Hi I'm Kaitlyn Sheppard and I have a passion for Running!
I am 15 years old and I compete in both Athletics & Cross Country for Cheltenham & County Harriers. I first started running at the age of 7 in Germany where I would enter children's races and I really enjoyed competing with other girls; although I was a lot further behind initially. I have now been in my training group for 3 years and have made some great friends and training partners and have gradually improved over the years. My biggest improvement came in 2018 where I qualified for the English Schools in both Cross Country & Athletics. Training with Cheltenham & County Harriers has given me the strength & determination to achieve and strive to be the best I can be. Training through out the winter months takes discipline and dedication and knowing my training partners will also turn up on a club night sometimes gives me the boost I need.
Throughout the 2018/19 Cross Country and Athletics season I had had some great success. Qualifying for the British Inter Counties and English Schools were highlights for me and finishing in the Top 30 in both was even more pleasing. This was my first opportunity competing at this level and I enjoyed the atmosphere and the chance to compete against the best runners in the country. This success transferred to the Track and I was lucky enough to secure the English Schools qualifying time for the 3000m at Millfield in my first race of the season running 10:10 and gaining a National Standard Time. After winning the County Championships I raced in the English Schools where I found the race very tactical and learnt a lot from the experience and I will certainly take this into future races.
This Cross Country season has begun with a Bang and I have successfully made the leap to the Under 17 Ranks where I now also race with U20 Women. I have ran the first 3 British Cross Challenge Races which is a first for me and I travel across the country to these races to compete against the best runners in the country. I have consistently finished in the Top 25 U17 & U20 and am currently sat in 3rd Overall in the U17 category. I hope to compete in the remaining 2 and cement my position on the podium. Racing in Liverpool in the European Cross Country Trials was a great experience and I hope to be gaining selection and competing for England in the future.
My short term goal is to finish in the Top 8 at the English Schools Cross Country Championships and be selected to compete for England at the SIAB Schools International. In the longer term I hope to progress through the Schools & Universities setups competing for England along the way and ultimately running for Great Britain in the Olympics.
I am extremely grateful that CASS & Friends have given me the opportunity to be part of their Athlete Support Scheme and I believe this will really assist in improving my overall performance and help make my chance of representing England this season & my Olympic dream come true.