Chichester Corporate Challenge Race 3 and Series Round-up

Another bumper field of over 800 runners took part in the third and final Corporate Challenge evening on Wednesday 21st March making a total in excess of 2500 runners during the 3 race series. Another milestone was reached this year has been the 40,000th competitor to cross the line since the series was first started in 1992. In the main senior race there was another new name on the winners’ board while previous multi winner James Baker recorded his 50th occasion of going under 14 minutes for the 4500 metres course, a testament to his consistency and fitness over the years.



For only the second time in the event’s history, the winner of the main “A” race is still in the U17 age group. Will Broom has been on impressive form since the New Year on duty for Chichester in the National Championships and for Sussex in Inter-County and National Schools events. Around the streets of Chichester Will was content to stay with the leading pack for the first half of the race before striding clear to win in a time of 13 minutes 24 seconds, the fastest time of 2018 and 3 seconds inside the U17 record previously held by junior international Lachlan Wellington from Portsmouth. Ten seconds back was Edward Dodd who had double cause for celebration. The Russell Giles Group runner not only helped his team to victory over Dstl Portsdown and Irwin Mitchell but also clinched the Individual title over the three races ahead of Matt Gordon and Mike Houston.


There was another dominant display from Rhiannon Dunlop to retain her women’s title with Lucy Thraves and Alice Wright occupying the next two places. Team wise there was a good example of close packing from WSCC Ladies who were too strong for Bosham Staff.


It was youth to the fore in the Sports team awards with Chichester Runners U17’s and U20’s combining under coach Conrad Meagher as “Conrad’s Lads” to lift the men’s title in front of Worthing Hares by 5 minutes with a fine aggregate time of 2 hours 54 minutes for the 3 races. There was an enormous gulf of nearly 30 minutes in the women’s sports category with Chichester University much too good for the rest.


Primary Schools

As usual the evening’s action started with the Primary age group which had to be split into 4 races for the first time due to the increase in numbers competing. The year 6 race was won by Joshua Dunne from Toby Pickford and Rufus Edsell. Samuel Tonks from North Mundham was with Joshua until halfway until illness forced him to retire but luckily his first two races just gave him the title by the narrowest of margins over Joshua for the best two races with Rufus in third.


In the boys’ year 5 race it was James Taylor who just came out on top in front of Frederick Salmon and Henry Court. Team wise, Michael Rowe in 5th led Aldingbourne to their first ever team win in this event in front of Westbourne who had a 2 second gap over Bosham in 3rd.


One of the most clear-cut wins of the day was from Hattie Bond from Herne in the year 6 girls race to win the overall title while the next two series places went to the top year 5 runners, Florence East and Kitty Bryden, two more Hampshire based athletes. There was local success, however, in the team event with Jessie Younghusband having 30 seconds to spare over Bishop Tufnell with St Richards in third.


Secondary Schools Boys 

In the boys’ race Eddy Purser turned the table on Fionn O’Murchu but could not prevent the St Philip Howard athlete from winning the overall individual title thanks to his two earlier races but also leading his team to victory. Good packing from Midhurst Rother saw them into second while Bishop Luffa’s Harvey McGuiness claimed 3rd individual overall and the same team spot for his school. Joe Mclarnon from Ditcham Park had a gap of nearly 2 minutes over his rivals in the year 8 overall standings but was just pipped by Cameron Walker-Powell from Mayfield in the final race with the two boys running two of the fastest times ever over the 3 lap course of 6.35 and 6.36 respectively. Oscar Rothwell and Gabryel White occupied the next two overall placings while St Philip Howard just got the better of Midhurst Rother for the team title.


In the year 9 boys race Bishop Luffa pairing of Adam Robinson and Douglas Smith were once again ahead of the rest with Archie Sadler third and all three occupying the same places overall. It was the same situation for the year 10 boys with Liam Dunne from Bohunt School returning after missing race 2 and setting another fast time of 8.21 for the 4 lap 2800 course. James Gardam from Bishop Luffa was a clear second in front of George Ashby from Portsmouth Grammar and these two helped their respective teams to the top two combined years 9 & 10 places in front of St Philip Howard.



Daisy Wilkinson from Brookfield School was again top year 7 girl to clinch the overall title in front of Tilly Russell-Stoneham and Ellie Jefkins while Evie Pickford in 4th led her Bohunt team to victory over Felpham and Midhurst Rother. Olivia East from Mayfield made it 3 wins in a row to clinch the year 8 title with Eva and Isobel Buckler occupying the next two places to secure the team win for Bishop Luffa ahead of Midhurst Rother.


There was a new winner of the combined girls race with year 10 former National Cross Country champion Nicole Ainsworth leading home Holly Wilkinson and Isabelle Bryden who claimed the top two places in the overall year 9 standings ahead of Nina Moranne from Bishop Luffa. Team mate Maggie King was absent for the last race bur had done enough to win the girls overall title ahead of Jess Rayner from St Philip Howard and Phoebe Carlile from Portsmouth High. As with the year 8 race, the combined year 9 & 10 team race went to Bishop Luffa over Midhurst Rother.