Young Harriers snatch sixth in the Nationals
U15 girls also give a very good account of themselves
CHILTERN Harriers U13 boys came a highly creditable sixth at the National Cross Country Relay Championships in Mansfield on Saturday.
Having finished second in both the Southern Road and Cross Country relays earlier in the year, the trio of Cameron Reid, Ben Smith and Angus Williams travelled with high hopes of a top 10 finish and did not disappoint.
Reid took up the baton for the first leg, usually the quickest as teams look to establish a strong position, and he came home 10th in 7mins 4secs.
Smith then clocked 7:22 to move Harriers up to sixth, which final leg runner Williams briefly turned into fourth before fading back to sixth despite a time of 7:19.
Their combined time of 21:46 would have won a medal in most other years.
The U15 girls also entered a full squad of three in an 89-team event for their age group.
Sophie Morton led off, finishing ninth in 7:20 before Scarlett Wager-Leigh made up five places with her run of 7:30 to leave Harriers on the brink of a medal.
However, with several teams having opted to put their fastest runner on the anchor leg, Robyn Watkins faced a tough task and despite running 7:43, a full minute faster than her time the previous year, Harriers had to settle for 11th.
Harriers had hoped to enter an U17 women’s team, but ill health meant Hannah Thear was last lady standing so she ran alone,
9:06 clocking circuit.
Meanwhile, Chiltern Harriers’ husband and wife team Martin Black and Kirstie Elliott pounded the streets of the Big Apple in the name of charity on Sunday.
They took on one of the world’s biggest marathons in New York in support of Oxfam, and both crossed the line in under four hours.
Kirstie proved the quicker, completing the 26.2 miles in 3hrs 20mins 50secs, with Black almost 35 minutes behind in 3:55:03.
Their combined efforts have raised $2,372, and more donations are welcome at www.crowdrise. com/oxfamnyc2014/fundraiser/ martinblack.
Closer to home, the club’s men’s team enjoyed individual and team success at the Marlow Half Marathon.
Eddie O’Gorman was first over
2.5km the line in 1hr 17mins, with teammate Alistair Melville-Smith close behind in fifth – the leading veteran over-35 runner – clocking a personal best 1:22:11.
Andrew Wiseall was the third team member to count, coming home 16th in a season’s best 1:25:48, while Nathan Taylor was 29th in 1:28:18.
It was a busy week for Taylor, who clocked 1:03:54 in the previous Sunday’s 31st running of the popular 10-mile Rocky Road Run.
That was not quick enough to upstage Harriers’ Sian Thomas, who was first lady home almost half a minute ahead of Thomas in 1:03:25.
Hywel hot on recording Thomas was Taylor’s heels 1:06:01, while
another Harrier, Kate Loach, recorded a new personal best of 1:16:49.
Meanwhile, M40 runners Sam Meldrum and Scott Getley achieved times of 1:37:43 and 1:58:17 at Saturday’s Thames Meander Half Marathon, a trail race held in Kingston, Surrey.
(Above) Chiltern Harriers U15 girls Robyn Watkins, Sophie Morton and Scarlett Wager-Leigh, with Hannah Thear, the sole U17 runner; (below) Andrew Wiseall, Alistair Melville- Smith, Eddie O’Gorman and Nathan Taylor at the Marlow Half Marathon