It was another glorious day for cross country as the sun shone down on the Valley men’s team to inspire them to 3rd place in the Liddiard Trophy and 5th place in the North of the Thames cross country championships at Fryent Park on Saturday.
The TVH men once again showed good numbers with a 10 man team competing against a total of 8 other teams and 132 finishing athletes in the race.
The Liddiard Trophy race has long been held at Fryent Park in Kingsbury, near Wembley, and hosted by Queens Park Harriers, though this year it was once again joined by the North of the Thames Cross Country Champs, with both races being run together as one race. Continue reading →
Another day of mild autumn weather and a home course around the Scrubs ensured good numbers for the Valley men, enabling them to finish 4 teams with the first team home in 9th place in Saturday’s Southern Cross Country Relay championships.
Two years ago the TVH girls were dominant in the Under 13 age group races. Now they seem to be doing it again in the under 15/17 age group. In the first fixture of the season at Woodford we had four of the first five finishers. This time it was Kosana Weir who came home first, beating sister India into second place. Knowing that her sister wasn’t feeling 100 per cent, she took the rare chance of beating her with both ‘feet’. Close behind came Verity Walker who had suffered a bad day the week previous at the national Road Relays. Another sufferer from last week, Alice Harray also came good on the day with her fourth place. Next home was Rose Barkle who is a year younger than the girls in front. She finished 20th. New members Dana Jabre who finished 26th and Ashleigh Harewood 44th, both had their first outing for the club.
In the under 13 girls race Charlotte Buckley led from start to finish to repeat her win of last year. This time she won by 32 seconds. Philippine Poupart-Lafarge had a useful start to her cross country career when finishing a very good 12th. Behind her, Charlotte Cooney-Quinn had a steady run to finish 27th and bring the team home in 3rd place.
Despite the change in weather from Indian Summer at the beginning of the week, a drop in temperature, and waves of showers coming through the past 3 days, it turned into a lovely mild autumn day for the first Met League race at Claybury. And although the clouds loomed ominously for a while, the sun came out for the senior races and graciously shone for the rest of the afternoon. The rain of the previous days left sparkling droplets on the grass, and a little veneer of mud on the first breakneck decent, but otherwise the going was firm and fast throughout.
The women started with a very short lap, followed by two full long loops out to the short, sharp and very steep climb into the woods at the far end. Imogen Simmonds ran an excellent race finishing 15th in a close packed field, followed by Siana Jones running solidly at 35, and Maire Gorman taking a steady pace at 62. Lauren Morris at 73 had been level pegging with Jess Bass until the hills of the latter stages took their toll and Jess came in just over 30 seconds later at 83, and a further 2 minutes later Lizzy Sisley at 115. Christine Munden found the going very hard, but slogged it out to finish at 169. The team finished 7th overall with 108 points, in division 1.
In the men’s race, of a full three laps, the start proved challenging as ever. Funnelling rapidly as it does when the path drops some 50m after the start, a section of the field seemed loth to run over the unmown part of the meadow with its 1ft high grass and sprinkling of weeds and thistles, and to the surprise of the runners behind came to a grinding halt, “Come on guys, this is CROSS COUNTRY after all!!!”.
Sutton Park was at its best for the National Road Relay Championships on Sunday. Expectations were high for the Thames Valley young athletes with teams in all the girls races and under 15 and under 17 boys events. After running the fastest lap in the Southern Relay, Charlotte Buckley was hoping to improve on her 10th fastest under 13 lap last year. With 57 girls competing on the first lap of the 3.8km course it took Charlotte about 1k to get to the front. She then broke away from the opposition to win the first stage of the race by seven seconds. Her time of 14:06 won her the medal for the fastest lap. Naturally Freja Schaap was unable to hold this position but didn’t panic and did incredibly well to only drop back to 11th. Zakia Mossi came to the club’s rescue to make up the team at the last moment. She only had her 11th birthday in September and had never run more than 1500m in a race. After winning the Ealing Schools cross country race on Thursday she was keen to give it a go. She only dropped back to 24th out of the 49 finishing teams and we were all well pleased.
The ladies middle distance quartet of Kirsty Addy, Imogen Simmonds, Lisa da Silva and Siana Jones took to the paths of Sutton Park on Saturday, to compete in the English National Road Relays. The weather was grim but this did not put a dampner on the team spirit – the new team tent also helped. Kirsty kicked things off on the highly competitive opening leg and ran to form to bring the team back in 27th place in a personal best time of 15:40 over the 2.69 mile course – it’s great seeing Kirsty improving with every race having overcome her injury troubles from last year. Next off was course debuant Imogen who also had a cracking run to pick up three places (16:12) – Imogen is another new up and coming talent. On the third leg was team manager Lisa da Silva who fought all the way round and picked up yet another place (16:03). Siana, who had been promoted to the A team following a strong run at the South of England Road Relays, smashed her previous best around the course, to clock 17:07 and crossed the line in 23rd place out of 60 teams. Understandably, it was smiles all round from the team!
TVH is sad to report the death of Clive Thomas on Sunday 21st September at the age of 67. Clive would have been a member of TVH for 45 years on the 4th October 2014.
For 10 or more years, Clive Thomas contributed to TVH’s successes on road and country. Despite the fact that he regularly competed in the Welsh cross-country championships, qualifying for the Welsh team at the IAAF World Cross-country championships on 6 occasions, he still found time to run for the championship winning Valley teams at the Southern Cross-country championships in 1975 and 1978, and was regularly to be found in the top 100 in the National Cross-country. Doubtless, if Clive had run for Middlesex rather than Surrey, TVH would have had an even more impressive record at the Middlesex cross-country championships. He was also consistently one of our leading performers at both the Southern and National 12 Stage relays throughout the 70s. He also performed for Valley in British League competitions covering 800m, 1500m, 5,000m and 3,000m Steeplechase and it was at the last of these that he received his only GB vest in 1975 in a match against France.
The annual Middlesex 10k Road Championships took place at Victoria Park on Saturday and in a close race Valley’s Mo Aadan finished 3rd in the men’s race and 2nd in the Middlesex Champs, while the TVH men’s team finished just outside the Middlesex team medals in 4th place.