In an exciting new development, Thames Valley Harriers, one of Britain’s top running clubs, is aiming to get more involved in the local West London Community. As a result there are two exciting new job opportunities.

Development Officer: The role is to develop TVH’s role in the community, increasing the opportunity for residents in West London to participate in athletics.

Pay: £20,000 – £25,000 (depending on experience) pro-rata, based on a 36 hour week.

Role Description: TVH Development Officer 

Gym Supervisor: The role , based in the TVH Clubhouse gym, is to work with TVH members to increase the use the gym facilities.

Pay: £9-11 per hour depending on experience.

Role DescriptionTVH Gym Supervisor

Both jobs are part-time, approximately 17.5 hours a week, initial contract 6 months with possibility of extension for 1 year. We would consider candidates who are qualified to both roles as one job.

Applications should be made to enclosing a covering letter explaining why you are suited to the role and a CV limited to 2 pages. If you have questions you can contact Paul on 07941311726 between 9 am and 6pm.

Closing date: 31 October 2014. Interviews week 10-14 November.


Gold medals for Senior Women at the South of England Cross-Country relays

Gold medal-winning Senior Women at the South of England Cross Country Relays

This Saturday was the South of England Cross-Country relay championships at our home ground on the scrubs. Three complete teams of 3 participated positioning 1st , 6th and 21st out of 26 teams in the competition.

The Thames Valley Harriers ladies once again excelled with every athlete putting 100% effort towards the gold medal and overall fantastic result. The winning team, Sheena Murphy, Kirsty Addy and Lisa Da Silva, maintained 1st position throughout all legs of the race. Sheena, despite having marathon champion Tracy Barlow hot on her heels, held her nerve and ran the 6th fastest women’s leg of the whole field (12:15). She was followed by Kirsty who had an excellent run and finished 5th fastest overall and 1st fastest TVH lady of the day (12:04). Lisa had some work to do to hold off the other teams and maintain 1st but she managed with 13 seconds to spare and was the 10th fastest in the field (12:23).

In the B team Tracy Barlow, despite only 3 weeks since her marathon PB, came home in 2nd place only 16 seconds behind Sheena (12:31). Joanna Mobed (13:18), returning to racing after a small break, kept her cool to  bring the team home in 5th place and handed over to Siana Jones (13:13)who, despite having to correct a small detour!!, returned in 6th place.

 Maire Gorman (14:01) ran the opening leg for the C team, she is working hard to build fitness after a break from training but she still managed to hand over to Frankie Lynch in 16th place. Frankie, running her first ever event for TVH, came back in 20th (18:45) to hand over to Christine Munden who had stepped in at the last minute to complete the team. Christine ran well (20:54) and the team finished 21st  overall.

Championship medal for TVH Girls

TVH Girls’ first Championship Medals since 2002

Championship medal for TVH Girls

SEAA Cross Country Relay Championships, 16th Oct, Wormwood Scrubs

Sadly Kosana Weir had flu after winning last week’s Metropolitan League race and was unable to take part in the South of England cross country relay championships. This did not stop the TVH girls gaining third place in the Under 15 race. The strength in depth of the Valley squad enabled Alice Harray to fill the gap and the girls only to lose out to two very strong teams, Herne Hill and Blackheath. India ran superbly on the first lap and came home with an 11 second lead. Verity Walker then held on to the lead although the margin was reduced to eight seconds. On the last lap, Alice was soon caught by the Herne Hill runner but when Blackheath passed her she was just unable to hold her off and finished very close behind for third place.

The last time TVH girls won South of England medals was at the 2002 championships at Parliament Hill when the Under 17’s also collected bronze. Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait another 12 years for more major championships medals! The depth of the girls was shown when the ‘B’ team finished 17th. With Olivia Olsher taking the first lap having a good run to finish in 14th place. Then Iona Pernthaller carried on the good work to finish 13th Arriving just in time to run the third lap Rosie Vallance had no time to prepare before her run and naturally was disappointed with her 17th place. The third team of Rose Barkle and Sarah Goodhart was then incomplete due to the runners moving up to fill Kosana’s place and they finished their laps in 32nd and 31st positions.

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Young Athletes dominate at the Met League

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.

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Met League Match 1: inaugural fixture of TVH’s 2014-2015 cross-country season

TVH Ladies compete at the first cross country fixture of the season.
TVH Ladies compete at the first cross country fixture of the season.

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!!!”.

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Young Athletes compete at the National Road Relays

Charlotte nat RR 14

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.

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TVH Ladies place 23rd at National Road Relays

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!

Ladies National Road Relay Team (Kirsty, Lisa, Siana and Imogen)
Ladies National Road Relay Team (Kirsty, Lisa, Siana and Imogen)

Full results can be found here:

Clive Thomas (1947 – 2014)

Clive Thomas (1947 – 2014)

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.

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