Interland 2020 – Freya Tryner

It was England’s turn to host the Interland competition this year and the area chosen was just North West of London – a woodland called Burnham Beeches. The accommodation was quite a way away from the training and event but we didn’t do the training and instead drove down on Saturday afternoon. The hostel was really nice and the England team were sharing a lodge. I was in a dorm with the W14s and W16s who were all really nice and I already knew quite a few of them so it was a good room.

There was a bit of scramble to get a table at dinner but the food was good apart from the dry burger. After a discussion on how to eat oranges it was time for a quick team talk. We were given information about the next day and then we got our England kit. It was great that this year we had the option of women’s sizes so my O top fitted nicely and the hoodie is really comfy. Afterwards it was time to go back to the dorms and get ready for our early rise the next morning.

The next morning it was a bit of an effort to get out of bed at 6am, eat breakfast and make pack lunches. It took around 50 minutes to get to the area and soon we arrived in a muddy English field. The start was close, only 500m down a track, and after warming up on the way I was ready to run. At the start we had our terrain photos taken and then one by one we were off into the forest attempting to defend our Interland title. The wood was quite vague with a few features and the terrain was fast. I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of undergrowth as the final details recommended gaiters but the area looked fine with very few patches marked and as it turned out; it was lovely runnable forest – nothing compared to the man eating brambles in South Yorkshire!

I was the first finisher out of the entire competition, which was fun and I had loads of the time to relax although I had to wait the longest for confirmation of my position, hoping that I wouldn’t drop any further than my 3rd place. Before the prize giving we had our team photos taken in our England hoodies and jackets with our team flag. After a tense wait the scores were finally given and England came ……1st in both Juniors, Seniors and overall. And then it was time for the long journey home…..

Interland was an amazing experience and I loved running for England for the first time. It was a great chance to see friends and also meet new people. Being asked to run for England was an amazing opportunity and I loved every second of it, beside the dry burgers! Thank you to John the team manager and all the other helpers and thanks to SYO and YHOA for supporting me and Lucy Wiegand for taking me and a few others there and back.

Freya Tryner