A Little Club History
The club has been in the Chiltern League since the 1980’s. In that time we have had some fantastic runners and excellent performances. We have spent much of that time in division two, with occasional (usually one season) forays into division one. In the early years we had a small but strong junior section, but low numbers in senior ranks with very few women indeed.
After a significant slump in the mid 00’s when we finished mid-table in division two, the last time we got promoted was the 2009/10 season. In our first season back in division one we had the grand ambition of trying to avoid relegation by keeping out of the bottom two of the fourteen teams and we were delighted to end up in our highest ever position of 9th. The club managed to repeat this in the two following years and then dropped down one place in 2013/14 when St Alban’s joined the league.
Since this time I have written many repetitive reports saying how we’ve broken this record and that record in terms of numbers out running and positions being achieved. This has applied across the board, but most significantly in the senior age-groups.
Those of us that have been around for a few years could not believe it last year when we were able to finish as high as 7th as a club with the men taking 3rd place. It really felt to like there was nowhere higher to go. All the clubs above us have hundreds of senior members and all but one have their own track to train from.
In the first four fixtures of the year we were 6th, 8th, 8th and an outstanding 5th at Luton which left us in 7th overall. In the report after that fixture I mentioned that the gap to Aylesbury in 6th was very small and with a good day for us and a bad day for Windsor we had an outside chance of 5th.
In actual fact in terms of senior men – who score the most points due to the size of the field – we had our best day ever at Campbell Park:
- We had 23 finely honed athletes running. All 23 took points from other teams by finishing ahead of their top ten.
- Nine people had their best position of the season and five had their best ever.
- We were the first team to get our tenth scorer home. This was 58th place, when our best before this season was 89th.
- We were 2nd on the day for the first time ever, just a few points behind MK.
- We had seven in the top 50 and fifteen in the top 100
What should be noted as well is that we have done all this without our leading runner from last year, with Jordan being off in Cornwall. We still don’t have anyone in the top ten (Elliot is getting close) but what we do have is a huge commitment from the club to turn-out and correspondingly this gives us great depth across the field as well as a healthy amount of intra-club competition pushing each other along.
I think it would be a little churlish to mention a few specific names at the end of such a superb season for the senior men, who have all played their part brilliantly. However, it is rare that we have an individual prize winner and Ian Grimshaw stepped up in class this year to lead us home in the first three fixtures and earn a tremendous silver medal for the V40 age-group for the season.
As a team the senior men took third place for the second season in a row and our vet’s team did likewise to earn themselves bronze medals that will all be awarded at the annual dinner. All the stats for the season (and many others) are on the CCCL website and for the ultra geeky there might be a few spreadsheets available on various member’s PC’s, so just ask if you really want to know what we keep track of!
The senior ladies told a somewhat different, but no less pleasing tale. You may recall that we had 13 out running in Luton in January. Well we didn’t have that this time, but what we did have were three out of our five runners very new to the club and the league but running extremely well and earning our highest position of the season in 9th. Laura, Ruth and Kas are all highly valuable new additions to the club in the last year and when you add them to Lynn (who finished in her highest ever position) and Kate who already contributes hugely, our women are definitely looking great for the future.
In the younger age groups we were a little affected by the half term holiday but Hattie Grimshaw completed her first full season in CCCL to continue the family dynasty and finish 27th for the season a year young in the U11’s.
There were five U11 boys out and Thomas Hirst-Mitchell earned his highest position of the season in 16th place and was 14th overall. Aaron O’Dwyer and Evan Hirst-Mitchell also had their best runs of the season and were valuably supported by Sid Mead and Samuel Mullinder. The lads managed to finish the season in an excellent 8th place.
The U13 boys once again had six out with Dom Grimshaw leading home the team of Owen Lindars, Harry Bell, Max Rose, Ewan Bell and Joe Bidlake-Hull. Harry, Ewan and Max all finished in their highest positions for the season with four of the boys completing all five races. This gave them an overall position of 4th for the season that represents some excellent running, with a number of the lads in their first year.
Niquole Carter and Zara Brooks continued the trend of getting their best positions in the final fixture by coming home 22nd and 27th in the U13 girls. With Daisy Giltrow and Ami Gardner completing the team to earn 8th on the day, they are well placed for good T&F season as a small squad.
Dana Carter and McKenna Keefe completed their season’s in the U15 girls by taking 8th place at the final fixture. They have both shown fantastic commitment to the club by competing in 4 and 5 of the races respectively and earned 167 valuable points for the club. When you consider that we were only 272 points ahead of Aylesbury it shows how valuable these scores are.
So now would seem to be a good time to take a little pride out of the efforts that so many people have put into the season. Twenty-one people ran all five fixtures, but equally there were lots of people who didn’t run any but were important to our success. Mum’s and dad’s who transported children, partners who didn’t complain that other halves were out for five Saturdays and volunteers from the club who gave up their time to help. I’m pretty confident that no other club’s from outside MK volunteered marshals on Saturday and yet we had two. Having that extra shout from Jon and Richard as we went past them on each lap of the course probably made all the difference to us.
For us to continue our march up the table in 2016/17 is going to be a huge challenge, but that is one that we can take up in October. For now let’s enjoy the nationals and the summer season and give ourselves a proverbial pat on the back. Great work everyone.
After the races, Sam “Sicknote” Dear answered a few quick fire questions: