Having performed well in the first season in SAL Division 1 with a mid-table finish at the end of last season, the first match of a new Southern League season saw the Valley men and women travel to Bedford on Saturday.
The final result wasn’t what they were hoping for as the final scores placed home team Bedford & County in 1st on 220 points, Belgrave Harriers 2nd on 171, Crawley 3rd on 155 and TVH 4th on 132.
However this result doesn’t reflect the fact that the TVH team put in some great performances which produced 7 wins for the men’s team and 7 wins for the women’s team in what was a very competitive match.
It was also good to see 7 Valley athletes making their TVH Southern League debut, with 4 on the men’s team and 3 on the women’s team.
The TVH Man of the Match and Woman of the Match awards went to Mark Dyble for wins in the B 100m and 4x100m relay plus a 2nd in the A 200m, and junior athlete India Weir for her wins in the 800m and 2000m steeplechase.
There are still 4 Southern League matches to go and with a strong turnout in the next match we can move ourselves up the league table, so make sure to come and support the team at the next match at Harrow on Sunday May 22nd.
Tracy Barlow flew to a majestic win in the women’s London Marathon mass race, finishing fourth Briton and 18th overall including the elite field, smashing her club record to boot.
In generally good marathon conditions despite a cool breeze, Tracy powered across the line in 2:33.20, five minutes inside her club best time set in Toronto last year.
It was a great sight for TVH spectators as Tracy ran with another Valley star Matthieu Ribault through the race.
Matthieu clocked 2:33.19 in finishing 124th in the mass men’s race, nearly five minutes inside his own best.
On a fine day for TVH runners Paul Woodgate put in a brilliant performance – finishing in 3:01.02, another massive PB.
Victoria Carter came home in 3:47.19 setting a new world record for three legged running with friend Sarah Dudgeon, beating the previous record by just under an hour. They are now waiting for the time to be officially certified.
Also with well paced runs were Andrea Broughton in 3:57. 14, Kirstie Tew in 4:02.39, and Frankie Lynch in 4:25.20. Well done one and all!
Despite pre-race rain, sleet and snow, this unseasonal weather stayed away for the duration of the ladies race, with the sun turning up on occasion. The usual fantastic team spirit was still clearly on show as TVH’s athletes had their best ever team finish, improving on their 5th place finish from the previous year.
As the fog burnt off to reveal a bright and breezy spring morning in Reading, over 10,000 runners filled their time group starting pens.
Six Valley men were among the throng running through the crowd lined streets of Reading into a road course on the flatter side of undulating. Chris Thomas moved from the short sharp road relays of March to the Half Marathon in April with enviable ease, coming home 49th in an excellent time of 1:13:36.
Greg Bennett struggled over the last couple of miles to hang on for a new PB of 1:27:59.
Paul Leonard finished in 1:33:45 with John Husbands, still feeling the effects of an illness during the week following in 1:41:07 and raising over £1,000 for charity.
David Ford continued his strong showings in a TVH vest finishing in1:38:39 with William Paynter, reaping the rewards of winter cross country training to come in well under 2 hours at 1:52:44.
Meanwhile Tracy Barlow continued her impressive build up to the London Marathon with a commanding win at the Paddock Wood Half Marathon, following hot on the heels of her club record run at the Bath Half.
Tracy’s winning time was 1:15.48 – a couple of minutes behind her Bath time but still seven and half minutes ahead of the second placed lady.
“It was a really good race. I had been told it was quite pancake flat, and some of the hills were definitely a challenge,” said Tracy.
“It’s been nice to get a good run in before the London Marathon, and even better that it’s a good result.”
A great set of performances, all counting in the TVH Endurance Cup. Points updates can be found on