Luton Chiltern League
The forecast for blue skies was spot on for the 3rd Chiltern league XC event at Luton. The lack of cloud overnight brought temperatures tumbling though and our first runners out today were breaking the ground and softening it up for the rest of us.
A fantastic turnout of juniors all turned up on time to walk the course and get ready. The under 11 girls and boys got us off to a great start with the gap closing between the clubs fastest and less fast runners. It was great to see Inkie Parkinson back after an absence at XC since Oxford 2013. She had a good race and cemented a fine performance of the U11 girls with a great battle going on between Julia Bell & Sophie Hawes. A little bit ahead, Millie Hawes and Zara Brooks continue their competitive challenge while closing the gap on Niquole Carter, caught out today with the technical course of narrow paths preventing her passing people she usually beats, the frustration on her face said it all.
The Under 11 Boys didn’t disappoint. With three runners competing for the club for the first time at
XC it was good to see Olly Inchley, Thomas Hirst-Mitchell and Daniel May bolstering the squad and challenging Ewan Bell and Dominic Grimshaw. They all ran particularly well but Daniel had a blinder for his first race (so good his Mum Louise missed him coming through the Finish). The newbies all a year young in this age-group, look promising for next season when Dominic will be glad he moves up a year as Daniel is hot on his heels. Ewan improved on his previous position, getting to bed before midnight obviously helps! Good luck to Dominic, next weekend he is stepping up to represent Bedfordshire as an U13 in the SEAA Masters and Inter-counties Championships at Oxford.
Wow! What a turnout of U13 girls. Eight started the race at 11:45, although still colder than when the adults got to run. Making a decision on what to wear comes with experience. Hopefully now we have had two races with similar conditions the U13 girls are realising by running fast they will keep warm and can lose a few layers that restrict them from running (see the photos). However, run fast they did and led home by Ellie Rabbitts with Sadie Towell in hot pursuit. The ever improving Evie Gilmour followed Chloe May making our first team of four counters. The other girls finish position is very important and Amy Killick worked hard to take points away from other teams as Dana Carter and McKenna Keefe completed the team.
Hampered by injury, birthdays and memory loss the under 13 boys were just short of a team but those that did run, ran well. Scott Towell took the honours of being first LBAC back with Max Rose and Joe Bidlake-Hull finishing in that order. They all improved on previous positions, moving them up the leaderboard on the juniors cross country champion table. With two events left, all the points count for that award. Both are local events at Milton Keynes, so let’s have a good turnout in this age group.
Two under 15 girls ran today and Megan was glad of Caitlin Bell turning out with Sarah Plummer not available this time. They grouped well and helped the club earn some valuable points along with Izzi Bidlake-Hull in the under 17 age group. Their efforts continue to gain the club valuable points to keep us in contention near the top of league, whilst improving their standing in the club championships.
The Boys were unrepresented at Under 15 and 17 age group we urge all male athletes in those categories to turn out at Milton Keynes on the 10th January.
The Ladies were next off and again lacking in numbers. Those there though upped their game to bring home a good team result of 9th place. Amy Inchley, hot off the flight from Lanzarote, showed that the training and racing at Club La Santa paid off as she led the team home in an impressive race, with Gail behind her for the first time! Amy and Gail Duckworth had a good battle, finishing strongly in the top 35 of the field. Lynn Boddy chased them home in 41st and Ruth Boddy made up the team having her first run-out for the club and completing the all-important team of four, contributing vitally to the clubs overall position. Ruth then turned photographer for the men’s race so thanks for the photos on Facebook and the competition of ”guess who’s elbow” a feature we can adopt for all of our future events or the club awards night! You have got to be really good with a camera to get those tricky shots. Thanks Ruth.
Over to the final race of the day the Senior Mens race – missing a few key point makers who were dragged out by other halves to do Christmas shopping – numbers again were down on the first two fixtures.
Expecting a fast race with the majority of the course being flat we set off at a gallop. The frozen ground from earlier in the day, was well thawed now and four hooves would have been welcome as staying on your feet was a challenge in places. Spikes were being sucked of your feet at the back of the field on the last lap. This didn’t worry Jordan Clay, who was much closer to the front and led the team home in 21st. There was a close battle for 2nd place honours between Peter Mackrell and Andy Inchley finishing in 34th and 35th places respectively.
Tim Inchley’s return to form from 20 years ago continues and he cannot remember the last time he was 4th counter for the club. Chris Norman cannot believe it either as he battled Tim all the way round! Sixth back for the club was the other Inchley (Tom), making 5 Inchleys out today across the spread of races. Charlie Mead and James Bell had a great race, with Sam Dear having a flyer leaving Warren Rose to take the glory of closing the team out in 113th. The remaining 7 club members led home by Stu Blofeld took some important points out of the home team and others to keep us in touch in 3rd place for Senior/Vet/Junior men with two to go.
It was good to see Chris Large back running XC and Jon Hull on his BIRTHDAY making the commitment to run (Looking forward to the drinks later. Thanks for the Lemon cake). David Killick’s improvement continues and he is starting to worry some of the seasoned members with his pace.
Mr Dimmock watch-out! Fred Watt our only senior senior out this week completed the team. Finishing off a great all round performance that saw the club 8th in the league on the day and maintaining 8th overall.
Well done everyone. Both remaining fixtures are local at Milton Keynes Jan 10th and Feb 7th. Keep fit not fat over Christmas and have a good one.