Chiltern Harriers performed very well in Round 2 of the England Athletics Five Mile Road Relay Competition. As expected the standard was higher than Round 1, but the Chiltern aggregate time of 3.45.59 was a four minute improvement for the team, and almost all those individuals who tackled both rounds logged an improved time at the second attempt.
In the end, from fifty complete teams, Chiltern finished a creditable thirteenth and fifty club runners participated, all posting great times. The scoring eight were Richard Slade (25.29), Aran Davidson (25.37), Fabian Downs (26.05), Will Perkin (26.06), Bex Nkoane (29.47), Maddie Hughes (30.05), Ellie Bates (31.04) and Lean Ni Chiobhain (31.46). There were 1257 competitors in total and a measure of the standard is that Richard’s great time was only enough for 63rd place.
Several Chiltern runners featured in the top ten in their age groups. As with the first round Nick Hughes was the fastest Vet 50, and Bex Nkoane fastest Vet 45. Also in the top tens were Maddie Hughes (2nd U15), Trevor Brawn (3rd Vet 70), Sue Elliott (5th Vet 55), Lean Ni Chiobhain (7th Vet 35), Alan Hornibrook (8th Vet 60) and Finn O’Brien (9th U17).
Only the wining club, currently City of Norwich AC in a blistering 3.33.06, go forward to the International Round to face teams from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. However, the competition has been an excellent focus for Chiltern’s athletes and has been great for club morale and for athletes’ fitness.
Hopefully once road relays return for real, the club will have generated enough interest to field teams.
Photo of Richard Slade and Aran Davidson
Full results on EA Website
After a slow start, a late increase in momentum led to 128 complete teams finishing the England Athletics Virtual 5 Mile Road Relay competition in the past few weeks. The event started on December 26th and finished on January 13th.
Chiltern Harriers finished in an impressive tenth place and for several days during the competition the club was holding down a top-six spot. Chiltern therefore qualifies, as one of the top 50 teams, for the next round to be held Feb 12th - Feb 15th.
The scoring team of four males and four females was as follows: Richard Slade (25.51), Fabian Downs (26.12), Cameron Reid (26.42), Aran Davidson (27.20), Bex Nkoane (30.22), Ellie Bates (30.27), Maddie Hughes (30.59) and Lean Ni Chiobhain (32.09).
Each runner was required to complete a five mile road course that started and finished in roughly the same spot and upload Garmin /Strava data as proof of performance.
The minimum age to compete was 15, and Chiltern saw great runs across the age groups and a total of 57 club runners taking part out of a total of 3019 nationwide.
There were three Chiltern runners that were top performers in their age group – Nick Hughes (Vet 50), Bex Nkoane (Vet 45), and Maddie Hughes (U15). Cameron Reid (9th U20) and Trevor Brawn (6th Vet 70) also secured top ten spots in their age groups.
Richard Slade was highest placed Chiltern male (in 48th) with Bex Nkoane (581st overall and 32nd female) top Chiltern woman. This shows the high level of competition involved, making a team top-ten finish all the more laudable.
After such a strong showing by the club in Round 1, it would be good to try and repeat a high finish with great participation levels in Round 2 in mid-February.
With lockdown 2.0 behind us, it was great to see some Harriers getting back to racing this weekend. There were some excellent performances in the sunshine at the third and final match of the ‘Junior Performance Cross Series’ in Cookham yesterday. Keep your eyes peeled for a report.
Yesterday,10 October, was World Mental Health Day. For many people, myself included, running is not only important for my physical, but also my mental wellbeing. Sadly, running - in and of itself - will not fix everything. Talking is pretty important too. Observing the world around us and noticing the changing seasons. Learning something new will help your wellbeing. Making sure you are getting enough sleep… all of these are really helpful ways to care for your mind. This year has been especially tough on many of us: maybe you’ve been missing your friends; maybe you’re worried that you’re behind with schoolwork; maybe money is a bit of an issue… or maybe it all just feels a bit weird and unsettling. Next time you see a fellow Chiltern Harrier, ask them how they are and make sure you really listen to the answer. And next time someone asks you how you are, think about how you answer before you go with a quick “Alright.” You’ll both feel better for it.
A lack of races hasn’t stopped the Harriers from taking on endurance challenges.
Living up to her most inspirational award at last years’ social, Miriam Kempson ran the length of the
Ridgeway in a solo effort. Not deterred by the official R86 being cancelled, Miriam set off to run it solo, with the support of many of her fellow Harriers.
Tim Dawson took on a lot of the organisation and, together with Rashi, offered support across the
whole 37 hours from a van. They raced from checkpoint to checkpoint, making sure Miriam had
everything she needed and that her support runners were all in the right place at the right time.
Ben Hetherington, Harriet Lemon, Tamsin Finch, Ruth Holroyd and Victoria Lucas all took shifts
A special shoutout must also be given to Ellie and Neil Bates, who shared the
dreaded ‘night shift’ between each other.
Miriam thanked all her supporters, saying: “You were all stars and I can’t thank you all enough for
putting yourselves out for me. We are blessed to be part of a wonderful Harrier family.”
A few marathons have also been completed. Matt and Tim Hipgrave completed a virtual marathon,
running the 26.2 miles around Milton Keynes. Supported by friends and family, they raised a lot of
money for charity and showed off their Harriers vests in the process.
Ramsi Nanda ran his 21 st marathon last weekend. He completed the New Forest Marathon in 4 hours
Our virtual 5 mile relay saw 84 harriers, both juniors and seniors, compete over their own circuits in a bid to run the fastest time possible for their team.
And the runners did not disappoint. The vast majority of people ran significantly faster than their predicted times, some by nearly 5 minutes, showing that lockdown training really is paying off for all.
Don't forget that we are hoping to use these entries to 'spread a little goodness' on behalf of Chiltern Harriers. Please show your support for our wartime generation, by donating here: bit.ly/CHACVEDay75
"Never was so much owed by so many to so few."
Chiltern Harriers have gone to town on the creativity front this week! We wanted to know what our members were doing in lockdown, and to show us them doing it in their kit. Well, they didn't disappoint. Enjoy this selection of videos and 'still life' submitted on social media. Sound needed.
UPDATE: The Results Are In!
1st Place: Neil Bates is working 9-to-5
2nd Place: Ben Hetherington's Barefoot Boy
3rd Place: t's Raining Men in Alex's life
Meanwhile junior athlete Savarnah Pandya has run a marathon this week. Savarnah ran just over 6k everyday for 7 days around the local fields and roads where she lives. She has raised more than £900 (!) for local charity, Florence Nightingale Hospice, which is suffering from the lack of fundraising events in the current circumstances. Well done, Savarnah! If you want to sponsor Savarnah, please visit JustGiving.
Next weekend's #HarriersChallenge will be in honour of #VEDay75, so get thinking. Full details at the end of this post.
What a bunch of musically-minded people you Harriers proved to be! We received a plethora of entries for the Ultimate Playlist of running themed tracks. Thank you for taking part!
Following a public vote, it can now be revealed that your top three were as follows:
Ellie Bates: A Life in Running
Abi Chapman's Race
Neil Bates' parkrun PB Playlist
Sue Elliott and Tim Dawson were highly commended.
You can view all of the entries below... who knows, maybe a few of these tracks might feature on the night at our Awards Evening & Social on 4 July? ;-)
Chiltern Harriers didn't disappoint when set the challenge of coming up with something creative for Easter.
Following a vote on a shortlist of six, the top three entries were as follows:
Katherine Day's poem
Alistair Melville-Smith's Easter Bunny Strava art
Katie Royals' biscuit race
Well done to everyone for their wonderful entries, which display the full range of CHAC creativity. All of them are included below. (Sound recommended for the videos.)