It was an exciting end to the Met League season as events unfolded in the 5th and final race at Alexandra Palace on Saturday February 11th. Both TVH senior teams experienced the agony and the ecstasy of racing. The ecstasy was experienced by the ladies team, that celebrated finishing 2nd in Division 2 to win promotion to Division 1 next season. While the TVH men suffered the agony of coming so close to a 2nd place finish in men’s Division 2, as they eventually finished the season in 4th place, just 51 points away from 2nd place and promotion. Both teams deserve praise for how well they performed on the day and it was only a very small margin that denied the men’s team joining the ladies team in Division 1 next season.
As last year, the weather was atrocious at the final Start Fitness Met League at Alexandra Park of the season. In addition to the hill, athletes were faced with flurries of snow and freezing temperatures.
With half term absentees there was a remarkable turn-out of young TVH athletes. The boys did particularly well by finishing second team in the under 11 race and fourth team in the under 13’s.
Kosana Weir won the under 15g/U17w race after a tremendous tussel with another twin from Woodford Green. It was only in the last 20 metres that she managed to sprint away. Behind her, Melina Duer was also having a great run for her seventh place. With Lilly Salkeld finishing 30th they finished fourth team on the day and were second best team in the overall league.
TVH Chairman, Tim Dye, has confirmed that the club has been holding early stage discussions with QPR and Hammersmith & Fulham council about the possibility of building a new multi-sport facility on the site of the current Linford Christie Stadium. This would incorporate both a new football ground for QPR and a new athletics and community sports facility next to it.
The best TVH performance at the Southern Championships came from out Under 17 Women’s team. Led home by Kosana Weir in 17th place who missed this race last year. This was a great performance against some of the best women in her age group in the south of England. In 34th place India Weir was unfortunately one place down on her last year’s 33rd position but was 28 seconds faster. Next home for the Valley was Isabelle Ellis having her best race of the winter and finishing 83rd. Not far behind her, Verity Walker found the going hard but still got inside the first 100 runners with her 97th place. With no other TVH runners it was good to at least have a complete team who finished in seventh place overall.
The South of England cross-country championships were held at Parliament hill this weekend. The rain stayed away and the ground, relative to previous years, was fairly firm. There were 571 ladies on the course and 63 complete teams. Eight TVH ladies completed the course and the first 4 scored to bring the team home in 9th position.
Lucy Smith was the first TVH lady to finish in 45th position. Lucy, despite suffering from a cold at this race, appears to be continually improving now she is able to train again, it will be great to see her racing at the nationals next month when she is truly back on form. Fiona Thompson was next to finish, only a few places behind Lucy in 56th. After taking some time out due to injury, it was great to have Fiona back in the team. Stephanie Ainley finished 65th and Chloe Beckett completed the scoring team in 115th. Stephanie and Chloe are having excellent first cross-country seasons in the senior ladies TVH team, both appear to be getting stronger and faster with every race.
Lauren Morris has also improved her performance through this season, she took on the mud in her usual determined spirit this week and finished 252nd. Barbara Maddison, looking good on the hills, finished 471st, just in front of Kirstie Tew (492nd) who was looking relaxed after also having completed the Parkrun earlier in the day. Charlie Le Rougetel, racing for the first time at Parliament Hill, finished 513th. Charlie steadily worked her way through this tough course which is longer, muddier and definitely more hilly than her usual course on the Wormwood scrubs.