RUNNING: It was mission accomplished as a solid performance from the Silverstone-based Silson Joggers ensured the club will remain in the upper division of the Chiltern League for another season.
While not being able to match their all time best of 10th in the competitive league from the 2008/2009 season, the Joggers matched last season’s 11th, easily avoiding relegation and bringing home their largest haul of league points in the process.
In addition, outstanding performances from the Pacey brothers saw them achieve impressive top 10 performances in the individual series standings.
The muddy and undulating course at Wing, near Leighton Buzzard, once again proved a tough venue for the finish to the 5-event series. With no let-up for competitors, the course winds through rolling farmland and a number of muddy gateways usually claim a few victims over the course of the day.
Silson’s U13 girls were once again led home by Layne Wray, an impressive 12th in a time of 14min 30sec. Layne was once again followed in by sister Neave (14:03). There were the usual good runs from Eleanor Rees (17:30) and Anabel O’Reilly (18:01).
There was also a quartet of Silson Joggers in the U13 boys who were bought home by Joe Shepherd in 34th place in 13:59. Henry Barnes was next to finish in 15:08, followed by Ben Lawson (17:19) and Olly Meek (18:15).
In the U15s, Madeline Smee competed in the girl’s race and finished in 37th place in 17:10. John Olejnik completed a great cross country season, also finishing in 37th place in 18:53.
A great performance by Natasha King saw her bring home the Silson senior ladies for the first time in a Chiltern League event with her 31:25 effort, good enough for 45th overall. King was followed closely by Sue Clayton-Drabble, rounding out a successful season to finish in 48th in 31:48.
Completing the ladies scoring quartet were cross country regulars Madeline Moutrie (56th in 33:26) and Mel Bignell (61st in 35:00). Also competing were Shoena Smee (35:39), Alison Tay (35:52) and Carol Debney (47:02).
There were no surprises in seeing a Pacey brother lead home the Silson men’s team, but this time it was Andy Pacey who rose to the occasion to finish in an impressive 37th in 37:30. Men’s team captain Simon Woodward had yet another strong run to finish second Silson man in 41st position, 20 seconds behind Pacey.
Nick Pacey was third over the line for Silson, 45th overall in 38:03. Dan Taylor was just over a minute back, enjoying a fine run of form and one of his best cross country seasons to finish in 53rd place in 39:04.
Veterans Jim Darcy and Kevin Reboul enjoyed a closely fought race, Wing’s mud and undulations separating the pair by a mere two seconds over five miles of racing, Darcy finishing in 40:39 for 68th place with Reboul in 70th. Matt Wootton was five places further back in 40:41. There was another good run from Andy Taylor (43:50), who was followed by Dave Coates (44:07), returning strongly from injury.
The scoring ten for the men were rounded out by a great effort from Trevor Barnes who finished in 111th position in 44:24. In all, 18 senior men competed for Silson on the day.
In the individual standings for the 2010/2011 series the standout performances came from the Pacey brothers who both recorded top 10 finishes in the competitive M40 category.
Nick finished a superb 6th with Andy just behind in eighth. There were also creditable finishes for Heather Cooke (13th senior female), Simon Woodward (17th senior male) and Sue Clayton-Drabble (11th F45).
The final cross country event of the season for the Joggers will be the National championships at Alton Towers this Saturday.