Interland 2020 – Sam Todd

This year I, along with 3 other M14’s, was selected to run for England in the annual Interland competition, to be held on the first day of March.

At around 2 o’clock the day before, me, Max Möbus and Conrad Reuber drove down to the accommodation where we would be staying overnight. My dad took us down to Interland along with his camera. He took lots of photos which you can see here.

It took a total of 3 and a half hours of travel to the youth hostel which we were sharing with the teams from Belgium and some French athletes (I think….). We had a big log cabin for our England squad. I was sharing a dorm with Conrad, Jake O’Donnell, Ollie Prince and Adam Methven, which was kind of chaotic (in a good way). We had a bit of time to settle in and unpack before dinner at six o’clock. We had pre-ordered food – everyone chose to have a beef burger and chips – admittedly not the most carb-loaded food to eat before the race day, but nice nonetheless. We then had oranges for dessert. We had time to go back to our cabins to relax before briefing for the following day. At about this point, we realised that it was a good idea never to all leave the room without the key (as demonstrated by another dorm….) After being briefed about next day’s activities and receiving my England badge, we headed back to our rooms to get ready for bed. It would be an early start tomorrow and I wanted to get some kind of sleep. I got to sleep at about 11 o’clock which wasn’t that bad, giving me a good 5 hours of rest for the upcoming day tomorrow.

I woke up to an alarm the next morning at exactly 6:15. Completely dazed, I banged my head on the side of the metal bed, which really hurt. 20 minutes more laying down and I knew I needed to get up quickly to get to breakfast on time. I crawled out of bed, got changed into my hoodie and headed for breakfast. I had cereal and a nice cup of tea, but there was a full English breakfast on offer as well. Feeling more energized than when I just woke up, I headed back to our dorm to clean up and move our bags to the foyer to leave the accommodation. We arrived at the event centre (slightly held up by the Belgian bus taking 5 minutes to get out of the car pack entrance) with plenty of time before anyone would run. A beautiful bright sunny day overlooked a muddy field that was our temporary base. There was a big white marquee for all our bags and for shade from the sun. Despite it being so bright, it was actually very cold, so I ran in a thermal with t-shirt over the top. It was a short walk to the start, just 500m down a very muddy path in the woodland. The terrain on my 5.1km course was very runnable woodland with some intricate contour detail and a few holly thickets and streams. My run went averagely well but an 11 minute leg that should’ve taken 5 minutes put me a few places down. When we all were back, we ate the lunch that we had prepared just that morning. Results came in quickly and it was time for the prizegiving. England won by 50 points in the Interland Cup, and also won the Junior Cup by 14 points!! In the end it was a great experience and I was proud to be able to run for my country.


Photo credit: Dave Todd