By Evie Conway
Photos: Wendy Carlyle
I was pretty excited for the JHIs this year. We went up by minibus on the Friday and met up with the rest of the England team, along with the Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland teams. The leisure centre we were staying at wasn’t open to us yet when we got there so we got some fish and chips and pizza to eat in the minibus.
The first day on Simonside was quite nice, but the ‘white’ forest was pretty brambly and the green and light green was very slow. I had quite a good race overall, coming 2nd to Lizzie Stansfield, but I felt very slow and average when I was running it. I didn’t make any big mistakes, but I lost at least a minute at #5 because I was a little off my bearing through the green and even though I came out quite close to the control it took me forever to get to it through the huge piles of branches and brambles. I was just making little mistakes and being generally slow for the rest of the course. I was happy with the result though. I was 1st English, which made a difference from my last place last year.
Saturday evening was pretty busy. Most people went swimming for about an hour when we got back. We went to eat at the village hall, where they set up tables and we got JHI mugs with our names on. We did prize giving there, where we found out England had won the individual day, followed by Scotland. This was followed by a disco which was really fun and we were all in a party mood still at the end.
Sunday’s relay area was very fast, which I am not. I did do okay though. We were running the Yorkshire team that won JIRCs, which was good because we had confidence we could beat Scotland again and I knew my team mates quite well. Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla (my first leg runner) came back in with Niamh Hunter and they were 2nd and 3rd, only just behind Grace Molloy. I went out and didn’t mess up, I just had a pretty clean, decent run. The only problem I had was at the end when I couldn’t work out how I was going to get to the other side of a huge net fence to the finish. I was looking at my map for probably 30 seconds trying to work it out whilst being stood right next to the way out- I just hadn’t realised it because it was round a corner then another so you couldn’t see it from my angle. I was quite annoyed but I don’t think I lost too much time and I was still (I think) 3rd back and Pippa Dakin had a really good run as our third leg to come back 2nd. Another of our English teams with Niamh, Rachel Duckworth and Fiona Bunn won so it was a really good day for the English girls. England won the relay trophy and took the overall win too. It was a really good JHI.