Wycombe Phoenix

Race Report: Southern Inter Counties Cross Country Champs (2018) – Horspath, Oxford

Monday, December 10th, 2018

It was a blustery day in Oxford on Saturday for the Southern Inter County Cross Country Champs. This is the first race of the cross country season, where athletes are selected to compete for the county. The club had a total of 6 athletes selected to represent Bucks against other teams from across the whole of the south of England.

In the U15 girls race Olivia Brown and Megan Harris battled through some difficult conditions. Olivia continued his her great season, ending the race with her now traditional sprint finish, managing to pass a big group of competitors over the last 150m.

Myles Caddell worked his way through the pack of U17 men to emerge out of the woods at the end of the race 3rd out of the Bucks team and finishing 29th in the race, a great improvement on last year where he finished 7th in the Bucks team and 78th in the race. This is good measure of the progress he’s made over the last year.U17 Men Bucks Team

In the U17 women’s race Cerys Vico worked hard to secure 5th place in the team and managed a sprint finish at the end of the race to pass a couple of runners just before the finish line.

Jenny Roberts finished 26th in the senior women’s race (3rd in the Bucks team). Jenny continues to improve and is really benefiting from a more focussed training programme.

However, the pick of the day’s performances came from Jacob Sanderson in the U15 boys race. Jacob started the Cross Country season well, having had a successful track season and has continued to improve with every race. This time he finished first in the Bucks team and 26th in the race. He looked comfortable throughout and will hopefully take this form into the national races in the new year.

U15 Boys Bucks Team

Race Report: Chiltern League Match 3 (2018/19) – Stopsley Park, Luton

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

We woke up to rain and the vague hope that it would be better in Luton was dispelled on the drive up the M1. A big thank you to Duncan Griffin for his team management and putting up the Club tent, it would have been a miserable day without it.

The wet conditions however made the Stopsley course a bit more challenging and we actually did pretty well. We finished 5th on the day and maintain our position of 4th overall after 3 matches.

Our Senior Women continued their impressive form with another 1st place finish to extend our lead over Milton CL 3 SW 2018Keynes. Pippa Woolven made a late decision to run, and pulled away from a good field in the second half. Alex Cook continues her great winter with a 6th place place finish. And not far behind was Jenny Roberts, who keeps on getting better and better with a 9th place finish. It was great to see Nicki Johnson back in action after a summer on the OCR circuit. And with Jess Gray and Laura Street closing in the top 21 we were too strong for Milton Keynes.

Our Senior Men did brilliantly last year to finish 3rd. We’re struggling a little this year for various reasons. However, other clubs seem to be struggling more than us, and despite missing a few of our stronger runners, we finished 4th and actually moved up to 3rd overall. Performance of the day was by Joe Branch. CL 3 SM 2018Joe made his debut in the League 2 seasons ago. He struggled with calf problems in his first year but an 8th place finish was an excellent run, his best yet and every chance of even better in the future. Solid runs by the rest of the team and a big welcome to Paul Gilbert who was our 8th man home on his debut for the Club.

For the juniors earlier the weather was particularly unpleasant, the perfect storm of wind, rain and cold temperatures. But they braved the conditions and performed brilliantly as they have done all season.
For the U11s it was a bit of an introduction to real cross country running, but they threw everything into it despite the weather. In the girls race we had; Sienna Dove, Josephine Crockett, Emma Westbrook, Haleema Safdar and Sumayya Safdar, finishing in that order. In the boys U11s race, despite the conditions, we had another good turnout with the following athletes battling through to the finish; Cameron Harrington, William Foster, Edward Faulkner, Samuel Evans, Alfie Parker, Dylan Martin and Dylan Taylor.

The U13 girls are developing a good team spirit, which means they turnout regularly for races whatever the conditions. CL 3 U13 2018On Saturday the team finished in 6th place, in the following order; Libby Sutton, Lyla Griffin, Amy Hogbin, Emma Caddell and Ellie Faulkner. The U13 boys team was a bit short of numbers, but the ever reliable Casper Chillingworth and William Alexander placing 18th and 34th, closely followed by Jai and Ishi Burmi.

The U15 girls race was a fascinating game of cat-n-mouse with Megan Harris and Olivia Brown tracking each other throughout the race. And just behind were Ellen Cooper and Tilly Firth moving steadily through the pack. The final 300m was a sprint fest with Olivia just pipping Megan and Ellen to finish first for Wycombe and securing her selection for next weekend’s Inter Counties. The team finished 2nd, behind Chiltern, their highest position this year. There is chance of a medal if we can continue to field a strong team. CL 3 U15 2018The under 15 boys were down in numbers a little, but Jacob Sanderson continued his run of form, finishing a comfortable 4th overall. Alex Mitchell and Owen Westbrook finished 33rd and 38th respectively.

Our lone U17 woman was Cerys Vico. Cerys is gradually building her fitness as the winter progresses. She ran a tactically astute race, finishing with a sprint and doing enough to secure selection for next weekend’s Inter Counties. We had 2 athletes in the U17 men, Myles Caddell and Tom Crockett. Myles had already been pre-selected for the Inter Counties but still ran a strong race to finish 7th and was ably supported by Tom in 17th.

London 2019 London Marathon

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

If you are interested in entering the ballot to run in the 2019 London Marathon please email membership@wycombephoenix.org by Tuesday 4th December.

London Marathon 2019 Ballot Flyer

Bucks and Beds Cross Country Championships January 2019

Monday, November 19th, 2018

WPH is hosting this event – your help is needed

What’s this all about?

This is the annual Buckinghamshire County Cross Country Championships for athletes from U13s up to Senior. It’s where County Titles are won.

It’s taking place at Hughenden Park on Saturday 5th January 2019.

WPH is helping the County put on this event. To do this, the club needs volunteers to help set up, marshal the course and keep an eye on the cars.

I’d love to help. How do I do that?

Before Monday 17th December, please have a look at the 9 roles needed in the table here, decide which you can help with, then send the following details to Sally Delgado at volunteers@wycombephoenix.org or simply hand the form on this link to Sally on a Club night.

The details that Sally needs are:

Your name
If you will have an athlete competing: Name of athlete, Gender, Age group
Role or roles you would be happy to help with (see list below)
Any time restrictions or other information

I’m worried that I don’t have the skills or experience

Athletics is a sport that prides itself on supporting its volunteers. We aim to support you throughout your experience: sending information before, being there to answer questions and keeping in touch throughout the event. We are used to working with parents / athletes who are new to the sport.

Please do contact / talk to Sally if you want to know more or to just talk things over.

The Help that’s Needed – the Roles

All of the roles listed at this link are essential to the running of the event. The Judges who will make decisions about the races will be supplied separately through the County.

Why is WPH doing this?

The Bucks County Athletic Association (AA) the controlling authority for athletics in Buckinghamshire. The AA has a committee that oversees the structure, competition dates and liaises with the sport’s governing bodies but it is a voluntary organisation that puts on events for the county athletes, through the clubs and officials in the county.

To improve the standard of competition and reduce the burden on clubs, Bucks AA have, for a number of years, joined with Bedfordshire to run a joint county cross country championships. This means that Bucks hosts the championships every other year. Within the County, this alternates between the north of the County (Milton Keynes usually) and the South of the County (Hughenden).

The last time the championships was hosted at Hughenden was in 2015, and WPH supplied a lot of the infrastructure and some of the volunteers as the main club in the area. We need to do this again. Without this input, the Championships can’t happen and there will be no County Cross Country Champions this year.

From the Championships the Bucks AA are able to select teams for prestigious National Events and Inter-County matches, giving our young athletes the level of competition and experience they would not otherwise have.


Sally Delgado
Event Volunteers Coordinator

New Club Chair – News from the AGM

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

With thanks to Dougie Sutherland for all that he has done for the Club over the past decade, Mike Mahoney was voted in as the new Chair of WPH’s Committee. Mike is stepping into the position for a year, during which time he will work with parents / carers of members and members to strengthen the relationships within the Club and build a broader base from which to elect club officers.

Matt Whiting was voted onto the Committee as Press / Comms Officer working to make sure internal and external communications work well.

In none-Committee roles, Squish Warkcup has taken on the mantle of Assistant Welfare Officer in support of Lance Free and Jeremy Mitchell will be one of the web administrators, working closely with Matt in this role and as the notice board manager.

A number of Committee Posts are now vacant. These are the Coach Development Advisor, Membership Secretary and Minutes Secretary. Could those of you who have previously expressed an interest in taking over the role of Minutes Secretary please contact Sally Delgado on volunteers@wycombephoenix.org

Race Report: Chiltern League Match 2 (2018/19) – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes

Monday, November 12th, 2018

We started our campaign in the Chiltern League well at Oxford a month ago. Last year we struggled a bit at Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes in the 2nd match and it was a similar affair this year. However, we retain our 3rd place overall in the League.

This fixture also incorporates the UK cross challenge which brings some of the best runners in the country to the event. CL 2 2018 Snr W 2Pippa Woolven has had a difficult year but has been gradually increasing her training over the last couple of months. She prevailed against some good local competition in the first match and has run well in the relays but this was her first ‘real test’.  It took 3 former European cross country medallists to beat her. 4th place in the cross challenge and a 50sec plus victory in the League was a great run.

2 months ago, Zoe Doyle was racing 800m in World Masters Champs. Only 2 weeks ago Alex Cook was racing a 50km race. On Saturday, over 5.6km,  there was only 2secs between them; 6th and 7th were great runs. Jenny Roberts continued her steady progress with a 13th place finish. It won’t be long until she’s in the top 10.CL 2 2018 Snr W 1

Jess Gray and Laura Street completed the team in the top 22% of the race. However, we were, up against a very strong Milton Keynes team and they edged us by 1 point. We still maintain our overall lead. The next match will be crucial.

The senior men got off to a good start at Oxford, with a 3rd place finish. We knew we were a little weaker for this one and we ended up 6th on the day and are now 4th overall. There were a lot of positives though. CL 2 2018 Snr MThe return to form of Joe Branch was great to see. Down in the 40s at Oxford, a 17th place finish was a lot better. A top 10 surely beckons.

At 10.30am Sean Wilson was on family duty, however, by 1.30 he had arrived in Milton Keynes. His spike falling apart 10mins before the start did not deter him and he was our 4th man home. A special mention also to Tim Hogbin. It’s easy to talk about the guys at the front. Tim has run and scored in every Chiltern League match, Southern and National for the last two years. Despite his best efforts he was unable to run at Oxford, but dependable as ever, Tim was our 6th man home.

The Junior section of the club was affected by the English Schools Cross Country Cup falling on the same weekend. So we were missing some of our key athletes, but we also welcomed back some of our most experienced athletes who hadn’t been available for the first match, including; Ana Montgomery, Cerys Vico, Megan Harris, Maddie Wood, Olivia Brown and Tilly Firth. This meant we were able to put out full teams in both the U17/20 Women and U15 Girls races. The strong U15 girls team finished 3rd and were led home by Olivia Brown who had a great run. The U17/20 Women finished 4th and will hopefully get stronger as the season progresses. The U13 girls team had a good turnout, being led home by Libby Sutton for the second time in two matches.

We weren’t able to field full teams in the boys races, but we did have probably the best performance of the day from Myles Caddell in the U17 race.CL 2 2018 MC He had finished 7th at Oxford, but on Saturday he beat many of his rivals to finish a fantastic 3rd. This is a testament to consistency and hard work in training.

The U15 boys were short of numbers due to the Schools Cross Country Cup, but it was good to see Alex Mitchell returning to form with a solid run.

The U13 boys were also down in numbers, with only 2 runners, Casper Chillingworth and William Alexander, but despite this the team still managed to finish 9th out of 14 teams. Well done boys.

We had another good turnout in the U11s age group, with total of 14 athletes running. Chloe Fossel and Daniel Cogan were our first runners to finish and both improved on their runs at Oxford.

Athletes making their debut on Saturday were; Yasmin Drummond, Josephine Crockett, Bea Montgomery. Well done and we look forward to seeing you in Luton.

Photos by Barry Cornelius

AGM: Members are encouraged to shape the future of the Club – Wednesday November 7th

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

All senior members and parents/ carers for junior members are encouraged to shape the future of the Club

Wednesday 7th November 2018 at 7.30pm

at Wycombe Rugby Club, Kingsmead Road, High Wycombe, HP11 1JB

The AGM is an opportunity to get involved in the running of our community club and to help it move forwards. A final agenda will be provided on the night and will include the following:

Chairman’s report       Treasurer’s Report      Club Secretary’s Report            Election of Committee                Proposal to form a Parents’ Council

If you have other agenda items for the AGM or nominations for the committee please send to the Club Secretary at clubsecretary@wycombephoenix.org) by 6:00 p.m. Friday 2nd November 2018.

The club is actively looking for new people to join the team and to fill several vacant (committee and non-committee) roles this year. These are listed here and many roles can be shared. Are you able to help your club? Please do come and speak to any member of the committee to find out more.


Dougie Sutherland (Chair) and Peter Lipman (Club Secretary)


Gold Medal Winning Success at the South of England Cross Country Relays

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Another unseasonably warm day and another successful outing for Wycombe Phoenix Harriers at the South of England Cross Country Relays.

Following our ladies brilliant medal in the South of England road relays, hopes were high for the 44422865_10161285415776337_1483328481080115200_ocross country equivalent at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday. 3x3km meant for a short but exciting event. We decided to stay with Zoe Doyle on leg 1. Zoe’s had a great year and is running better than ever. She might not have felt 100% but she moved through the field to finish 3rd. A medal was definitely a possibility again. Next up was the incredibly versatile Alex Cook. Not many can mix ultra races and a 3km cross country but Alex is enjoying the Club competitions and held onto our 3rd position. Alex and Zoe had run great but we still found ourselves over 30secs off the lead.

Belgrave though had top loaded their team and were soon being hunted down by Pippa Woolven. 6mins into the final leg and we’d gone into the lead! Herne Hill were moving rapidly through the field but there was no way that their star Katie Snowden could catch ours and in the end we were comfortable winners. We think a first senior championship for the Club in its history. Such is strength of our ladies team at the moment, that we had hoped to field a 2nd team. Come Saturday we didn’t have a full team but Jenny Roberts and Beth Brown had very good runs nevertheless.


Despite the this year’s race coinciding with the start of half-term we also managed to enter a total of 6 junior teams. The day’s racing kicked off with the U17 women. We were delighted to have Siân Vico making a special guest appearance from the Sprints group and she showed her versatility by running the pressured first leg to hand over to Mia Waterhouse who ran a solid second leg to set up Cerys Vico who brought the team home in 21st place. We once again managed to get together two under 13 Girls teams and an U13 boys team, some of whom had run at the IMG_4123Road Relays and were now becoming accustomed to the excitement of this sort of racing. The teams were; U13G A (27th) – Amy Hogbin, Thea Gray, Emma Caddell. U13G B (34th) – Izzie Binnie, Iris Cooper, Ellie Faulkner. U13B (26th) – William Alexander, Jai Burmi, Ishi Burmi.

The U15 girls team was the same as the team from the Road Relays and they are proving to be a good combination. Maddie Wood led the team out in what was a packed start and used her experience to work through the melee. Ellen Cooper, who is improving each time she competes, ran a great second leg and Olivia Brown wrapped things up with a very determined final leg to finish 18th. The U15 boys went one better coming 17th. The Mitchell brothers (Nick and then Alex), who are both coming into a bit of form, covered the first and second legs and put the team into a good position to hand over to Rollo Parry, who made up a significant number of places, finishing strongly.

Some of the juniors stayed around to watch the senior women’s race, as there was talk of the possibility of medals beforehand. They weren’t left disappointed and hopefully will take away some inspiration from this gold medal winning success.

Race Report: Chiltern League Match 1 (2018/19) – Horspath, Oxford

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Well done to all those who competed at the first Chiltern League of the season. It was very very warm and certainly not typical cross country weather.

Last year saw our Senior Women’s team beginning to take shape. We did very well atIMG_4119 (1) certain times but didn’t quite have the numbers throughout the year to really do well in the League and we ended up 4th.

This year though we got off to a terrific start. Still buzzing from their medal in the Southern Road Relay Champs, our women were convincing winners. Pippa Woolven is steadily getting back to her best. She had some good competition over the 5.8km course but pulled away strongly in the second half for a clear win. Zoe Doyle, Alex Cook and Jenny Roberts followed in 5th, 8th and 14th. Brilliant runs by all of them again. A couple of years ago that would have been the team completed. The League rightly though increased the numbers of scorers to 6 which rewards a good club. We were up to the task!

Beth Brown and Laura Street have had difficult summers with injury. They were both eager though to race and brought us home for a great win. Not far behind, it was good to see Helen Alexander back racing again. She’ll no doubt score some vital points later in the season.











The senior men had a great season last year to take 3rd. We’ve had a couple of new recruits but we’ve also got a few injuries so we were a bit unsure how we would fare on Saturday.

David Clark led us home for the first time and celebrated his 21st Birthday with his best IMG_4114ever cross country performance with a brilliant 12th place. David is the perfect example to any younger athlete about perseverance. He didn’t set the world alight when he was younger! However, he has continued to train hard (70miles plus most weeks) and the result speaks for itself.

Joe Branch wasn’t at his best but still scored solid points. Our strength though was packing our next 5 scorers (Kieran Gilfedder, Chris Filer, Ben Sutherland, Frank Fulcher and Gareth Morris) in the top 100. Ben was our joker in the pack. Our quickest runner in the team at his best, hasn’t done much running of any sort for quite a while! Certainly, nothing of any quality. Nevertheless, he answered the call to arms and surprised himself with a 67th place IMG_4118 (1)finish overall. Who knows what he might do with a bit of training! Peter Finn, Andy Walling and our new man Dan Barker completed our team. And making his debut for the seniors was Scott Wixon Nelson.

3rd place was a good start to the season.




In the U17 and U15 age groups we were down in numbers compared to last year, but those who raced did themselves proud. Special mention goes to those making their Chiltern League debut’s today; Ellen Cooper (U15), Rebecca Rees-Davies (U15) and Emily Whelan (U17) all of whom performed beyond expectations.

We also had some top 10 performances (finishing in the top 10 in the CL is a significant achievement); Jacob Sanderson 4th in the U15 boys (he was 28th in the same race last year!), Myles Caddell 7th in the U17 men. And it was great to see Kirsten Stilwell making a welcome return to racing, finishing 2nd in the U17 women’s race.

The U13 and U11 age groups are thriving and we had a good turnout, with many of our athletes making their debut’s. So welcome to the Chiltern League to the d004b2aa-016c-4579-b9ed-ff86c86456c6following newcomers (apologies if any names are missing);

U13 – Girls
Mae Burton
Evie Burton
Lowri Cawdell
Iris Cooper

U13 – Boys
Jai Burmi
Tim Golding

U11 – Girls
Sienna Tanner
Chloe Fossel
Libby Walling
Emma Westbrook
Marie Bolton

U13 – Boys
Dylan Taylor
Dylan Martin

Senior Women Grab Bronze at the 2018 Southern Road Relays

Monday, October 1st, 2018

PW SRRSometimes all your stars align. Our ladies team has been developing over the last year. However, getting everyone available and running well on the day of a championship is never easy. Today we did!

Zoe Doyle got us off to a cracking start with an 8th place finish. The first leg of a relay is always loaded. We felt we had to get off to a good start and fresh from her medal winning performances in the World Masters, Zoe did just that.

Next up Pippa Woolven. We knew Pippa would move through the field but never expected what happened next. The quickest time of the day saw us in the lead!

Alex Cook had been prepped that she would be taking over at the sharp end but she wasn’t expecting to be right at the front! 4.8km later and we were still in 1st. Alex had a brilliant controlled run to keep us in an unprecedented position.

Jenny Roberts joined us last year and has improved massively. However, leading the regional relay champs was probably not what she anticipated when she signed up! Things can change quickly in a relay. Guernsey had moved through the field. Jenny, however, stuck to her task and held on for a brilliant and unprecedented 3rd.DoIZIBkU0AAS9p3