Ulster Schools’ Rugby Running Challenge

In a year where extracurricular activities have been halted for pupils across the country, the Ulster Schools’ Rugby Running Challenge provided a welcome opportunity for the Senior Rugby Players of Larne Grammar School to take part in a competitive, challenging and fun competition. The running challenge, organised by Ulster Schools’ Committee member Mr John Andrews, began on Wednesday 27th January at 8.00am and ran until 6.00pm on Wednesday 3rd February. The challenge for the Larne Grammar School boys was to run as many metres as possible within the set time frame. Schools were awarded with a point for every kilometre covered with bonus points up for grabs for the school with the fastest five kilometre and one-mile completion times.

The Larne Grammar School Running Challenge Team was made up of sixteen boys and five members of staff. The boys and the staff members made an extremely promising start to the challenge covering 401.66 Km in the first four days of the race with excellent runs coming from Caelan Campbell, David Lin, Kristofer Wilson, Callum Adair and Stuart McAlister. Benjamin Hodge showed impressive athleticism as he clocked the squad’s fastest times for the one-mile time trial and the five kilometre challenge.

At this stage of the competition it was apparent across the thirteen competing schools that fatigue was becoming an issue; in light of this the boys and staff across all schools took a much-welcomed rest on Sunday 31st January.

With only three days of the challenge remaining the boys used the rest to their advantage finishing Monday with their best performance of the week accumulating a total of 148.92 Km. This particular feat was much aided by the outstanding individual performance of David Lin who ran a breath-taking 30 Km. Jack Wallace also used the rest and recovery to his advantage as he managed to clock a new fastest time of 22:05 in the five kilometre race. Stuart McAlister clocked a new fastest mile time of 5:55 and in the process removed Benjamin Hodge from the leader board. However, this wasn’t for long as a late evening Google Classroom post from Ben showed him running one mile in 5:31. Ben’s strong run saw him hold the lead until the end of the competition.

The boys and staff finished the next two days strongly with some very impressive runs coming from Callum Adair, Caelan Campbell, Jack Wallace, Tom Meban and Mr Cartmill who ran a very impressive 34.13 Km. The final push from the group who managed a total of 227.5 Km in the last two days of competition helped them to achieve a final distance total of 778.07 Km.  To put that into perspective, as the crow flies, it is 757.17 Km from Larne to Amsterdam. Particular mention must go to David Lin who covered the furthest distance (78.40 Km) and 1st XV Captain who led impeccably throughout and covered an impressive 64.53 Km.

Larne Grammar School 1st XV Squad – Running Challenge

It would be remiss not to mention Mr Wylie, Mr Cartmill, Mr Hill and Mr Hunter who immersed themselves in the competition giving much encouragement to the players. Mr Hill must be commended on his outstanding performance as he completed a remarkable 100.6 Km during the competition. Congratulations to Regent House who finished the competition in first place with 1330 points after having covered 1230.14 Km and winning the 1.6 Km time trial bonus.

Ulster Schools’ Rugby Running Challenge – Final Standings

The boys should be extremely proud of their efforts throughout the week long competition. In a year where team experiences are so few, it was so pleasing to see such positivity, camaraderie and encouragement within the group.

1st XV Captain – Caelan Campbell

This year Larne Grammar School were delighted to welcome DPD as a major sponsor for the 1st XV for the 2020-21 season. DPD (Dynamic Parcel Distribution) is an international parcel delivery service which leads the industry in pursuing carbon neutral parcel delivery, whilst providing a flexible and user-friendly service for their customers. The local DPD Depot is located in North Antrim at Unit 6, Plasketts Close, Kilbegs Business Park. Larne Grammar School are extremely grateful for DPD’s support during what has been a dynamic and unsettling year for many. 

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