Trent Park Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

START FITNESS METROPOLITAN LEAGUE Trent Park 8/2/2020
By Alastair Aitken

DYLAN EVANS won his third successive Metropolitan League race of the season, at Trent Park Alastair Aitken reports. Over a course with a few sticky patches but, in bright sunshine, Roger Poolman, went ahead after the initial start, followed by Dylan Evans and Liam Dee, running together. Coming up to halfway Alex Lepretre, second in the Southern, who had been biding his time in the group behind, went straight ahead and pushed on, opening up a 70 meter lead over Evans, who gradually cut down Lepretre’s advantage and, in fact, worked hard in the last mile to win.

The first Under 20 runner Sefu Jamal finished well to take third place with Dee, Poolman and Thomas Butler not far behind.

Highgate Harriers had their record 8th consecutive year of victories in the league, with their 12 to score at Trent Park, all within the first 51 of 426 finishers and, their ‘B’ team topped Division 2 and will join the A team in Division One next season. Highgate also won the senior Howard Williams Trophy for men and women combined, on countback, as the 44 points score was totalled as 44 to Highgate, London Heathside and Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets.

Liz James who was third in the Southern and was, a few years back in 2006, the National Cross Country Champion, won all her 4 senior league races with consummate, what appeared to be with ease, which was good considering she has to look after three children and can only manage one hour a day of training six days a week. One must not forget an equally convincing run was by 2nd placer Nina Griffith who ran a 2:42 marathon in Malaga. She explained “I ran as a kid but gave up from 22 to 30 (Now 34) then had three years off with injuries” Khahisa Mhlanga who was a clear third as a first Under 20 said, “I’ll keep doing cross-country because I love it.” One who impressed me was the first W60 Fiona Kennedy, who came 61st of 218 finishers.

The Junior Howard Williams Trophy went to Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, narrowly ahead of Shaftesbury. Woodford Green’s Abigail Reid won all her Under 13 races in the league. She goes to Forest School and won the Essex Schools cross country on Wednesday. Regarding Shaftesbury Barnet victories, they won the Under 11 boys race with Arthur Phillips, who is at Moss Hill Junior school and, won his age group in the Middlesex clubs and coached by Ty Holden. He is 10 years old and, looks forward to running the 800/1500 in the Summer. Posie Shaw won the Under 11 girls race in every Met League meeting this season. Under 17 Joanne Miranda, won her last 4 Met Leagues, which included this one and was part of the club relay team that was 2nd in the National cross country relays at Mansfield, and Giano Stubbs was another to win for Shaftesbury as an Under 13 winner of all his Met leagues, so I put to established and top official of Shaftesbury Barnet Bryan Smith, that he must be very pleased with the results of the Shaftesbury youngster with a good future his reply was ‘Yes but they tend to all go off to University and we lose them”

Regards Alastair

Alexandra Palace Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

START FITNESS METROPOLITAN LEAGUE Alexandra Palace Park 11/1/2020
By Alastair Aitken

LIZ JANES was an impressive sight as she flowed down the hill, on each lap of the muddy Alexandra Palace course, to win her third Metropolitan league consecutively Alastair Aitken reports.

In the Men’s race, it was an identical result in the frame, as it was at the last league race at Hillingdon House farm when Dylan Evans won from Austin Roth and Alex Lepretre. Although Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets seniors won on the day Highgate Harriers, having amassed a total of 5514 to Victoria Park’s 5255 and London Heathside’s 4344, it would be difficult to imagine Highgate will not be the trophy senior winners again, after the final meeting in February.

Gianleo Stubbs only moved into the under 13’s this season and has continued winning as he did as an Under 11. Jeremy Sothcott coaches Shaftesbury’s clear Under 17 winner at Claybury, Freya Stapleton and, since then the winner each time after that was Joanne Miranda and he coaches with Emily Hathaway who was second at Alexandra Palace Park

Regards Alastair

Uxbridge Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

Uxbridge Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

START FITNESS METROPOLITAN LEAGUE Hillingdon House Farm 7/12/19
By Alastair Aitken

DYLAN EVANS, who was seventh in his only other Met League, at Claybury in October, won the third Fitness first Met league of the season.

On the two-lap course, which included a brook on each lap, some muddy corners and a wood, plus a hill to be negotiated and, fortunately, a flat section. The first to hit the front, as the large field rounded a corner into a big field, was Mohamed Hashi and Abdi Abdulle. At the halfway stage, as they came back onto the main field a group of five runners had drawn clear. They were Abdi, Evans, Texas American, Austin Roth (3rd at Claybury) Thomas Butler and Alex Lepretre. In the last half mile or so Evans and Roth broke clear followed by Lepretre. Evans worked hard up the finishing straight to come away with a victory. Evans was pleased with his 44th at Liverpool in the Cross Challenge & European Trials.

It was Lepretre’s highest position in the years he has done the Met League. The first Under 20 runner was George Groom of Shaftesbury Barnet and, I can remember talking to him after he won his first Met League, as a  youngster way back in 2012. He has progressed since then and has been studying at St Mary’s. That prolific racer Paul Martelletti was the first M40 in seventh place. Hillingdon’s 80-year-old, Doug Milsom came 457 in 53:38. 458 finished. He has a pacemaker and it has been a boon serving him well.

For the second time running Liz Janes was the convincing winner in the women’s race but after all, she was the National Senior winner back in 2006. Revee Walcott-Nolan was second again and had been running with Hannah Viner at the half distance. Hannah was more pleased with her 21st place at Liverpool, which was ten places higher than last year. Liz Janes did point out, with three young children she had to pick her times to go out and do an hours training. She did an hour for six days a week.

London Hearthside and Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets are heading Highgate Harriers in the women’s Division One events though, Highgate were first-team at Hillingdon House Farm. However, Highgate Harriers men are in a commanding position at the top of the Men’s, Division One table, while Woodford Green & Essex Ladies are in a strong winning position for the Junior Howard Williams Trophy and Shaftesbury in second place. Two notable young athletes certainly are worth a mention here. Joanna Miranda from the strong Shaftesbury Under 17 team, won for the 2nd time consecutively and Asmaa Abdirrahman of Hillingdon, who won for or five Met Leagues since she started at 10-year-old in the Under 11’s and, has won at least 4 Met Leagues and has had quite a few 2nd places and one third. It was in the Under 13’s she was running at Hillingdon House Farm.

Regards Alastair

Welwyn Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

Welwyn Race Report – By Alastair Aitken

START FITNESS METROPOLITAN LEAGUE Welwyn Garden City 9/11/19
By Alastair Aitken

Callan Moody, who works in the cardio department of St Peters Chertsey, won the second Met League Mens’ race of the season.

It was over the switchback Stanborough Park course, in the cold drizzle. Seyfu Jamaal, led a large bunch in the first half of the race till, a small group of half a dozen broke away with Abdi Abdulleh, Alex Lepretre, Jeremy Dempsey, Austin Roth and Phil Crout with Moody tucked in behind them. In the last large lap, Alex Lepretre decided to have a go in order to get clear but Moody went with him. Moody, was the faster finisher in the last couple of 100 metres.

Moody was 110th for New Zealand in the World cross county in March but said ‘I was not at my best and the race was brutal” He has PB’s of 29:31 for 10k at Telford and, 65:13 for a half marathon. Tom Aldred, again, was the M40 winner in 9th place and Doug Milsom, wearing a red cap to match his Hillingdon AC colours, was the oldest in the race at, 80. He was 524 of the 526 finishers in 47:46. Highgate Harriers, who have won the league consecutively, for over half a dozen years, were surprised to be knocked down to third at Claybury and, rallied hard. They are now in the overall lead… Their points 2685 to Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 2546; and Woodford Green & Essex ladies 2227. London Heathside led the women’s section and the strongest in the younger age groups appear to be Woodford Green & the Shaftesbury club again.

Elizabeth Janes, was one of the two favourites to win the women’s race; the other being Revee Walcott-Nolan, who was third at Claybury with the first two there not contesting in this one. Janes went ahead of the group of half a dozen, halfway through the last large last lap, which, put daylight between her and Walcott-Nolan. Knowing she had not got a finishing kick and Walcott Nolan had Janes, went for home early as the undulating course was the type of ground she enjoyed… Matt Janes, her husband, a good Bedford runner, was at the very finish, along with Liz Janes three children who are 6; 5 & 2, Despite looking after them she, still managed to get in a good months training.

Nina Griffith., works at the NHS Hospital in East London, in health care management, She improved from 4th at Claybury to third at Welwyn and was pleased with that. Sally Judd was the first W40, in sixteenth place and Deborah Rushman was again the first W50 in 27th of the 239 runners.

In the younger age groups, a particularly noteworthy performance was by the U13 winner Glanleo Stubbs, because, he won at Claybury and all five under 11’ Met league races last year. He is coached by George Harrison. It was also interesting to note Joanne Miranda who won the W5/17 race was in the Shaftesbury team that won silver medals at the recent National cross-country relays at Mansfield. She is at St Michael’s School, North Finchley and coached by Jeremy Sothcott.

Additional comments: –
Alex Lepretre “I quite enjoy cross-country, the adverse weather conditions. I get stuck in and there is a great team atmosphere and I really enjoy that.”
Ben Redland of London Heahside who won both Under 11 Met League race found this competitive with Arthur Phillips of Shaftesbury one second behind him at the finish. Redland “I go to Highgate Primary school. I started last year with London Heathside. Running is my favourite sport although I do play football and my hero is Harry Kane”
Thomas Archer, who is coached by Kabir Kemp of London Heathside “The race had a large group out ahead but I feel they were tiring and I put in my effort with 1k to go. Last year I was unfit and so I did not do better than 8th at Uxbridge after 15th at Welwyn, 15th and was an Under 15 rather than an Under 17. I do swim as well. Regarding running I prefer track, to be honest. For the 1500 I got under 4 minutes last season which I felt was quite good.” (3:58.22 at Watford in June)

Regards Alastair