waverley Harriers did surprisingly well last season, particularly the U9 girls regularly finishing in the top positions, and Emily Smith receiving a series medal; this year, we are competing in our own right so everybody in the club needs to get behind the regular runners and help to ensure that we can achieve full scoring teams across the age groups. Regardless of where the athlete finishes, a full team will always beat a partial team.

Final placings after the 4 races are based on summing the child's best of 3 finishing positions, i e the lower the figure the better. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you miss one of the 4 races.

And obviously please don’t be put off from attending if you can’t even make 3 races: hopefully any race will be valuable and enjoyable for your child.

 

Do you have to pay anything?

No – there is an entry per club, which the club covers

 

What if my child has never run that distance and doesn’t know the course?

We recommend you walk the course so that the child knows exactly what to expect. The race itself has a ‘hare’ runner who runs in front and a ‘tortoise’ runner who runs at the back of the race. There are marshals and the courses are well-signposted.

 

When do I have to say by?

We have to submit declaration forms by the Friday before the race. But we really appreciate as much advance notice as possible for planning.

 

What to wear

It’s a winter series so we’d recommend some kind of thermal top and thermal leggings as a minimum. Ideally wear a thick warm coat that can be taken off immediately before the race and put back on afterwards.

HBAC will provide a running top each time to be worn as an outer layer during the race. This needs to be returned after the race, although an ‘own’ HBAC top can be bought for £15.

 

Race numbers

These will be given out on the day and need to be returned after the race to the HBAC team captain / organiser.

Children are registered for the series against a number and it’s essential that the same number be worn by a particular child across different Border League races.

 

On the day

On the day – organisation

Please aim to arrive at least one hour before the race and look out for the Haslemere Border AC either gazebo or flag.

Ask for your race number and a Haslemere Border AC T-shirt to wear during the race (unless you’ve got your own). Do please remember to hand the T-shirt back in after the race if it is a loan shirt.

 

On the day – Start Line formation

Please be aware that the Border League policy is for each team to begin the race in columns, ie the children all line up behind each other, one column per club (spilling over into a second column if the number of club runners in that race exceeds 8). This is to prevent jostling and falling over etc at the beginning of the races (which unfortunately did happen last season despite this policy being in place, so it will be monitored more closely this season).

Runners will be ordered according to previous races’ finishing positions where possible.

 

On the day – parking

It is very important that you park as directed by the marshals but be prepared for a long walk as the car parks fill up quickly.   The route to the course will be clearly directed.

On the day- toilets

Facilities are always provided, look out for the on the day instructions

 

On the day - refreshments

Refreshments are usually provided, look out for the on the day instructions.

 

On the day – your involvement

Given that the events are run purely by volunteers, every club is expected to provide assistance where requested in the form mainly of marshals (possibly parking guides also).

As far as HBAC's own arrangements are concerned, any help with manning the registration desk at the HBAC flag/gazebo would be appreciated as the team manager is expected to be at the start line enforcing the line-up – this can most probably be done on an adhoc basis by parents whose own children’s race hasn’t started yet.

 

Any questions

Email paul.a.fleming@baesystems.com or see Alex at training.

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