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.