Here we go again! – Chiltern League – Race 1

Chiltern Cross Country League 2017/18


Race 1 – Shotover Hill, Oxford

14th October 2017


As sure as the leaves will fall from the trees and the nights will get darker, October comes around and that means that the Chiltern Cross Country League starts again.

As with in 2016 the first fixture was at Shotover Hill in Oxford and despite missing quite a few key members of the team, those that turned up, did so in style.

As seems to be becoming the norm, the first fixture was on the warm side and the ground underfoot was hard so trail shoes seemed to be the preferred option. There were even a few people wearing racing flats or road shoes!


As the Seniors rock up shortly after lunch time, it’s easy to forget that the Juniors races have been going on for a few hours already. If you can, please arrive early just to give that extra shout to those youngsters busting their guts for Purple and Gold.


As always, the U11s got us underway with some fantastic performances by Sophia Watt finishing 12th and backed up by Harriet Butlin in the girls who finished in 9th position whilst in the boys the team of Toby Evans, Ash Carter and Archie Wright charged round to finish in 10th position.

In the U13s strong running by Imogen Chesterton, Julia Bell and Charlotte Keane meant that they all finished within 6 places. Amy Killick led the U15s home in 12th place with Niquole Carter, Zara Brooks, Ailica Down and Amelia Butlin finishing off a strong team in a tough race end the day in 8th. Up in the U20s/U17s Dana Carter, Megan Westrope and McKenna Keefe all helped each other round to finish well.

Sid Mead was the backbone of the boys U13 team finishing in the middle of a 5 man team. Oscar Butlin led the team home with Daniel May also running well and Tytus Grygier and Arty Mead backing them up. Max Rose led the U15s boys home closely followed by good runs by Harry Bell, William Rossiter, Joe Bidlake-Hull and Taylor Williams. The U17s boys race is often seen as one of the toughest at Chiltern League. This year we have Daniel Horner and Alfie Blaber competing and both performed well with Daniel in particular finishing in 24th.


The Senior ladies lined up with a fairly strong team with the 6 person scoring team consisting of vice captain Jo Sharples, Club President Gail Duckworth, Liz Peters, who is running extremely well at the moment, Coralie Anderson in preparation for New York marathon, Katie Haylock starting her comeback with a strong performance and Kassia Gardner to close out in 72nd place. Backed up with 4 other runners, the season is looking bright if they can carry on in this form. Currently sitting in 9th place there are only 100 points between them and 2nd which is not much at all over a long season!


The Senior men all seem to turn up for Cross Country having not been seen for months and this was no exception with a few long-lost runners returning to support the team.

Paul Douglas was welcomed back having moved away a few years ago whilst Stuart Blofeld got off the bike (although he did cycle from Oxford City Centre!) to climb the hills on his own two feet and both finished just outside the scoring team. Nigel Chesterton made his debut along with Steve Sharples with Steve scoring in 9th for the club. There were a few runners coming back from injury, or at least attempting to, but the standout performances of the day must go to Billy Mead who absolutely stormed round to finish in 13th place while Ian Grimshaw showed his injury problems of last season have not held him back finishing in 33rd and as 2nd in his age category.


All of this means that the Club overall is in 8th position with the Senior Men in 6th. The Vet Women are in 5th place in a ridiculously tight table with only 17 points between 2nd and 6th.


After only one fixture though it is ALL to run for!


Next fixture is on Saturday 11th November at Teardrop Lakes in Milton Keynes. This is our Home fixture and so there is likely to be an email going round asking for help with marshalling. Get involved and be a part of it!