JHI’s this year took place in Pitlochry, Scotland; the areas were Errochty for the individual, which was combined with a SOL, and Bonskied for the relays.
The England team travelled in two minibuses, one from the Lakes and our’s from York, thank you to Nev and Jacky for driving our minibus. The England team stayed in The Backpackers Hotel along with the Scots and the Welsh and Irish stayed elsewhere.
After about 9 hours of travelling we arrived in Pitlochry and were let loose to get some dinner which came in the form of: fish and chips, Chinese, pizza or Indian. After dinner we had a team meeting where we talked about the individual race and the logistics of the day. The key theme throughout the team talk though, seemed to be ‘DON’T MISS PUNCH!’.
After a good night’s sleep, it was time for the first test where we would begin to see which team was going to come out on top. Errochty was nice to start, but quite physical and rocky towards the end of the course and it was steep throughout. Personally, I had a fairly good run but on the whole the Scots seemed to take the home advantage, going into the relays with a 21 point lead over England.
In the team talk that night the focus was on the relays. The idea being to win the relays and see where we are, if Scotland slip up then maybe we can still bring home the trophy. It was a cold day at Bonskied and thankfully we avoided the rain but it was time to forget the weather for the mass starts. The girls went off first and the boys after, and the story of the day began to show as the first leg runners appeared at the spectator. We quickly realised, that the loop after the spectator control was shorter than usual and less than a minute later the girls were handing over to their 2nd leg runners. After good runs from all the teams, we still couldn’t beat the Scottish, who won the relay and took a convincing win overall.
Thank you to STAG who put the weekend on and I’m sure that team England will be back to regain the title next year. Thank you also to YHOA and SYO for the support and I hope that I will be able to represent England again in the future.