Cross country success for Hackney

Hackney has moved up to 16th place in the London Youth Games thanks to the efforts of the cross country team, at the first event of the year at Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill on Saturday 20 November.

30 runners represented Hackney, the first time in over twenty years that Hackney has been represented in this event by so many runners. The youngsters, aged 11 to 17 competed over six races across distances from 2km to 4.5km. The top three runners from each age group contributed to the overall team result.

There were some notable performances from Alexander Machin Paley who finished 6th in the under 13 boys. Charlie Buckley Benjamin who in her first race at this distance finished 33rd. And Stanley Harrison from Highgate Harriers Athletics Club who finished 7th in the under 17’s.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “Congratulations to the team on their performance on what is considered one of the toughest courses in London. The team were a credit to Hackney and I’m sure they will go from strength to strength in the London Youth Games.”

Under 13 s runner, Alexander Machin- Paley said "I really enjoyed the experience and I love running for Hackney. I am looking forward to the mini marathon next year."

The London Youth Games run from November to July and children and young people compete in 43 events across 28 sports. In 2010 Hackney finished 23rd overall in London.

A team of 12 runners from Hackney also took part in the Lord Mayor s race on Saturday 13 November. Some of the best young runners competed over one mile along the route of the Lord Mayor’s procession. Hackney faired well with Alexander Machin-Paley from Stoke Newington School, finishing fourth overall with a time of 5 minutes 30 seconds. Stanley Harrison finished 12th.