Category Archives: MATCH REPORTS

TVH Ladies maintain strong standing in UKWAL Premiership with 2nd place in Match 2

Thames Valley Harriers ladies shone in a warm and sunny Eton. Having comfortably won the first match in Birmingham, the aim was for a top 3 finish to maintain the ultimate goal of regaining the title as the best team in the UK. With a tremendous effort, the team exceeded expectations to finish in a fantastic 2nd accumulating an impressive 212 points – only 6 points behind reigning champions Birchfield Harriers. The final match is on Sunday 16th July in Bromley, where a victory will result in TVH returning to compete at the European Champion Clubs Cup (ECCC) in 2018 as UKWAL Champions.

Continue reading TVH Ladies maintain strong standing in UKWAL Premiership with 2nd place in Match 2

TVH Men 4th at BAL Premiership Match 3 with 4 Lifetime Bests

With a number of high profile new signings this year we were hopeful that we would be strong enough to be competitive in the Premiership this season. The first match in Sheffield showed that we had the necessary strength and team spirit to finish a creditable 5th – equal with local rivals Shaftesbury.
Continue reading TVH Men 4th at BAL Premiership Match 3 with 4 Lifetime Bests

Chris Smith crowned England Mountain Running champion

TVH mountain running powerhouse Chris Smith stormed to the English Mountain Running title at Keswick on Sunday. An outstanding result made even more remarkable by the fact that Chris recently celebrated his 40th birthday! It means Chris will will his 10th GB vest at the European uphill running champions in Slovenia on July 8.
Below is Chris’ own account of the race, which was also written up on the England Athletics website:
Chris Smith writes:
On a warm but windy day in Keswick in the Lake District, starting not far from the town centre, we were to tackle one of the peaks that overlooks the town – Skiddaw and the infamous Jenkins Hill.  The marked 11.3km route took us round the bottom of latrigg before taking on Jenkins Hill (the steepest part) before heading up right to the top of Skiddaw with the finish line being the trig point.  A climb of 1080m. This was an uphill race.  First to the top wins.  First four get picked to run at the European uphill running champions in Slovenia on 8th July.
A small select group of runners had assembled. The majority of the top ten that were to finish the race that day had been in a GB mountain running team in the last few years.  The field was quality rather than quantity. 
My aim was to make the team for Slovenia so I started the race strong, committing myself to take the lead right from the gun. It would be either a gutsy/confident move or headstrong and premature.  After the first mile I had a small lead and pushed on making the most of the undulating course before we started the big climb to the top. Andrew Douglas from Scotland and fellow GB runner was never far behind and as we approached the start of Jenkins Hill we were neck and neck.  Douglas has been in fine form winning the inter-counties fell running champs a few weeks prior and had more recently got a podium position at a mountain running European cup event. That class showed as he gradually edged clear to 20, 30 then 50m. I dug in for 
the next 40 odd minutes of lung busting running. It was about ignoring the quad burn, not panicking and not letting the gap to Andrew get any bigger.  The main priority though was staying clear of a chasing pack of three.  Made up of a British felling running champ, a 2 x GB mountain runner and one of the best orienteers the UK has. 
What kept me going during that time?
I had ran a PB by 5 seconds at the Highgate track 10k two weeks before so I knew I was in good shape.  I had also trained at the altitude centre in London that has a chamber with a treadmill in it that is equivalent to running at 2700m above sea level. Having big lungs and working on your vo2 max helps and was paying dividends.
I had also done some good hill training sessions on the South Downs building up over a number of weeks to 10×5:30mins uphill efforts.  When I do do hill work I make it count, this session lasts for an hour and a half.  The mental and physical stress that you put yourself though in a session like that, particularly in the last few reps is similar to what you feel in a race.  Tired and lacking in energy I knew what to do, keep focused, keep my rhythm and form but above all stay positive. 
That discipline keep me going ever closer to the top, and my aim to make the team as a V40.  
I finished 2nd, 30 secs behind Andrew Douglas and 30 secs in front of Chris Arthur, Chris Farrell and Graham Gristwood.
Job done.  The jog down took as long as the run up but this time we got to enjoy the view.

UK top ten finishes in London 10000 for TVH endurance stars

Two of TVH’s long distance elite defied muggy conditions to finish top 10 in the UK 10k Championships, part of the London 10000 on Bank Holiday Monday.

Antonio Silva was seventh across the finish line in the shadow of Buckingham Palace setting a new PB  of exactly 30 minutes while Tracy Barlow was fifth woman in a new PB and New Club Record of 34:01 to win £600. Fantastic runs from both of them.

Michael Crone was the next TVH runner home, making the top 100 with a great PB of 33:15. While Andrew Mitchell was below his best in 35:55, Ryan Keane ran with great promise in a new PB of 36:06.

Naol Abagibe was unlucky to be caught at the back of the pack up the Mall and through the Strand early on but had a storming second half of the race to finish in 37:14.

The Hooley father and son team both performed well, Jake finishing in 39:16 and Richard Hooley a highly creditable 10th V55 man in 40m30s.

David Ford beat 45 minutes in a time of 44:35, Kirstie Tew came home in 51:35 and Charlie Le Rougetel secured a well-deserved PB in 53:23.

Victory for TVH Ladies at the UK Women’s League Premier Division – Match 1

On a cold and blustery day, Thames Valley Harriers ladies made a great start to the UKWAL Premier Division pulling away in the last few events from Edinburgh for a commanding victory. TVH won by 17.5 points at the home of last year’s champions, Birchfield Harriers, who finished 1 point behind Edinburgh in 3rd place.

TVH took one of their largest teams ever to a national league match at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Everyone made a significant contribution to TVH’s victory. As usual, there was a fantastic atmosphere amongst the team from the first to last event. Despite the cold weather conditions, TVH ladies were rewarded with an amazing 8 wins, 4 new club records and 8 personal best performances. The team is incredibly well balanced this year with points being evenly split between A and B strings, and between track and field. It was very encouraging to see all our new athletes being doing so well. Continue reading Victory for TVH Ladies at the UK Women’s League Premier Division – Match 1