Ulster Schools’ Medallion Rugby Running Challenge

Last week a squad made up of sixteen Larne Grammar School Medallion Rugby Players, teachers Mr Gourley and Mr Rea, coaching staff Mr Farquhar, Mr Ross and Mr Stevenson and honorary guest Mr Joel Rea were delighted to take part in the Ulster Schools’ Medallion Yahtzee Running Challenge.

Organised by the Ulster Schools’ Committee the competition consisted of fifteen schools from Ulster and a special entry from Blackrock College Dublin, the school of former British and Irish Lion Brian O’Driscoll. The competition began on Monday 22nd February and ran until Saturday 27th February. The challenge each day was for the boys to run a distance dictated by the roll of a dice. Schools were awarded with a point for every kilometre covered and two points for every run completed. Additional bonus points were available for those players who finished with fastest times.

Following the first roll of the dice on Sunday evening, the announcement of the opening running distance was released to all schools and the boys were informed that their first run would be a challenging 5 Km. The task was undertaken by nine Medallion players, with Charlie Patterson recording an impressive time of 20.20. Following strong encouragement from leaders Jack Sweeney and Luke Farquhar this was only time that the Medallion boys would record less than 15 completed runs during the competition.

On day two the boys were pleased to see that only a 1 Km run was required. Charlie Patterson recorded another superb time of 3.37, only to be beaten by an excellent run of 3.31 by Adam Carson. However, the coaching staff were not to be up-staged, former Head Boy Mr Farquhar was able to show the pupils his athleticism recording an impressive time of 3.28.

Day three saw the boys challenged to the fastest 2 Km running time. Luke Farquhar and Marcus Hughes took the lead early amongst the LGS players, both boys running 8.16, however, Adam Carson yet again reigned victorious as he clocked a solid 7.41 in his run. This was the best running day of the week with the whole squad of twenty-two taking part. An impressive total of 108 Km was covered in the first three days and the boys and staff were pleased to see that Thursday was designated as a rest day.

Following the much-welcomed rest day, the boys found themselves challenged to a 4 Km. This run was particularly difficult as they knew that they had to try to conserve some energy for the all-important ‘Dream Team 3 Km Run’ which had significant bonus points scheduled for Saturday. Marcus Hughes, Ethan Adair and Luke Arbuthnot ran really well, only beaten by Charlie Patterson and Adam Carson who again showed their athletic ability running the 4 Km in a competitive 18.07.

The event culminated with the ‘Dream Team 3 Km Run’ on Saturday 27th February. The aim for the players was to run faster than anyone else in their position and gain a place in the Yahtzee Running Challenge Dream Team – each place on the team was worth 10 points to the respective school.. Despite their efforts, no LGS player made it onto the Dream Team, however, there were some very impressive times recorded from Charlie Patterson, Luke Arbuthnot, Adam Carson and Marcus Hughes. Front five players Beni Tasnadi and Joel Hunter also showed particularly well on the final day putting in impressive times. The effort of the players could not have been faulted throughout the challenge. The industrious effort and resilience that the boys showed throughout the week was extremely encouraging. Their determined and hard-working attitude was epitomised by Jack Sweeney who found himself running at 190-200 BPM for long periods of time each day. Alongside Jack Sweeney, bonus points were awarded to Beni Tasnadi, Charlie Patterson, Ethan Adair, Joel Hunter, Luke Arbuthnot, Luke Farquhar, Marcus Hughes and Paul Rolston who completed all runs during the week.

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