Jordan Rowe becomes first Colchester Harrier to scoop medal at Nationals

Jordan Rowe from Colchester Harriers on his way to taking the Under 17 boys title at the Southern Cr

Jordan Rowe from Colchester Harriers on his way to taking the Under 17 boys title at the Southern Cross Country Championships held at Parliament Hills on Satrurday - Credit: Archant

Jordan Rowe made history last Saturday, by becoming the first member of Colchester Harriers to win a medal at the English National Cross Country Championships.

Exciting talent Rowe finished second in the under-17 men’s race, over a testing course at Wollaton Park in Nottingham

The 17-year-old, who lives in Frinton, was only beaten by Great Britain international Zak Miller, of Trafford AC, from a field of 272.

It was another fantastic performance from Rowe, a sixth form student at Tendring Technology College.

“I’m feeling really good about the result, because it’s a big step forward in my career,” enthused Rowe.

“It was my first try at the National Championships, and I’m more than happy with my race, to only be beaten by an athlete who has the experience of running for Great Britain.

“I think I’m the first Colchester Harrier to win a medal at these championships, so it was a big achievement for the club.

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“And now I know what I have to do to improve still further, to get to the next stage,” added Rowe.

In the build up to last weekend’s race, Rowe had told the East Anglian Daily Times that he was “aiming for the top five,” although he did add – “at the same time I will be trying to go out and win the race.”

And Rowe did give himself every chance to win a medal, and even win the title, by running a very mature race.

“I was leading for the first half of the race,” explained Rowe.

“There was a group of about six of us, and it was at the hilly section that he (eventual winner Miller) got away from everyone else.

“I looked to relax on the downhill, while he kicked on a bit. I couldn’t really follow because there was still another 3K to run and I didn’t want to ruin my rest of the race.

“I was still comfortably away in second spot, and I actually closed the gap a little on him, although there was still quite a margin. There was the same distance behind me to the next runner.

“At some points I did think that perhaps I could catch the leader, and once I knew that I wasn’t going to blow up, and that nothing could go wrong, I tried to catch him during the last kilometre,” added Rowe.

Essex County champion Rowe clocked 19mins 35secs, finishing just 11 seconds behind Miller, and 10 seconds clear of third-placed Michael Bartram, of West Suffolk AC.

This has already been a spectacular season for Rowe, who was crowned South of England Cross Country champion at Parliament Hill Fields on Hampstead Heath just five weeks ago.

He also won the Southern Inter-Counties Championships.

A former member of Colchester & Tendring AC, who only recently switched to the Harriers, Rowe has a busy schedule planned before he turns his attention to the track this summer.

“I am going to train hard for the next week,” continued Rowe, who is coached by David Smith at the Colchester Garrison.

“I have the Inter-Counties Championships (representing Essex) at Birmingham in a couple of weeks time, followed by the English Schools Championships the following week, and then the Essex Road Relays.

“After a couple of weeks more hard training, I will be off to the London Mini Marathon.”

Rowe only began running seriously three years ago, as a 14-year-old in year nine at school, so he has made rapid strides in a short space of time.

He confirmed: “My first big race was the English Schools (2011), ironically at the same Nottingham venue as last weekend.

“I finished 71st, after which my PE teacher recommended that I should go to my local club, at Colchester & Tendring. That’s how is all started.”

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