A great turnout of fifty-four Chiltern Harriers athletes made the trip to Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood on Saturday for the first of the Active Training World Cross Country Race Series.
This was a very welcome introduction of cross country locally from a company that regularly hosts triathlon and duathlon events. The races were based around athletes starting in small waves of six around ten seconds apart. Immaculately kept grounds made for a good surface in very wet conditions that brightened up for the seniors later on.
Chiltern athletes had a good deal of success in the day, especially in the first age group toeing the line, the U11s. First across the line on the 2k circuit was Tom Ford who won the boys race in 7.41. George Mawby had a great run to be sixth in 8.12 and Charlie Quantrill was tenth in 8.20. Kit Dixon was 13th in 8.31, Jacob McCall 20th in 8.43, Isaac McCall 24th in 8.54, and Luke Coultate 26th in 8.59.
Ellie Danner matched Tom’s win with first place in the U11 girls race. Ellie logged 8.14 with Kara Gorman second in 8.21. Nia Clarke also ran well for seventh in 8.38.
The U13s also did well on a 3k route that was the first to feature a stream-crossing that caused problems with its depth. On the boys side Daniel Munn was second in 11.48, Alex Hughes fifth in 12.05 and Callum Powell ninth in 12.23. Debutants James Holdsworth and Rex Considine did well to be 26th and 43rd respectively in 13.13 and 15.08.
The U15 boys race showed just how well this age group could be achieving for Chiltern in a normal season. Thomas Redmond had a storming run to win in 14.13 over a 4k course. Alden Collier was third in 14.44, Euan Pinder ninth in 15.15 and Archie Pinder tenth in 15.17. Max Baxter was 20th in 15.45, Isaac Jessop-Tranter 22nd in 15.59, Ethan McCall 23rd in 16.03, Sammy Whibley 28th in 16.34, and Sammy Bennetts 33rd in 16.50.
The U15 girls race was loaded with talent. Frankie Baxter was fifth in 16.36, Maddie Hughes tenth in 16.56, Lesedi Nkoane 12th in 17.02, Ellie Shield 17th in 17.20, Hannah Ashby 34th in 18.50 and Amber Galley 43rd in 20.35.
Chiltern’s U17s did well in high quality races over an increasingly churned-up 5k. On the men’s side the Chiltern contingent packed well with James Palmer fifth in 18.47, Thomas Askey sixth in 18.51, Luke Martin eighth in 19.00, Angus Stoneham 12th in 19.17, Will Shield 17th in 19.49, and debutant Henry Webb 26th in 22.35.
The women’s race was another top level race, featuring at least two National champions and the Chiltern foursome ran well. Holly Henderson was eighth in 21.29, Abbie Henderson tenth in 21.44, Alice Brown 13th in 23.13, and Alicia Bushell 15th in 23.37.
Aran Davidson led home the Chiltern senior men, tenth in 27.23 on an 8k route. Also contributing were Cory Dyck 90th in 34.30, Mike Worsfold 93rd in 34.44, Glen Martin 113th in 37.32, Nigel Dickenson 145th in 48.40, and Trevor Brawn 147th in 49.57.
On the women’s side Lean Chiobhain was 8th in 32.44, Ali Young 23rd in 35.37, Cath Holloway 30th in 36.37, Katie Royals 31st in 36.47, Miriam Kempson 54th in 41.49, Joanna Hampson 68th in 44.47, Claire Dickenson 72nd in 46.53, Joanne Murray 78th in 50.15, and Harriet Lemon 79th in 50.20. Harriet was amongst the athletes that ran an extra half mile or so due to a marshalling glitch.
Other than that, the organisation was good and everyone enjoyed being back in competition. The chip timing meant that results were available very soon after the end of each race. The second race in the series is due on December 19th. Hopefully the tough lockdown will relax enough by then to allow it to take place.
Chiltern Harriers junior athletes were in action at the first of a three-race series of cross country meetings organised by Peta Bee of Cookham Running Club.
The venue was Beeching Grove Wood near Maidenhead and the course was a tough, undulating circuit around farmers fields. The weather featured very heavy rain which made for tough conditions for the athletes. Some of those Chiltern Harriers taking part had run on the track at Harrow on Thursday and found competing again so soon a tough ask.
Each age group featured two waves, two minutes apart. This allowed for adherence to the England Athletics guidance and meant a maximum of 24 per race. U13s and U15s ran 3k, older age groups 4.5k. RESULTS
Wave 1 saw Olivia Clarke come in fourth of eight in 13.16. Olivia was seventh overall. The remaining Chiltern girls were in Wave 2 and in-form Emily Ford had a good run to win in 12.33, the fastest run across the two waves. Ellie Danner (13.14) was third in the wave (sixth overall), and Marlie Nkoane (13.30) was fourth (tenth overall).
In Wave 1 Daniel Munn was a convincing winner in 11.13 with Alex Hughes second in 11.49 and Callum Powell fourth in 12.00. In Wave 2 Tom Ford was fifth in 12.15 and Felix Danielli sixth in 12.19. Overall Daniel won (one second ahead of the winner of Wave 2), Alex was equal third, Callum sixth, Tom tenth and Felix eleventh. There were 23 boys in total.
Maddie Hughes was third (12.00), Frankie Baxter fourth (12.08) and Ellie Shield sixth (12.18) in the stronger first wave and held those positions overall. In Wave 2 Rosa Williams ran 12.48 to be third (ninth overall). Seventeen ran in total.
Wave 1 saw great performances from the Chiltern contingent with Alden Collier first in 10.21, Thomas Redmond second in 10.22, Oakley Denson sixth in 11.06, and Isaac Jessop-Tranter tenth in 11.57. In Wave 2 Ethan McCall went the wrong way near the finish but still managed third in 11.15. Alden and Thomas were 1-2 overall with Oakley seventh, Ethan ninth and Isaac fifteenth. There were twenty finishers.
Holly Henderson was third in Wave 1 in 18.44, with Abbie Henderson fourth in 18.54 and Alice Brown ninth in 20.06. In Wave 2 Under 20s Millie Hughes (22.09) and Soraya Lockwood (22.51) were fifth and sixth in their age group. Overall in the U17s Holly was fourth, Abbie fifth and Alice eleventh.
In Wave 1 James Palmer was fourth in 16.40 and Luke Martin fifth in 16.43. Wave 2 saw Thomas Askey run 16.56 to be sixth and Will Shield 17.42 to be ninth. Thomas and Will had both run hard at Harrow on Thursday. Overall James was eighth, Luke ninth, Thomas eleventh and Will eighteenth.
Max McGarvie ran well for sixth in 16.59 and Alex Johnson, another Thursday competitor, ran 17.23 for eighth.
Twenty-five Chiltern Harriers were taking part for their County Schools teams in the English Schools Cross Country Championships, held this year at Sefton Park in Liverpool. This is the big end-of-season young athletes championship with three age groups - Juniors (Years 8 and 9), Intermediates (Years 10 and 11), Seniors (Years 12 and 13).
It was a dry day but the flattish course was muddy and featured some standing water, so a challenging test for the runners.
Zoe Gilbody grabbed the headlines again with a win in the Junior Girls race. That makes it a hat-trick of National titles for the Shropshire Schools runner, after National and Inter Counties success in the past few weeks.
There was an impressive total of thirty-five Chiltern Harriers selected by their counties to run in the UKCAU National Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire on Saturday.
This is the most prestigious of the season-end national races with regional teams from Wales and Scotland joining the English counties to make a truly national competition.
Most Chiltern runners were taking part for Buckinghamshire but there were also a few running for Hertfordshire and one for Shropshire.
Chiltern’s U13 Boys were the heroes of Nottingham at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday. The team scored a convincing win at a grey and muddy Woollaton Park and Alden Collier added the National title to the Southern he won at the end of January. The boys were the top team from 44 complete teams from around the country. Zoe Gilbody also ran brilliantly and won the U13 Girls individual title.
Chiltern Harriers rounded off the Chiltern Cross Country League season on a high with a match win at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes on Saturday. On tough, but surprisingly firm, hilly courses, Chiltern runners across the age groups ran very well to secure a rare match win. Several junior age groups ended up team winners and the club ended the season in a strong third place.
Over 70 Chiltern Harriers were running for their schools at the Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Stowe School on Wednesday Feb 5th.
There were some individual wins and several athletes finished high enough up the finishing order to receive invitation letters for the Primary Year 5,6, and Year 7 English Schools Championships at Prestwold Hall on March 21st, or the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Sefton Park Liverpool on March 14th for those in Years 8 to 13.
The annual cross country championships for students took place at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh on Saturday.
Four Chiltern Harriers took part representing their universities in this large, atmospheric and fun event.
The BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Championships features an elite long A race for men restricted to six in a team, and a shorter B race with more athletes per university allowed, for those that did not get into the A team.
For the first time the women had the same two-race pattern.
Richard Slade was running for the University of Bath A team, and, with a target of top 50, had a great run to be 47th – compared to previous finishes of 144th at Exeter last year and 118th at Brunel in 2018. Richard was the second Bath finisher.
In the men’s shorter B race Harry Cox, running for Cambridge University, had a very good run to be 121st. Harry was 11th Cambridge finisher in a very large and strong team that won team bronze. Back from a stint at Monash University in Melbourne, Sam Howell ran in the B race for Warwick University. Sam was 278th, a creditable run in a huge field of 635 finishers.
Not to be outdone by the lads, Lizzie Barraclough had an excellent run to be 112th and seventh Leeds University finisher in the women’s B race which featured 495 finishers.
Chiltern Harriers had a fantastic day at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath on Saturday.
There were individual wins in the U13 boys and girls races for Alden Collier and Frankie Baxter, and team wins for both U13 boys and U13 girls teams. To add to the success the U15 girls won team silver and there were numerous other great runs across the age groups.
Chiltern Harriers had a great day at Keysoe in the fourth, and penultimate, match of the cross country league season.
On soft courses that got increasingly muddy as the day went on, the senior women and juniors scored great points to move up their respective divisions. The club were fourth on the day and retain third place overall with one match remaining. The match acted as Chiltern Harriers club championships for the juniors, so there was added spice to some of the contests.