Attend the AGM

TVH’s Annual General Meeting of Members at the TVH Club House, within the Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre, Wormwood Scrubs, on Monday 25th April 2016 at 7.30pm. You are encouraged to attend, as the successful running of the Club depends on members becoming involved. If you are interested in standing for any of the Committee posts and would like to discuss this first, please contact John Husbands (jhusbands@sky.com).

8 Gold, 9 Silver and 7 Bronze Medals at the Middlesex Indoors

TVH won 8 Gold, 9 Silver and 7 Bronze medals at the Middlesex Indoor Championships over the weekend of 19th and 20th March at Lee Valley. There were many good performances and life time best times and distances including a new personal best from Keano-Elliott Paris-Samuel (pictured) in the U20 men 60m 7.09 as he ran the same time as Jordan Francis who claimed the bronze medal. The U17 ladies 200m saw a 1,2,3 for TVH with Hannah Hall, Alanah Duberry and Erika Yeboah.

Keano double silver and PBs

TVH’s medallists:
Sharni Raymond Bronze 60m SW 8.63
Brittany Robinson Silver 60m U20W 7.93
Erika Yeboah Gold 60m U17W 7.83
Hannah Hall Silver 60m U17W 7.98
Subomi Onanuga Bronze 60m SM 7.00
Keano-Elliott Paris-Samuel Silver 60m U20M 7.09 PB
Jordan Francis Bronze 60m U20M 7.09
Keano-Elliott Paris-Samuel Silver 200m U20M 22.90
Kamal Mitchell Bronze 200m U20M 23.10
Brittany Robinson Gold 200m U20W 26.10
Hannah Hall Gold 200m U17W 25.93
Alanah Duberry Silver 200m U17W 26.63 PB
Erika Yeboah Bronze 200m U17W 26.65
Malachi Boyce Bronze 200m U20M 24.40
Jaye Haley Gold 300m U17W 44.27 PB
Sherique Rudduck Silver 400m U20W 67.33
Malachi Boyce Gold 400m U20M 54.50
Isabel Dye Gold 800m U20W 2:12.31
Tuilelaith Kehoe Silver 60m Hurdles U15W 11.25 PB
Odell Okwuosa Gold Long Jump U20M 6.18m
Daniel Tagoe Silver Long Jump SM 2.62m
Odell Okwuosa Gold Triple Jump U20M 12.51m
Joel Bright-Davies Bronze Triple Jump U20M 12.20m
Jahreem Charles Silver Shot Putt U15M 10.35m

Ron Hopcroft 27th February 1918 – 17th March 2016

Thames Valley Harriers club legend Ron Hopcroft has died at the age of 98.

Ron served the club as a formidable athlete, club president and hard working official and is best known for his ultra-distance road running exploits in the 1950s. During his most successful years as an athlete he still represented TVH on every possible occasion, encouraging his contemporaries to do likewise.

Ron was born in Chiswick in 1918 and was active in many sports at school before joining Ashcombe AC at the age of 17, winning his first race in Regents Park and competing in cross country and track races before being called up to the forces in 1939. He returned  to  London in 1941 dealing with bomb damage from air raids and finding that Ashcombe AC had disbanded, he joined Thames Valley Harriers.  Ron briefly returned to track running after the war but in 1949 at the age of 31 he decided to try long-distance road running to get fit for the cross country season,  joining the road running team and a large training group based at Boston Manor in West London.

Gradually increasing his training from running three days a week to running 100 miles weekly, Ron ran good marathon times in the early 1950s and in 1954 started running ultra-distance races. Ron was willing to experiment in training, running seven days a week and then twice a day when it was almost unheard of. The “Brighton” race (approx 55 miles from Big Ben to the Brighton Aquarium) was one of the big ultra races, where Ron raced against his arch rivals, Tom Richards and Bill Kelly.  Ron finished 3rd in 1955 behind Tom and Bill, but returned in 1956 to win by 8 minutes in 5:36:25.  He continued to race over the marathon distance, winning the Polytechnic marathon team competition with TVH colleagues Jackie Haslam, Phil Vivian, Harry Dennis and Reg Minchington.

Ron then turned his attention to the 100 mile record, targeting the world best time of 12:20:28, deciding to do it the hard way by running from Hyde Park Corner to Box in Wiltshire, a very hilly course in the final 30 miles.  At 5am on  25th October 1958, Ron set off from Hyde Park Corner;  through 30 miles at Reading in under 3½ hours before the hills started,  Newbury at 56 miles before it became crowded with racegoers, cup of tomato soup and piece of bread on the move at 60 miles, on to Marlborough at 75 miles, in trouble at 80 miles walking for a few yards, more soup and back to sub 7 minute miling, through Chippenham at 90 miles, struggled through worst of the hills, eventually Box came in to sight in the dusk, finishing in a new record of 12:18:16.  In Ron’s own words,  “What a reception there was! Almost the whole village had turned out (population of Box -2,100) The village of Box had never seen our club crest ‘vTh’ before, but we very soon let them know it stood for ‘Very Tired Hopcroft’.”

Ron competed for the club for 20 years but was forced to retire from running in 1961 after an ankle injury and the pressure of business and family commitments. He took up the new role of club Road Running Secretary, building up a strong and thriving section and a fine team spirit.   Ron served two terms as the Club President in 1970-1973 and 1986-1988, the second term taking in the club’s centenary year.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Ron during his later years at the club, once being loudly admonished for not wearing my club vest for a road race! Ron continued working as a track judge and cross country official until 2007 and showed a keen interest in how I was coping during my stint as club Chairman in 2010-2013.  Ron attended our 125th anniversary celebration in 2012, where the report on his 100 mile record posted in the clubhouse attracted great interest amongst our younger members.

John Husbands  TVH

TVH ladies in top 5 again and complete two teams at road relays

Southern 6 Stage Road Relay 2016 TVH Women

TVH ladies put in a fantastic team effort, with athletes returning from long term injuries and there were some late changes to the team.  All things considered, the TVH ladies performed superbly to place 4th for the second consecutive year and it was brilliant to complete two teams of six athletes. It was a new venue away from Milton Keynes, held at the fast but undulating Cyclopark in Gravesend, where long legs were introduced for the first ever time.

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