We did our club proud on the day, lots of good efforts in extreme conditions. The ethos of our club entry held up, we were never likely to win, however each runner gave it their best effort. Out of the 41 teams competing we finished a creditable 34th. The same position as last year albeit it an hour or slow slower than last year.
It was a pleasure for me to be involved in organizing our team, there were a few issues along the way with runners unable to be part of the team due to injury - my thoughts are with you - I wish you a speedy recovery to running fitness.
Andy Wiseall led us out on Leg 1 at 0730, it was already about 27 Celsius, and only going to get warmer. By his own admission - Andy set off too quickly however he finished in a fantastic 12th position for the 11 mile leg in just under 75 minutes - 6.48 min miling ( sub 3hr marathon pace over the hilly Chilterns ). Brilliant position 20th place,
Andy handed over to Debbie who completed Leg 2 in 64 min 23 secs in 20th place, by this time the heat was building and coupled with the ascents a great effort by Debbs.
Coach Trevor picked up the "batton" for Leg 3, a difficult Leg from Princes Risborough to Lewknor, a down hill Leg but the down hill being on un-runnable steps made for a trial, along with the ever climbing ambient temperature Trevor completed the 9.4 mile Leg in 97 min 2 secs with the team in 27th place.
Julia took over from Trevor at Lewknor and ran the 5.4 mile Leg 4 in 53.23 to leave the team in 25th place - no mean feat considering Julia ran an extra Kilo due to a navigational error!
Steve took over from Julia and ran a creditable time of 103.51 for the 10.1 Leg in the extreme heat of the day to leave the team in 29th position.
Most of those who had already competed and those yet to run Legs 9 & 10 stopped for lunch at the Perch & Pike at South Stroke,
Steve handed over to Andy Hickman who ran possibly the most arduous Leg in the most extreme conditions. Andy finished his 10.4 mile Leg in 84:14 to pull the team back to 25th position ( Andy was 14th on his Leg ).
Due to our team not getting to the end of Leg 5 prior to 1300hrs ( we were there at 14:05 ). Matt Channer set off with the mass start at 1400 for Leg 7. Matt finished his 9.1 Leg in 80.59 mins to raised the team to 23rd position,
The unbelievable Cath Holloway took over from Matt for Leg 8, I was at the finish of this Leg to see the distress that a lot of the runners of other teams were suffering. Cath seemingly impervious to the conditions finished her 7.8 mile Leg in 70.19 minutes to keep the team in 23rd position. A highly creditable 9 min per mile for this Leg.
Cath handed over to Tim ( who had endured a somewhat troubled journey due to my inattention of the map ) with just about enough time to pin his number to his chest and get under way - having run this Leg last year I can testify to the difficulty of this Leg! By this time the temperature had climbed to about 30! Tim finished his 10.7 mile Leg in 110.29 mins to leave the team in 25th position.
Tony ran Leg 10 on the mass start at 17:45. I accompanied Tony home in 34th place in 139.3 mins. I can testify to the high ambient temperature which coupled with the extreme underfoot conditions of about a mile on the route which we had to walk rather than risk a broken ankle (or worse) - it was brutal.
From my perspective as organizer of our Chiltern Harrier's team, "Chiltern CHAC'ers" it was a huge success, 2 teams to my knowledge did not complete the challenge due to injury and ill health. It is difficult to complete this challenge, my gratitude goes to those runners who were back up to the designated runner - I started with 10 of those and for legitimate reasons our team only had one back up runner (well 2 if your count the recovering Roger), so thanks Heidi, without your support and those others who stepped into the breach it would not be possible to compete in this event.
Hopefully this report will end up on our web site, I would love our Club to continue to be part of this event, I am happy to continue to organize our Sunday runners team but I feel we as a Club could put together a strong team to have a crack at winning this event; Oxford City won the event at a pace of 6.21 min per mile and the Ladies race was won at an achievable 8.15 pace.
So no pressure Eli/Ali, put a Ladies team together for next year and win this event for Chiltern Harriers.