After all the recent rain, the Scrubs remained very wet. The race day was bright and not too cold. The large turnout of TVH athletes helped to make the club championships, included in the events, an added incentive to do well. Due to the great numbers taking part, the full results were seriously delayed.
National Cross Country Championships 2017 TVH MenIt was a trip to Wollaton Park in Nottingham for the English National Cross Country Championships, which saw Chris Smith and Tracy Barlow both run well as first home for the TVH men and ladies in the final race of the season in 33rd and 27th place respectively.
It was grey but mild on Sunday for the County Masters championships, held at Berkeley Fields – the playing fields on the far side of the infamous Horsenden Hill course. A cold little breeze from the south dropped the temperature, but was of little impact on the race itself. This year the event was combined once again with Herts, which understandably shares the organisation overheads, but also makes it a little less clear as to who is running against who during the race.
The race was run over the ‘standard’ Met League course for Horsenden Hill, but starting on the far side in the playing fields, which meant heading into the hills sooner than usual, and a long flat run after the fast descent into the sharp turn parallel to Horsenden Lane. However this course, notorious for its wet and mud, was unconscionably kind and made for firm going almost all the way around with only a few sections of wet turf and mud. This made the hills way easier than is normally the case, and dare I say it actually a pleasure to go up? It also made for a fast course.
In the under 17 women’s race, Kosana Weir had a great run to finish 27th. Alice Harray was up in the 70s for most of the race and finally finished 89th. In the under 15 girls race Charlotte Buckley had a tremendous run to finish 19th, the best TVH place of the day and beat several girls who were in frond of her in the Southern. In the under 13 girls race, the water was a metre deep in places and some athletes took an early bath. Zakia Mossi had arrived very early and had a good look round the course. This paid off as she finished a fine 32nd. Olivia Colegrave cut it fine and therefore didn’t inspect the dreaded water splash, which was unavoidable. Olivia had a strong run and moved up the field throughout to finish 216th. Lily Dafter, a year younger, found the going tough: although she kept ahead of Olivia on the first lap, she dropped back to 296th.
Our under 13 boys were also one short of a team but still did well. The best performance came from Charlie Rollo who improved throughout the race to only finish 17 places behind Alfie Turner. He was the only one to improve his place on the Southern. Alfie battled throughout the race but used up his energy and lost a few places in the downhill sprint finish. Max went out fast and tried hard to hang on, but unfortunately struggled a bit on the second lap.
This new venue proved to be a great success by all taking part. There was some confusion when the course was not exactly the same as the instructions given out. Apart from that, it was a great event to run in and good for the spectators to watch.
Starting with the under 11 girls race which had 33 runners. TVH only had two girls taking part but they had very good results with Olivia Sparks finishing a brilliant third. This is her best result of the season. Sasha Reid also did well to finish in 22nd place.
In the under 11 boys race Luca Fletcher was our first home in 16th place and George Kimble having his first race did very well to finish 22nd out of the 42 runners. Luc Dubois-Burrows was close behind him in 26th place and Jai Sarkar also enjoyed the drier course with his 33rd place. The under 13 girls were running against these boys and Maddie Casey had a very good run to beat all our boys with her 10th place. After being confused by the course alterations, Lily Dafter managed to work her way up to 16th place. Camille Rousset brought the team home in 31st place.
The Valley under 13 boys had the best team result when finishing second to Highgate. Leading us home, Alfie Turer was unfortunate to be eased out of fifth place at the finish but was still a fine 7th. Charlie Rollo also had a great run and was only 15 seconds behind in 8th place. With Luke Walsh having a good run in 16th place the team were brought home by Aidan Ferrand who was a unexpected partaker with no school commitment. Close behind were Nelson Gordon, 22nd and Noor-Eldin Mahmoud. The dry, flatish course suited Noor who had a good result. In the under 15 girls race, Melina Duer changed her tactics and was up with the leaders at the start. She then kept her form and won her race by nine seconds from A. Ibrahim who had been beating Melina until the Alexandra Palace race. Capucine Rousset did well to finish 11th.
Amelia Casey was our lone under 17 woman and she was a comfortable 2nd. In the men’s under 17 race, Lucillo Burrell was also 2nd. Nicholas Duer was 6th in another small field.