Chichester Corporate/Schools Challenge Race 2

Thankfully the rain stayed away, and the high winds abated for the second race in the 2019 Chichester Corporate and Schools Challenge on Wednesday 13th March 2019.


What looked like being a battle against the elements for the 850 competitors turned out to be another opportunity to record fast times around the City Centre circuit and for the runners to shave seconds from their times two weeks previously. With one race to go on the 27th March there is much to play for in both the individual category in the 10 age groups over the 8 race programme.



There was a repeat of the first race at the front of both the men’s and women’s field with Jonathan White taking 10 seconds from his time to win by 14 seconds in a quick 13.16 for the 4500 metres four lap course. He was chased all the way by Portsmouth athlete Jacob O’Hara who used the event as a sharpener for the English Schools XC Championships three days later. Worthing’s Jack Woods was relegated to third despite a faster time than in Race 1, while previous winner James Baker came through the field well in the latter stages to finish a good 6th followed by Ned Potter, Leo Stallard and Mike Houston to make four local runners in the top 10.


Cassie Thorp again came out on top in the women’s race in front of Solent MD team mate Katie Hopkins with Ellie Farrow from Bishop Luffa School in 3rd, another athlete to take the opportunity for a fast race before representing the Sussex Schools senior team in Leeds at the weekend. In the team competition, it was Dstl, Portsdown who re-established their place at the head of the table in the main Corporate Category in the absence of first-time winners Everyone Active with Cawley Crawlers moving up to 2nd and Rolls Royce a narrow 3rd.


It was déjà vu in the sports section with MD Sports getting the better of Chichester’s youth team running as Conrad’s lads and Portsmouth AC Oddbins occupying the next two places. All three top ladies’ Corporate teams were faster than in the first race but kept the same order with Bosham Primary school staff team having nearly 3 minutes to spare over WSCC Ladies and Portsdown West. In the sports section, Chichester casuals were again the winners, led home by U17 Maggie King with CWTC Ladies and Marc Us Finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively, all three teams doing well to have an aggregate for their three runners of under the hour.


Primary Girls and Boys

The evening’s programme started as usual with the Primary Girls and Boys in action spread over four races and numbering more than 300 competitors. The top three in the opening race for year 6 boys featured the same trio from race one with the race itself following a similar pattern. Isaac Glanfield from Downview set off once again at a record-breaking pace on the first lap and, although slowing slightly on the second lap still had enough to spare over Sam Cato from Seal and Logan Cookson from Lyndhurst.


In the year 5 race Stanley Wilkes from Jessie Youghusband was again in dominant form to record 4 minutes 53 seconds for the 1400 metres course a time only bettered by the winner of the year 6 race in 4.46. William Brown from Walberton & Binstead was again runner-up with James Fox from Oakwood moving up to 3rd from 4th last time. Team wise things could not be closer with Downview leading Bishop Tufnell and Parklands, the three separated by a mere 9 seconds but with another six teams breathing down their necks, all 9 teams just 32 seconds apart.


There was once again a very high standard in the year 6 girls race with no less than four runners inside 5 minutes, one of the few times this has happened in the 20 plus years of the event. Florence East from Lyndhurst repeated her win from the first race with Laila Hellyer from Bishop Tufnell just beating off the challenge of Kitty Bryden from Newbridge and twin sister Lillie. Once again Poppy Taylor from Overton, a member of the Winchester club, was a convincing winner of the year 5 race some 12 seconds in front of Grace Howarth from Great Ballard with Molly Smithers from Walberton & Binstead a further second adrift in 3rd. Another dominant display saw Bishop Tufnell win the team race by nearly a minute from Jessie Younghusband with Bosham a further minute away in 3rd.


Secondary Boys

In the combined years 9 & 10 boys race it was Cameron Walker-Powell from Mayville High who dominated the four lap 2800 metres race to finish just outside 9 minutes in 9.05. Year 10 duo of Jensen Howard from Springfield and Archie Sadler from Midhurst Rother occupied the next two places with runner-up in the year 9 race Gabe White in overall 4th place. Once again, good packing from St Philip Howard brought them the team win.


As in the previous race 1, the closest finish of the whole evening occurred in the boys’ year 8 race with Eddy Purser from Purbrook Park just getting to the line in front of Harvey McGuiness from Bishop Luffa, both runners being given the same time of 6 minutes 50 seconds for the 3 lap 2100 metres course. Fionn O’Murchu from St Philip Howard was clear in 3rd, also under the 7 minutes barrier while Hal Edgar in 4th had the satisfaction of leading Midhurst Rother to a team win from Bishop Luffa and St Philip Howard.


There was a new winner in the year 7 boys’ race with Archie Turner from Our Lady of Sion getting the better of last race winner Joshua Dunne from Bohunt and Mackenzie Van Laun from Ditcham Park. Team wise the positions were the same as in the year 8 race with Midhust again coming out on top thanks to good packing from their three runners.


Secondary Girls

With all the secondary girls running the same three lap 2100 metres course, it was once again year 9 Olivia East from Mayfield who emulated the win of her younger sister earlier in the evening.  The next two to finish made it a Hampshire 1, 2, 3 with year 8 Daisy Wilkinson from Brookdield just getting the better of year 10 Natalya Smith from Noadswood. Local athletes filled the next two places with Cerys Dickinson from St Philip Howard 4th overall and Nicole Boltwood in 5th.


In the combined year 9 & 10 team race St Philip Howard were a minute clear of Midhurst Rother with Bishop Luffa a similar distance further back in 3rd. Following Daisy Wilkinson in the year 8 race were Emily Hanrahan from Midhurst Rother and Amelie McGurk who lead Bishop Luffa to a team win. Top year 7 girl was Hattie Bond from the Petersfield School in a fine 7th overall out of the 56 finishers in the whole race.  Split by a single second, Loise Byers and Anya Barrett, both from Midhurst Rother, led their school to a narrow team win over St Philip Howard.