The last weekend in February was a reasonably quiet one for Chiltern Harriers AC, although there were some great results at parkrun events on Saturday 27 February, with PBs and top positions aplenty!
Chiltern Harriers U13 Boys put on the best display at the National Cross Country Championships at Castle Donington in Leicestershire on Saturday.
Given the wet winter, conditions were very good. Fairly firm but undulating courses and a cool but dry day made for some excellent racing in this highpoint of the endurance club calendar.
James McCarthy continued his busy and successful indoor season with his first senior national championships at the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield at the weekend.
James was in Heat 2 of the 1500m on Saturday. The first heat was won in 3.54 and the second heat runners decided to run a quick tempo to ensure fastest losers spots for the final.
Up against experienced British internationals such as Michael Rimmer and Charlie Grice, James maintained contact in the main group until the final 200m lap. The fast pace earned James a season’s best time of 3.53.01 and he finished eighth from the twelve athletes taking part. That time is comfortably his best ever indoors and bodes well for the outdoor track season.
Race Report 20 - 21 February: parkrun, Dorney Lake Duathlon, Old Deer Park & Wokingham Half Marathons
We’ll kick off this edition of race report with parkrun, as per tradition.
On Saturday 20 February Peter Gould was the speediest Harrier at a parkrun event, finishing 5th at Finsbury Park in 18.04 (a new PB). Sam Howell won the Tring parkrun in an impressive 19.27 (a PB), joined by Grant Whitaker in 10th (23.26).
Three Chiltern Harriers athletes were taking part for their universities in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Indoor Championships at the weekend.
The BUCS Championships were held at the English Institute of Sport indoor track in Sheffield from Friday to Sunday and featured the cream of British universities athletic talent.
James McCarthy, taking part in the 1500m for Warwick University, went through a slow heat on Saturday morning (4.19), a very fast semi on Saturday afternoon (3.55) and was ready for the starter on Sunday afternoon in the final. After a painfully slow first 400m of 82 seconds, the race finally got going and James cut through the field but could not close on breakaway winner Jonathan Cook of Northumbria University. James clocked 4.00.67 for his silver medal.
Also taking part were Sarah Cross, running for Bedfordshire University, who ran 8.49 in her 60m heat on Friday and Hannah Shepard, competing for York St John University who was third in her 200m heat in 28.29.
Good to see Chiltern’s older teenagers continuing with their athletics beyond school.
Race Report 'The Romantic Edition': parkruns, Love Welwyn City 10k, South of England Indoor Champs, Bramley 10/20 and Hardwick X-Stream
Chiltern Harriers were feeling the love (for running) this Valentine’s weekend, with some great performances from senior and junior athletes.
Mike Turney had a great run at Black Park, coming 5th overall in the parkrun on Saturday 13 February, in 19.16. He was joined by: Matthew Robins – 20.48; Luke Jefferys – with a new PB of 21.43; Laura Hayers – 22.29; Ian Lawson – 22.59; Scott Getley – 24.39; Matt Channer- 26.12; Tim Dawson – 33.22 and the Gregory family – Caitlin, Sarah, Lily, Oscar and Brian all did fantastically, clocking times of 26.38, 27.30. 28.35, 34.16 and 34.17, respectively.
Race Report 6 - 7 February: Gravesend Floodlit 10k, parkruns, Run Eton Dorney, Run Through Greenwich 10k & the Watford Half Marathon
Peter Gould continues to put in stupendous performances in the Gravesend Floodlit 10k series, finishing 2nd in the 5th race of the season on Thursday 4 February in 35.56.
South East Schools Inter Counties Championships
Ben Smith and Robyn Watkins took part for Berkshire Schools in the South East Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Bexhill on Saturday.
This is a follow-up event from several south-eastern County Schools Championships and involves Berkshire, Kent Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Essex County Schools teams.
In the Junior Boys race, Ben Smith had another good run to finish 13th and second Berks scorer in a high class field of 86.
Robyn Watkins continued her excellent season with 28th place, fifth Berks scorer, in another high calibre race of 92 in the Intermediate Girls event.
Ben and Robyn have been chosen to represent Berkshire in the English Schools Championships at Nottingham on March 5th.
Hertfordshire Schools Championships
Also on Saturday, at a grey and rainy Verulamiam Park, St Albans, Chiltern athletes were competing for their schools in the Herts Schools Cross Country Championships.
Sophie Morton was second in the Intermediate Girls race with Scarlett Wager Leigh seventh. Both girls are selected for the Herts Schools team for the English Schools Championships. Emily Bannister, having a gentle run returning from injury, was 22nd and Mimi Houlihan-Burne 36th.
Rachel Padwick had a good run to be second in the Senior Girls race, also qualifying for the county team.
Sam Howell also ran well to be sixth in the Senior Boys race. Ben Howell had a solid run to be 21st from a large field of 82 in the Junior Boys race.
Young Chiltern Harriers athletes were taking part for their schools in the annual Bucks County Schools Championships at Hughenden Park, Hugh Wycombe on Wednesday. Results on Bucks AA website.
From the ten races there were five wins for Chiltern athletes and several runners have earned invites to take part for Bucks Schools in the English Schools Championships at Woollaton Park, Nottingham in early March.