A Dad can show he's proud of his boys can't he? It would be easy enough to give Billy's race a courtesy mention, but I think he deserves a bit more than that. Especially after today.
Whenever Billy has a running race we chat about a game plan. And at the County Champs we walk the mile course beforehand. Now in previous races this has worked well and he's stuck to the plan. Last year for example the plan was to keep in touch with the leaders for the first half, move up to the shoulder of the leader by the bottom of the last hill, and then blast it to the line! It worked a treat and he won by a good distance. It was a really mature run for a young lad.
Today, whilst walking the course we came up with the same plan, we put down some landmarks and thought about what would be a good position in the field - but whatever happened don't get to the front too soon! Stay in touch, but leave a bit for the final run in at which point he could fire up the Billy burners! You don't win the race halfway around.
Unlike last year, he got a good start and moved into about tenth by the second corner. One of the runners was making good headway and was starting to pull out quite a lead. Not wanting to leave himself too much to do, Billy went in pursuit and got to his shoulder by the start of the first climb. They were both a good distance ahead and going well. And then half way up the hill the other lad pretty well stopped. Right in front of the main viewing area with still 2/3rds of the race to go, Billy found himself at the front. This was not the plan! So he had a choice, slow down and let the others catch him up or take it on.
Blurry photo sorry - water on the lens from the rain! But this is the moment that Billy took the lead with 1000 metres still to go.
He went for option B and put himself to the test. Could he keep that pace up all the way? He kept a comfortable space between himself and his pursuers until 200 metres to go at which point he put the pedal to the metal. It was really impressive. He was up against the best in the county and beyond (Plymouth Athletic Club sent a team) and he finished well ahead with loads to spare. There's no doubt about it, he's a talent and he's getting noticed (and not just because of his hair!). You couldn't fail to be impressed.
Where does he get his engine from? 600 metres from home and tanking it!
So yep, incredibly proud Mum and Dad and little brother (who runs about as far chasing around to cheer Billy on at the corners!). And Grandparents, all of whom travelled down to watch him.
The home run. See that lady on the right. She was so busy watching the others in the race (quite a long way behind!) that I don't think she expected to see him. She ran right out in front of him and they missed by inches.