As we all hoped, Saturday ended up with Chiltern Harriers winning the Division 1 overall title for the first time. After four wins in the first four matches, the club concluded the campaign in style winning the fifth match as well.
A very strange meeting at Shuttleworth College began with the announcement that trophy and medal presentations wouldn’t take place. The weather conditions, with strong winds and driving rain, were so poor at this point that no-one seemed to mind.
The first race saw a fifth consecutive win for Kara Gorman in the U11 Girls, with Maya Davis an excellent second and Carys Jones fourth. This small squad won on the day and secured the league team victory. Individually for the whole season it was a Chiltern 1-2-3 on the podium with Kara 1st, Nia Clarke 2nd and Maya Davis 3rd. Carys Jones was 6th.
The U11 Boys team was even smaller with just Kit Dixon in third place and Jack Rodgers 14th on debut, facing the starter. The duo were third on the day and the team were second overall for the season. Kit was fifth overall.
The Under 13 Girls had a good team out and were second on the day and second overall. The scorers were Marlie Nkoane (9th), Katie Allsop (11th), Evelyn Wildman (14th), and Issy Robinson (15th). Also running well in torrential rain were Anna Stoneham (29th), Lydia Cross (34th) and Charlotte Grosse (38th). Overall Marlie was the best placed Chiltern athlete in 7th with Issy 13th.
Tom Ford won the Under 13 Boys race, clinching the individual league title in style, and Felix Danielli had his best race of the season to be second. Charlie Quantrill in 5th and Hugo Mundy in 9th completed the scoring. There were good efforts from Aidan Suleyman (11th), George Mawby (18th) and Theo Roughton (28th). The boys won the team race on the day and the team league title. Overall in the top 20 were Felix Danielli 3rd, James Holdsworth 4th, Charlie Quantrill 8th, George Mawby 15th, and Charlie De Sousa 19th.
Another good turnout came from the Under 15 Girls led home by Frankie Baxter in fourth. Emily Ford (8th), Lily Jessop-Tranter (10th) and Sofia Lomas (13th) competed the scoring with good efforts from Jocelyn Davies (14th), Alice Peckham (16th), Sav Pandya (21st), Jo Snelling (21st), Genevieve Donald (25th), Rebecca Lawson (29th), Marea Logan (30th), and Ellie Gowers (32nd). In the top 20 for the season were Emily Ford 7th, Lily Jessop-Tranter 10th, Olivia Clarke 11th, Alice Peckham 12th, and Marea Logan 19th.
The Under 15 Boys dominated to take their fifth win and the league title. Alden Collier won the race to confirm him as league winner and the other scorers were Archie Pinder (2nd), Euan Pinder (4th), and Alex Hughes (5th). Max Baxter (6th), Isaac Jessop-Tranter (7th), Rory Hilton (9th), Callum Powell (14th), Hari Mistry (25th) and Danny Carruthers (28th) also ran well. In the final league standings Alex Hughes was 4th, Rowan Gawne 5th, Max Baxter 6th, Rory Hilton 10th, Max Roughton 15th and Hari Mistry 18th.
The Junior Women this season have been the best team in that age group that the club has produced, and there were nine Chiltern women on the start line out of a field of twenty. Maddie Hughes took the individual win thus ensuring the individual league title. Holly Henderson was 5th, Abbie Henderson 6th, Olivia Edwards 7th, Charlotte Docwra 9th, Ellie Shield 10th, Alice Brown 11th, Katie Repper 12th and Hannah Ashby 14th to conclude a great team effort, winning on the day and overall. The final league positions featured Holly 5th, Charlotte 6th, Abbie 7th, Alice 9th, Ellie 10th, Hannah 11th, and Grace Thorpe 13th.
There had been some delays on arrival for athletes with pressure on car parking. The Senior Men’s race was delayed by half an hour to allow for this. Although starting in sleet, the race concluded in bright sunshine. The Chiltern men had another good race but could not quite match a Bedford team that had several big guns in action to get them over the line. It was very close though with the final season scores 9809 to Bedford, 9735 to Chiltern.
Richard Slade concluded his great season, finishing second and thus clinching the league title. Before the race there were several men very close on points and the positions were rearranged with Will Perkin having his best finish in a senior league race to be fifth, thus ensuring the silver medal overall, moving up from fifth. Although Aran Davidson ran very well to be 10th, it bumped him from third to fifth in the overall standings. The other scorers on the day were Charlie Wood 13th, Louis Peterson 16th, Nick Hughes 25th, James Repper 31st, Tom Dixon 38th, Neil Turner 42nd, and Luke Martin 51st. Also contributing well were Ben Jackson 69th, Jamie Carruthers 83rd, Jonny Slade 105th, Richard Moss 107th, Ian Lawson 108th, Andy Wiseall 123rd, Ed Wright 133rd, Jon Taylor 144th, Neil Bates 152nd, Glen Martin 165th and Trevor Brawn 180th.
The Chiltern Veteran men won the match on the day courtesy of Nick Hughes, James Repper, Tom Dixon and Neil Turner. The Vets also won the overall league title. Nick was the Vet 50 winner and James Repper, Tom Dixon and Neil Turner were 2nd, 4th, and 6th in the Vet 40 standings respectively. Trevor Brawn was second Vet 70.
The Under 20 men were second thanks to Louis Peterson, Luke Martin and Ben Jackson, and after a tight battle all season were narrowly second to Milton Keynes overall. Individually overall James Palmer was second and Ben Jackson fourth.
During the men’s race rumours were circulating that the U17 men’s race and Senior Women’s race had been cancelled; the landowner having a problem with the match. Unfortunately there was no further racing, a great shame for all the young men and senior ladies who had travelled a long way to compete.
The Senior Women’s standings at the end of Match 4 remain with Chiltern second in both seniors and veterans. Individually Hannah Wardley was second in the Senior Women’s league with Ellie Bates seventh. Sue Elliott won the Vet 55 category with Miriam Kempson third, and several made the Vet 45 top ten: Abi Askey 4th, Cath Holloway 5th, Tessa Passey 6th and Sylvia Moss 8th.
The U17 Men’s league concluded with the Match 4 standings showing another Chiltern team win. Individually Laurie Gawne was silver medallist, Sammy Bennetts 10th, and Jerry Anderson 13th.
So an odd end to what has been a superb league season for the club with brilliant efforts from the athletes but helped by strong back up from team managers, coaches and officials.