Kids on Track sessions resuming-places limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

Thames Valley Harriers Kids on Track, Autumn term 2015

Starting Saturday 5th September

Registration starts at 9:20AM

Athletics sessions for 8 – 11yr olds

A great way for your child to try a variety of athletics events, from jumps to throws to sprints.

Linford Christie Stadium, Saturdays, 9:30 – 10:30AM

Places are limited to 25 per session and can be booked in 6 weeks blocks with the first block starting on Sat 5th September.

To secure a place please email with your child’s name, D.O.B, home address, your contact details and any medical conditions we need to know about.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

TVH to Represent GB following UK Women’s League Win

What was a dream a few years ago, has become reality Thames Valley Harriers have become the Champions of the UK Women’s Athletics League, and are the first club from the South of England to win this very prestigious title! TVH women’s team are officially the best in the UK and will now go on to be Great Britain’s representative in the European Club Champions Cup in 2016. What a fantastic achievement!

There were five amazing club records, four A string wins, eight B string wins and eight PB’s as TVH dominated the final UKWAL match of the season. We were undefeated in all three matches and won this last match by a whopping 39 points. TVH have shown a fantastic team spirit all season and huge strength and depth.- Everyone at TVH should be very proud of this outstanding team!

The first event of the track, the 400m hurdles, TVH got off to a tremendous start. GB heptathlete, Jess Tappin, fresh from her England/Inter-Counties title the previous weekend over the 400m hurdles showed her class again. Jess had a very strong run against GB U23 international and 400m hurdles specialist, Shona Richards to finish a great 2nd in 59.21. Lucy Ferguson started the TVH victories rolling in the B string 400m hurdles, ending the season unbeaten at the 400m hurdles in the UKWAL. Up to this season Lucy was a 100m hurdles specialist but has now moved up to the 400m. It has been Lucy’s strength over the last 100m all season that has allowed her to snatch victories and it was the same in Eton where she set a new life time best of 62.10. Lucy for starting the run of 1st places and TVH’s dominance was awarded the TVH Track Athlete of the Match. Less than one hour after her 400m hurdles victory, Lucy was back on the track in the 400m flat demonstrating her grit and determination to finish strongly in 6th place in a very competitive field with a season’s best time of 60.04.

Lucy Eton

The sprint hurdles saw Angelita Broadbelt-Blake, who has been suffering with a back injury in the last few weeks, put in another exceptional performance for the team. Angelita was rewarded with a 2nd place finish behind another GB International Serita Solomon with 13.93 – a great time considering her injury did not allow her to push off the hurdles as she would like. Jess Tappin was unexpectedly back on the track in the 100m B string after she happily agreed on the day to run an additional event and was rewarded with her first victory in the UKWAL Premier division and a pleasing SB with her first sub 14s run of the season (13.94).

In the field, TVH’s horizontal jumps combination was Angela Barrett and Lia Stephenson. As usual, the long jump saw some very good points got to the TVH ladies. The ever reliable club stalwart, Angela Barrett, leaped a very good 5.74m to finish 3rd in the A string. Lia Stephenson in her first ever long jump competition in the UKWAL did very well to also finish 3rd. Angela and Lia confirmed the triple jump as TVH’s top points scoring event with a fantastic double victory. Angela was experimenting new techniques as the wind kept changing speeds and directions on the back straight and pulled out a tremendous 12.97m hop, step and jump to win the A string. Lia was not too far behind and claimed maximum points in the B string with a fantastic 12.33m.

In the vertical jumps; the high jump saw Ella Widdop-Gray with a first time clearance of 1.65m to earn her 3rd place. Ella is still only 18 years old and we all look forward to seeing her progress next year. It was great to have ever enthusiastic Anne Rees back in the team. Anne cleared a solid 3.10m for 7th place in the A string pole vault and helped by giving advice to Aeysha Robinson who was close to her best with 2.70m as a guest. Anne scored even more points in the high jump with a great 3rd place with 1.50m in her first high jump competition of the season. TVH’s number one pole vaulter, Shannon Connelly, had a terribly long car journey from Canvey Island due to various traffic problems on route. A journey that should take one hour took more than three resulting in Shannon having no time to warm up. Shannon still valiantly attempted the opening height of 3.30m but unfortunately failed to clear a height for the first time – Shannon is having a fantastic season having already improver her PB by 30cm this year and at this rate she will soon be a 4.00m pole vaulter.

The throwers found the very hot conditions quite tough. Danielle Opara rose well to the occasion in the hammer to be rewarded with a new life time best of 43.15m in the A string. Carla Letheby was a slightly little below her recent good form with 39.43m but finished a good 3rd place in the B string. It was a very close call on who was going to be the scoring B string discus thrower between Carla and Danielle, but this time the honours when to Danielle. Danielle had a good competition to finish 2nd with 38.71. Carla who only had three throws as she was competing as a guest had another good discus competition to pip Danielle with 38.98m.

Laura Britane who had been unwell all week was determined to still compete, Laura did very well to finish 5th in the A string discus (41.42) and 4th in the A string javelin (41.67m SB). Olga Kotmilosi backed Laura up very well in the javelin with 39.16m to claim a fantastic victory in the B string. Having just arrived back from university in America, Lucy Knott also joined in TVH team effort as a guest in the javelin with a good throw of 33.85m.

In the shot putt, the athletes not only had to contend with the heat but also a very slippery newly laid circle. Danielle Opara who last week set a new club record at the Inter-counties match coped well with the conditions to place 4th in the A string with 13.16m. Phyllis Agbo was another athlete to get stuck in traffic and only just arrived in time for the shot putt. Without a warm up she still did remarkably well to go over 12m for the first time this season (12.07m) to finish 3rd in the B string. TVH also fielded a guest in the shot putt, Abigail Moronkeji, who is very popular amongst the team and has been competing for the club for a long time. Abigail’s 11.38m throw would have also placed her 3rd in the B string had Phyllis not have arrived on time. TVH Field Athlete of the Match went to Danielle Opara for her great efforts in being out in the hot sun and still doing so well in all three of her events; the hammer, discus and shot.

Back on the track the first middle distance event produced the first club record of the day. Michaela Mayor has been after this record all season and finally got it with 2:09.60 for a great 4th place in a very classy field. In the B string, Izzy Dye ran another very good tactical race and had an exciting sprint finish with the four athletes around her. She came home in an excellent 2nd place in 2:13.77. The ever present Michaela/Izzy combination has transformed the 800m from being one of our weaker events last year to one of our best scoring events this year.

Fiona Thompson again ran the 3000m/1500m double and produced two more fantastic performances in closely fought races. Conditions seem to suit the 3000m athletes. Fiona ran a brilliant six second PB for a superb 3rd place in the A string with 9:43.77. Marathon specialist, Tracy Barlow, also went with the pace in the leading group and was rewarded with an impressive 18 seconds PB to score maximum points for the team in the B string in a great time of 9:53.18. TVH’s only debutant in the UKWAL for this match was BUCS 10,000m silver medallist this year, Sarah Johnson, who was competing as a guest in the 3000m. Sarah who is part of the TVH middle distance training group showed a good return to form after recent injuries injury by running a SB of 10:20.13. Fiona Thompson was joined by Michaela Mayor in the 1500m and bravely took on the pace. Michaela tried to hold on to the lead group and both ran very good races. Fiona narrowly missed out on victory, but was rewarded with an eight second SB (4:35.12) and closely behind, Michaela, won the B string with 4:39.51.

GB triathlete, Lucy Smith, who had been giving sports massages to the team all day, dug deep into her energy reserves in only her second ever 2000m steeplechase to win the B string in a very good time of 7.35.30, which would have placed her 3rd in the A string. It was a very welcome return to the team from Sheena Allport who has been away in Canada for most of the summer and unable to do as much training as she would like. Sheena however is a complete natural at the event and decided to run away from the field with 600m to go, slicing a second off the club record with a time of 7:18.93 to win the A string.

In the 100m; Clieo Stepheson, who has been ever present in the UKWAL this season had another very close race. Clieo ran a very good 12.15 into a 2.2 headwind for 4th place in the A string. Returning back to the team was Tayla Brade who missed the last match due to the English Schools Championships and a hamstring injury that has been troubling her all season. Tayla showed a great return to form with her quick start out of the blocks and held on well to nearly match Clieo’s time from the A string race to finish 3rd in the B string with 12.18.

The team were delighted to have Captain Zoey Clark back in the team after her relay gold medal for GB in the European Juniors U23 Championships. Zoey showed her class in her specialist event, 400m.Coming off the final bend Zoey was in 3rd place but in the last 100m she powered through the field to win by nearly half a second in 53.37. Less than 45 minutes later Zoey was back on the track in the 200m where she had another great race despite having some very tired legs from her earlier 400m. Zoey sprinted home to a club record time of 24.15 into a slight head win, but it was only good enough for 4th place as the three athletes ahead were all fresh. Indeed there are all part of the GB squad for the World Championships later this month, and included Dina Asher-Smith who ran a very impressive league record of 22.72 to win the race.

With our sprinters doing so well in their individual events the team were looking forward the final events on the track, the relays. The 4x100m relay team of Tayla Brade, Izzie Stanway (who had a bad back all week but did not want to let the team down so still raced), Clieo Stephenson and Jess Tappin showed everyone what a great team the TVH ladies have turned into with an excellent 3rd place breaking their old club record by over a second from the last match. Their new club record is a fast time of 46.37.

4x100m Eton1

The final event of the day, the 4x400m, comprised the quartet of Angela Barrett (58.6), Angelita Broadbelt-Blake (56.8), Jess Tappin (55.8) and Zoey Clark (53.5) who all had tired legs after their multiple events. It was a very exciting race with some of the other clubs putting their best runners on leg one. Triple jumper Angela still came home in a strong 3rd place. Next off was hurdler Angelita who also had a great leg to overtake one of the teams and put us up in 2nd place. Jess produced the goods and overtook the Windsor athlete with a strong finish putting TVH into the lead. In the unusual position of taking over in first place, Zoey, was never going let the lead slip as she powered down the home straight to secure an amazing four second club record of 3:43.9. 4x400mEton

For her fantastic five events which included three wins, two club records and a 2nd place, top points scorer, Jess Tappin was awarded the TVH Club Athlete of the Match for her heroic contribution to the team.

This is hands down TVH’s best ever day in the short history of the Women’s team. The awful weather in May blew our hammer cage down and our chance to win the title at Linford Christie Stadium, but the TVH volunteers all did well to host this match away from home. A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this day run so smoothly, especially TVH’s meetings organiser – Maire Gorman, the results and announcements team – Lisa da Silva, Tony Taylor, John Husbands and Gaynor Pullin, the officials Marion Huffer (who was up late the night before making all the packed lunches for the officials), Alan Ferguson, Allister Murdoch, Barry Saunders, Bob Densely, Dave Huffer, Geoff Hawes, Graham Bentley, Mick Lyons, Peter Davies, Roger Fitzgerald, Roy Clarridge, Terry Letheby and Wendy Leatheby. A very special mention to former team manager John Smith for all the help and advice he has given to the team and I over the last couple of years, and to Amber Simukonda and Dave Wilkinson who have helped with team management this season. It really is a huge team effort and days like Saturday make us all proud to be a member of TVH!

Match Result Team League Points Match Points
1st Thames Valley Harriers 8 240.0
2nd Windsor, Slough E & H 7 201.0
3rd Birchfield Harriers 6 196.0
4th Edinburgh AC 5 184.5
5th Swansea Harriers 4 165.5
6th Woodford Green with EL 3 154.0
7th Blackheath & Bromley 2 153.5
8th Enfield & Haringey 1 130.0

Standings Team League Points Match Points
1st Thames Valley Harriers 24 699.8
2nd Windsor, Slough E & H 20 608.8
3rd Birchfield Harriers 17 608.1
4th Edinburgh AC 14 558.3
5th Swansea Harriers 11 498.6
6th Enfield & Haringey 8 438.8
7th Woodford Green with EL 8 431.5
8th Blackheath & Bromley 6 425.1

TVH Men Win British League Division 2

Thames Valley Harriers – Fourth British League Match, Kingston, 8 August 2015 Match Report


Days like today don’t come around too often and a great win today over rivals Harrow was exceeded only by the news that the Womens’ team had won their final match in the UK Womens League Premier Division, thereby finishing the season as Champions and they now look forward to representing UK in the European Clubs Championship next season.


With a team that was missing only a few first team members Paul Oppe was confident of having a ding-dong battle with Harrow for the Division 2 Title as promotion was virtually certain as a result of our early season performance and the win at Derby.


Despite the fact that the Men’s team normally start slowly (we have started in 7th or 8th place in matches this season where we have eventually won or finished second) the day started well. With a small lead after 4 events we only slipped down into 2nd place once and briefly before forging ahead to win by 20 points from arch-rivals Harrow who also gained promotion to Division 1; but it was the Valley who walked away from the season as Division 2 Champions.


The team spirit that was generated at the away match in Derby rolled over into today’s action and again everyone was out there supporting team mates throughout the day.


Man of the match on the Track was Mohamud Aadan, whose fine 3000m capped a season of 3 other victories over the 4 matches.


Man of the match in the field was Ogo Anochirionye whose 7.16m was a lifetime best as he finished 2nd in the Long Jump.


The clubman of the match was again Jason Comissiong who has been a key member of the British League team for many years as a sprinter in his own right. Today Jason again demonstrated his versatility and ability by running a lifetime best of 15.39 for the 110m hurdles. Jason also threw a near pb in the Javelin with 49.43m, having already run 10.95 for a season’s best in the non-scoring 100m before anchoring the 4x100m team. Not a bad day’s work!


On the track Leroy Cain made a successful return to the team. Although a bit race-rusty he ran a creditable 10.88 for 3rd in the A 100m race. Nigel Thomas also returned to the team having had an unsettled season but showed great power as he simply ran away from the field in the 100m B race to record 10.86 and win by over 3 metres.


Luke Lennon-Ford won the 400m A race in an impressive 48.5 with training partner Omar Hutchison gaining 4th in the B race in 51.08. Unfortunately Luke has been suffering with a shin problem and was not able to double up in the 200m as planned, which was only 25 minutes after the 400m but with ice and some strapping he bravely returned to the team to run a powerful leg in the 4x400m. We are very lucky to have had Luke as part of the Valley set-up this season as his commitment and enthusiasm has been an example to the younger members of the club.


Fortunately, Paul Oppe had had the foresight to have a number of athletes here on the day to run just relays legs and we were able to get Andrew Ajube to step in for Luke Lennon-Ford in the 200m A race and with short notice his 23.28 for 4th was a valuable points earner at a critical point in the match. Nigel Thomas ran a season’s best of 22.40 in the 200m B race for 3rd place.


Paskar Owor again ran the 800m/1500m double and produced two more performances that demonstrated his grit and determination. In a slow run 800m A race he was just short on pace as he was unable to make best use of his strength and endurance but fought hard to gain 4th place in 1:55.28. Mohammed Mohammed made a welcome return to the team following injury problems and his 1:56.54 for 3rd in the B race showed he is well on the path to return to full form.


Paskar Owor ran tenaciously to overhaul everyone but the winner in the 1500m race but as the winner was Myles Edwards, Paskar was rewarded with a B string win in 3:56.6. Myles has had a few problems mid-season with the pressures of his workload and his Charity work that caused a sudden loss of form mid-season. Happily Myles returned to the team today refreshed and looked majestic as he ran in a tactically aware manner throughout the race. The leader had kicked hard with 300m to go but Myles cruised up to his shoulder with 200m to go, kicked once and then kicked again with 100m to go to pull away from the whole field to win in 3:55.32 with club mate Paskar Owor just a second behind.


Mohamud Aaden looked strong and smooth as he led much of the race in the 3000m but found 2 fast finishers too much to hold in the final 200m. However, his 8:20.67 was still a fine performance and only 2 seconds outside his outdoor best. In the B race Chris Smith returned to the track having established himself as a Mountain Runner of the highest calibre. He produced a fine show of pace that will stand him in good stead for his upcoming international Mountain race in Wales. He was second in 8:34.28, which was a lifetime best by 0.01 seconds over his previous best time set back in 2008.


With Panos Bekiardis unavailable Jason Comissiong ran the A string 110m hurdles and, despite not training for the event, produced a lifetime best of 15.39 to snatch 3rd place. His start and first 3 hurdles were ungainly but as he reached top speed his momentum carried him through the field and he closed to within a stride or 2 of the 2nd placer. Casper Donnison ran 19.68 for a near pb in the B event and at 6’4” he is built for the event. With a little technique work could take 2 seconds or more from that time.


The 400m hurdles saw another great performance from Chris McAlister who seems to be able to run sub 53 seconds at will these days. Unfortunately, he was just pipped today in a desperately close race. With a handful of lifetime best performances this season Chris had established himself as a championship performer and with another good winter behind him is sure to take further chunks off his best time and climb from his current 26th place towards the top of the national rankings.


Casper Donnison looked impressive for the first 6 hurdles but his lack of technique meant unbalanced landings and he just lost out in a 3-way race for 4th, finishing in 60.93 for 6th. Again with a winter of technique work and speed endurance Casper can knock seconds from his pb next season.


Antonio Silva made an unexpected appearance in the 3000m steeplechase. Better known in the Valley as a class 3000m/5000m/10000m runner he started at a blistering pace and was clear of the field after 200m by a good 20 metres. Anyone else doing this might have raised concerns but we know how good Antonio is and he simply continued to run away from the chasing pack, eventually winning by 24 seconds in 9:30.6. Antonio has shown himself to be a talented and gritty competitor and we look forward to seeing how he makes his mark over the country and road this winter.


Andrew Mitchell came along to Kingston to support the team and hopefully witness the Valley winning the Division and returning to Division 1. That was before Paul Oppe spotted him and asked him to run the 3000m steeplechase to replace Andrew Hennessy, who had had to withdraw. “Well, yes, OK” was the reply and Andrew proceeded to make his debut as a British League team member and as a steeplechaser. He needn’t have worried as he started steadily and worked his way through the back markers to finish a creditable 4th in the B race in 11:12.7. “ I can’t say I enjoyed that” said Andrew afterwards but added “but I enjoyed having done it”. Another example of the willingness of Valley men to step up to the mark when required; Andrew earned 6 points and we only won by 20!!


The field events again produced outstanding performances from each end of the age spectrum from 15 year-old High Jumper Toni Ademuwagan to club stalwart 51 year-old Steve Whyte. Steve produced a season’s best of 51.54m to finish 3rd in the A string Hammer, handily beating rivals Harrow and Kingston Poly. Steve is now off to Lyon to represent UK in the World Masters Championships in the Throws Pentathlon where he is World Record Holder in the 50+ age group. However, this was not before Steve had also grabbed 5th place in the A String in 39.52m and 5th in the A String Shot with 11.95m. If you add to this to the fact that he has also swum the English Channel and thrown internationally for Scotland you can see what an impressive athlete he is!

Steve was backed up by training partner Dave Burrell, whose 41.34m Hammer earned him 3rd in the B event, and his 35.04m Discus also saw him in 3rd place. Both performance were close to his season’s best and as a coach to son Jamie Potton-Burrell and others were are fortunate to be able to call on Dave to make time in his busy schedule.


With Jon Harvey missing with achilles problems, Jason Comissiong threw a near-pb of 49.43m to take 4th in the Javelin and Dawid Jerzykowski briefly held a new pb as his 44.90m distance was initially recorded as 54.90m. Dawid quickly corrected the officials but his 44.90m, whilst below his best of the season, was still good enough to earn him 3rd place in the B Javelin event.


As previously mentioned Ogo Anochirionye jumped a lifetime best of 7.16m to grab second in the Long Jump. Ogo has jumped consistently all season and has been rewarded with jumping outdoor PBs three times this year. Joe Steele was just short of 7m with 6.98m to win the B event. Joe has had a long battle back from injury and, having jumped an encouraging 7.21m in the Derby match was just a bit flat having just started training full out with a view to the 2016 season. We wish Joe good luck over the winter and hope that he can start to fulfil his immense talent next season.


Ever consistent, Nav Childs earned 2nd place in the Triple Jump A string event with 14.11m on a day that saw all jumpers suffer in the hot and humid conditions and he was well supported by Stephen Edwards , whose 13.72m won him the B event by 2cm.

With Greg Conlon in Lyon for the World Masters Championships (and jumping and amazing 4.50m) the Pole Vault saw the debut into the British League team for Erik Troop. Erik jumped 4.03m for an outdoor pb to finish 5th in the A event, and, with ever reliable Stan Vilga jumping 3.43m for 4th in the B event we earned good and valuable points in an event where we have struggled in recent years.


Michael Adenkule reached a season’s best of 1.88m to finish 5th in the High Jump A string, which brings us to the lower end of the age groups with 15 year-old Toni Ademuwagan making his British League debut. As a new member to the club and a young athlete Toni has made dramatic progress over the summer and has raised his lifetime best from 1.65m last year successively to 1.80m before today. On the day Toni stepped up to the mark and, against senior competition, jumped a new lifetime best of 1.83m to gain 3rd place in the B string event. Toni is a quiet and likeable young man and clearly very a talented jumper. With Michael continuing to improve his performance and with Toni jumping 1.83m as an U17, and U15 Tiger Brewer jumping 1.79m the future for the High Jump in the club is starting to look promising.


The 4x100m team saw injury withdrawals from Nigel Thomas and Leroy Cain but with Lumar Sylvestre available and back on the road to recovery and training partner, the ever reliable Chakka Maillot, stepping in to join Ogo Anochirionye and Jason Comissiong we not only got the baton safely round but minimised the loss to 2 points on Harrow who fancied their chances to win this event and close the gap on us. Having not run together as a team this was a good performance with a flying anchor leg from Jason Comissiong that saw him rip through the middle of the field to snatch 3rd place and close out a fantastic day at the office.


The 4x400m was again a very exciting race that saw Andrew Ajube run a great opening leg of 50.6 and handing on to Luke Lennon_Ford who, despite running with a painful shin injury , brought the club home in the lead with a 48.6 split and handing on to Omar Hutchinson who held the lead with a 49.6 second split (1.5 seconds faster than his earlier individual run). Chris McAlister took over a slender lead from Theo Campbell of Bristol who had a point to prove having been disqualified for a false start in the individual 400m race. At about 6’4” he towered over Chris and it looked all over as he strode into the lead by 200m and most thought he was cruising to victory. Nobody told Chris any of that and he started to fight back with 150m to go and, with the whole Valley team screaming support, he continued to inch closer as the line approached but just ran out of track as he closed to within 0.2 seconds of the flagging Bristol runner to clock an impressive 49.0 seconds split to seal the match and the Divisional Championship.


For once Team Manager, Paul Oppe, was happy to have an early bath as the team carried him ceremonially around the track before dumping him unceremoniously into the water jump in accordance with tradition.


Once towelled down afterwards Paul Oppe said “Wow, what a season! We had our ups and down over the course of the summer but we have a great group of guys and I was always able to call on willing volunteers to step up to the plate when we had a gap. With the talent that we have in the club we were always too strong for this Division and with this team we are strong enough to gain promotion next year to the Premier Division where we belong! I must thank the whole management team for their help and support over the season. Like the athletes, we work as a team and we‘ve all had a fantastic year. Now I’m going for a pint and a long rest!!”



Peter Browne

8 August 2015

Tracy Barlow wins England marathon call-up

Belated congratulations to Tracy Barlow for her selection to the England Athletics team for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on 18th October. Tracy’s great sub-2:40 performance in the London Marathon in April – which ranks her up at 7th fastest in the UK this year – won her a place on the team alongside Jenny Spink of Bristol & West and Eleanor Davis of Newquay. England Athletics sees the Toronto race as  a key development opportunity heading towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games team.