In mild, pleasant conditions, the club were overall third in Division 1 of this top level league, the first cross country league in the country to introduce chip timing, which worked well on its first outing. An encouraging total of 87 Harriers took part.
There were team wins for the Under 11 girls and Under 13 boys and top three positions for Fabian Downs, Will Perkin, Robyn Watkins, Angus Williams, Thomas Job, Alex Aldred, Matt Aldred and Abbie Henderson. The highlight of the day was a Chiltern 1-2-3-4 in the Under 13 Boys race.
The first race on the programme was the Under 11 girls. Hopes were high that this age group could do well and the girls duly delivered with a win. The three scorers, Abbie Henderson (3rd), Holly Henderson (6th), and Maddie Hughes (11th) were backed up by good runs from Carys Arnold (15th), Hannah Ashby (17th) and Rosa Williams (19th).
The Under 11 boys also had a good team out – Matt Aldred (3rd), Bailey Cameron (9th) and Cormac Nisbet (11th) were second on the day with Oakley Denson making a good debut in 17th.
Next up were the Under 13s and the girls look to have the potential to improve on last year’s seventh place. Orla Williams led the way in seventh and was backed up by Olivia Cameron (10th), Millie Hughes (13th) and Jinaan Lockwood (19th). Katie Repper also had a good run to be 24th. The girls efforts led to them achieving a very commendable second place.
The Under 13 boys achieved a brilliant result with all four top scorers. Angus Williams led the way with a convincing win. He was backed up by the improving Thomas Job in second with Alex Aldred and Nathan Hackley both running very well to be third and fourth. Matt Clifford , Zach Rahaman and Luke Martin also ran well.
The Under 15s have fairly small, inexperienced squads this year. However both girls and boys did well. The Under 15 girls featured a great run by Robyn Watkins to be second. Soraya Lockwood (11th), Emily Alderson (19th) and Beth Welham (21st) provided good back-up. The girls finished in third place overall.
On the boys side Cameron Reid (12th), Tommy Davies (20th), Ben Howell (26th) and Oliver Jackson (31st) put up a good show to be fourth.
This season, the Chiltern U17s have the biggest squads in the club’s history. The Junior Women (which also features the U20 age group) were a clear second with good runs from Hannah Morton (6th), Scarlett Wager-Leigh (7th) and Hannah Thear (13th). Also doing well over a testing 5k course were Emily Bannister (14th), Rachel Padwick (17th), Maddy Lacey (19th), and Orla Fawcett (23rd).
The Under 17 men also did a good job of packing the top twenty. Scoring runs came from Will Perkin (3rd), Richard Slade (9th), Sam Howell (12th) and Will Brown (16th) to bring the team in second. George Brown (17th) David Thomas (19th), and Rob Hall (20th) also did very well.
Chiltern’s Senior women were missing several key runners. Ellie Bates was the leading Chiltern scorer in 16th. The other scorers were Cath Holloway (19th), Kirstie Elliot (25th) and Abigail Askey (48th). The Vets scorers comprised Cath, Kirstie, Abi and Alyson Goddard. The Senior women were seventh and the Vets second.
Fabian Downs produced the best individual Chiltern finish in a Senior men’s race for several years with an excellent second place. The other scorers ranged the age groups with Nick Hughes (V40) in 28th, Jonty Wager-Leigh (U20) 32nd, James Repper (V40) 46th, Michael Goddard (U20) 47th, and Alastair Melville-Smith (V40) 55th. Also scoring were Andrew Wiseall, Ash Holmes, Andy Hickman and Jon Taylor.
In the separate age groups standings, Nick Hughes was third Vet 40 with James Repper 6th. In the U20 event Jonty Wager-Leigh was 6th and Michael Goddard 11th. On his 65th birthday, club vice-chairman Steve Field finished 16th Vet 60. The Senior men ended up in fourth place with the Vets in third.
This was a very strong start to the season by the Chiltern Harriers athletes. The next match is at Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes on Saturday November 11th.