2020 Competition Review

Mo Aadan with GB World Half Marathon team and Joshua Cheptegei

The year started with events indoors and cross country races before everything came to a sudden halt in March, with the English Schools cross country and Middlesex Indoors Championships taking place on the final weekend of organised events.

Cross Country –   we hosted the Middlesex cross country championships at Wormwood Scrubs on 4th January. The highlight of the day was a team with for the TVH Women’s team, with all 4 athletes in the scoring team finishing in the top 10 in the 8km race; Izzy Dye 3rd, Lisa da Silva 5th, Steph Ainley 9th and Chloe Baker 10th.  Adela Svihalkova was the highest placed TVH athlete at the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill on 25th January, finishing 4th in the U13 Girls race.  Antonio Silva was the top performer for TVH at the English National Cross Country Championships in Nottingham on 22nd February, finishing 16th in the men’s race.

The  Inter Counties Cross Country championships took place at Loughborough on 7th March, with the best performances from TVH athletes running for Middlesex by Adela with 10th place in the U13 Girls race and Izzy Franco 11th place in the U20 Women’s race.  The English Schools Cross Country Championships took place in Liverpool the following weekend,  with the highlights for TVH  Charlotte Buckley (21st) and Izzy Franco (24th) part of the winning London Senior Girls team and Adela an impressive 20th out of 344 runners in the Junior Girls race.

Indoors –   The highlight of the season was a lifetime best 17.97m shot put by Amelia Strickler to win the British Indoor Championships on 22nd February by more than half a metre and lead the British rankings. At the Middlesex Indoors Championships on 14th and 15th March  In the U17M sprints Reece Earle won the U17M 60m &  200m double, with Josh Kelly 3rd in the 60m and 2nd in the 200m.  In the middle distances there was another double for a TVH athlete, Max Bishop winning the U15B 800m and 1500m,  Maddie Casey won the U17W  1500m Middx title by 0.06 secs and Olivia Sparks was 2nd in the U15G 300m in 43.79 secs.

Road  –  Tracy Barlow and Ann-Marie McGlynn both ran 72:12 at the Barcelona Half Marathon on 16th February.     Mo Aadan’s selection for the World Half Marathon Championships was confirmed following a 63:31 half marathon in Spain on 2nd February and 63:21 in the Vitality Big Half on 1st March.  

We then entered the first covid-19 national lockdown in late March , where virtual races for senior distance athletes via GPS were quickly organised but training for many athletes, especially for field events, was far more difficult to arrange.  Virtual events proved to be very competitive with notable performances for TVH by Chris Thomas, Myles Edwards, Antonio Silva, Sage Pearce-Higgins, Andrew Mitchell, Lisa da Silva and many others.

Online fitness and training sessions were presented by TVH coaches during the first lockdown as well as by one of our younger members, Farrah Ceric to great acclaim.  

Summer Season – We were able to return to training at Linford Christie Stadium in early July, when Devon Richards stepped forward to help organise our club training nights with the unusual circumstances at the stadium, allowing John and Ygor to concentrate on coaching.  We were indebted during this difficult period to the assistance provided to our coaches by athletes and parents, with Manuel da Silva proving adept at coaching, pace making and training during a typical club night. 

Open graded meetings started to be organised, initially under very strict covid-19 rules that gradually changed during the summer and more events were possible. Many of our young athletes thrived during this time and there were club record performances by Louis Hodge and Max Bishop and big  improvements by many others including Maddie Casey, Olivia Sparks, Maya Sutaria, Basil Rock and Joel Houslin.

Limited competitions restarted under strict rules with TVH competing in a 4 Club trial event at Nuneaton leading up to the behind closed doors British Championships in Manchester in early September, where 15 TVH athletes competed.  Chris McAlister, Amelia Strickler, Angela Barrett along with Higher Competition Athletes Joel Khan and Sam Trigg-Petrovic all finished amongst the medals.

There were very impressive performances during the summer in the sprints by Nilrem Stewart after a long absence and a very welcome return in the throws by Laurensa Britane.  

Autumn –  Later in the year we were able to organise virtual races for young athletes with some performances at Linford Christie Stadium or in open meetings. TVH had great success in these events ; with great performances from many young athletes including  the fastest time by Adela Svihalkova at the most recent London Youth Games event.

Road races started to be organised on enclosed circuits or out of town locations. The highlights of these races for TVH were Tracy Barlow’s fine performance for 3rd GB athlete at the elite only London marathon event, Mo Aadan and Ann Marie McGlynn at the much delayed World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland and impressive marathon performances by Sage Pearce-Higgins and Andrew Mitchell.  

2020 ended and 2021 began with another virtual race,  the BMAF Masters 10km competition with Sage (M35 age group) 6th fastest overall in 33:34 a few weeks after his marathon and Hugo Dias (M40) getting  back to fitness running 38:20.