Thames Valley Harriers had two athletes competing at the Wales Athletics international match held at the indoor stadium in Cardiff and both set new club records.
The North West London race at Harrow, although fairly flat was its usual muddy event at this time of year. Most of the TVH runners were well prepared with tape round their shoes to keep them on. In the under 11 girls race Lily Dafter followed up her good Southern under 13 performance with her best result of the season when she finished fourth. Also running well, Mabel Salkeld had a good run to finish 18th out of 32. In the boys under 11 race Alfie Turner was outwitted by a Shaftesbury boy who opened up a gap at the halfway point and although Alfie chased him he was beaten by five seconds. Also in that race, Charlie Rollo was a good 15th, Otto Huber just beat Ben Moon as they came in 25th and 26th.
Thames Valley Harriers ladies track and field club captain, Zoey Clark, smashed TVH’s 400m club record with another outstanding performance in Vienna on Saturday 30th January. Having beaten Amber Simukonda’s (TVH’s last Olympian at London 2012) old 400m indoor record the previous weekend in France by over a second when running 53.71, Zoey went even quicker with fantastic run of 53.02!
Zoey is now fifth on the Scottish all-time best performers list. Her new lifetime best time is just 0.02 seconds outside the standard required to be considered for a place on the Great Britain team for the world indoor championships to be held in Portland, Oregon in late March.
Zoey will be competing again next at the British championships and world trials at Sheffield later this month when she will attempt to secure one of two available individual places for Portland or at least a place on the relay squad. Fellow TVH 400m runner, Montene Speight, will also be looking for a spot in the relay squad having recently run personal best times indoors for the 200m and 800m. There are other TVH athletes to look out for on the podium in Sheffield including triple jumper Angela Barrett and new member, long jumper, Lorraine Ugen.
Parliament Hill Fields was back to its testing best for the South of England Championships; cold, windy, muddy and (of course) hilly, it was altogether much tougher conditions than for the shorter races at the London Youth Games in November.
It was clear blue sky and hard frost underfoot on the Saturday morning up at the Scrubs. Maybe, just maybe this time it would be firm going at Horsenden Hill? Ah no, by the afternoon it was very muddy as it usually is and made for hard going all the way around, although in some of the shadier parts of the course, a scrunch as the foot sunk deep in the mud revealed how cold it still was underfoot.