Strong Finish for TVH at the Final Met League of the Season

Met League Alexandra Palace 2016 Andrew Mitchell

There were proper cross country conditions for Saturday’s final Met League race at Alexandra Palace in North London. There was a cold wind blowing and a light rain in the air all afternoon, though thankfully the heavy rainfall that had been forecast stayed away. This meant that there was plenty of mud on the course and spikes were a necessity to safely navigate the steep descent down the infamous Alexandra Palace Hill. It was 2 laps up and down the hill and around the surrounding fields for the ladies race and 3 laps for the men, with soft ground and mud underfoot for most of each lap and the usual pools of water to splash through on the far side of the course. The only change on the day was the decision to run each lap in a clockwise direction, the reverse direction to previous years.

Phil Wetton reports: 

An unavoidable clash with the Hyde Park Relays on the same day meant that both the men’s and ladies teams were down on numbers for the race, though 2 TVH ladies enjoyed some excellent, muddy, hill running over the tough Alexandra Palace course. Siana Jones finished 44th in 25:42 (including vital minutes stopping to tie her shoe-lace!!) and Frankie Lynch, fitting the race into her busy marathon training schedule, finished 132nd in 35:16. It was a good course for fitness building and strength training in near perfect cross-county conditions.

In the men’s race Mohamud Aadan made a welcome return to the men’s Met League team as he produced the highest finish for the Valley men in this season’s Met league in 9th place. Andrew Mitchell had another fine run in 68th place and was once again the highest placed V45 man in the field and 3rd veteran overall. Fahad Abdi made a positive start but was unlucky to slip and fall coming down the big hill on the first lap, he did well to recover but it cost him a number of places as he finished in 140th place. Christian Nielsen is getting stronger and had his best finish of the season in 158th, while Greg Bennett dipped inside the top 200 with a very good run in 197th having only recently returned after injury. Richard Hooley and Scott Brewer continued their head to head from the last Met League at Horsenden Hill and it was Richard who got the upper hand this time in 210th with Scott in 211th, the gap between them was once again just 5 seconds and the result gave Richard his highest finish of the season and Scott his best ever finish. James Malcolm had been looking forward to the race and made a very good debut in his first Met League in 224th place and Richard Bell continues to improve as he posted his highest finish of the season in 256th. A good run from David Ford saw him break into the top 300 in 296th and after a strong start Joe Cooper did well to finish in 306th, with both David and Joe achieving their best ever Met League finish. After a few setbacks in the new year it was good to see Bernie Robbins back on the team and he was the final Valley man home in 318th out of a total field of 356 finishers.

The final race results placed the men’s team as 7th team in Division 2 on the day, which meant they finished the season in 5th place overall in Division 2. The veteran men’s team had their best result of the season as 2nd team in Division 2 on the day, which gave them a good end to the season with 3rd place overall in Division 2. This now gives both men’s teams the same objective as the ladies teams next season, promotion to Division 1, a target within their reach with good team support.

There is just one more result to conclude this Met League season, the winners and runners-up of the men’s TVH Met League Cup, an age-graded handicap competition between all TVH team members racing in this season’s Met League. In the men’s cup competition Richard Hooley had held the lead since the second race of the season, but a late challenge from Andrew Mitchell saw him win the cup with a total of 132 points – congratulations Andrew! Richard was only 16 points away from Andrew in 2nd place on 116 points for a well deserved silver and Fahad Abdi showed great improvement this season to finish in 3rd on 100 points for bronze – well done to Richard and Fahad! A special mention must also go to both Richard Hooley and Richard Bell as the only men to have competed in all 5 Met League races this season.

As another Met League season comes to an end, many thanks to all those on the Valley team, including all the runners, officials, helpers and supporters, without whom there would be no team.

Here’s to a double promotion next season!

Up The Valley!

Start Fitness Met League Race 5 : Alexandra Palace : 13-02-2016

Women’s Result :

Race PositionTime
44   Siana Jones25:42
132 Frankie Lynch35:16

137 Finishers

Senior Women Division 1 Team Race : 9th, 22 points
Senior Women Division 1 League Position : 9th, 386 points
Veteran Women Division 2 Team Race : 4th, 1 point
Veteran Women Division 2 League Position : 5th, 65 points

Women’s Met League Cup  – Final Positions after 5 races:

Cup PositionCup Points
1     Siana Jones *64
2     Barbara Maddison46
3     Christine Munden45
4     Alex Mundell41
5     Frankie Lynch35
6     Tracy Barlow26
7     Charlotte Hykura18
8     Kirstie Tew16
9     Isabel Dye15
9     Lauren Morris15
11   Audrey Hall14
11   Lizzy Isley14
11   Leanne Lyons14
14   Jess Bass13

* Completed all 5 Met League races

Men’s  Result :

Race PositionTime
9     Mohamud Aadan28:19
68   Andrew Mitchell31:41
140 Fahad Abdi34:48
158 Christian Nielsen35:12
197 Greg Bennett37:03
210 Richard Hooley37:39
211 Scott Brewer37:44
224 James Malcolm38:19
256 Richard Bell39:23
296 David Ford41:30
306 Joe Cooper42:11
318 Bernie Robbins43:38

356 Finishers

Senior Men Division 2 Team Race : 7th, 722 points
Senior Men Division 2 League Position : 5th, 4,379 points
Veteran Men Division 2 Team Race : 2nd, 166 points
Veteran Men Division 2 League Position : 3rd, 622 points
Men’s Met League Cup – Final Positions after 5 races:

Cup PositionCup Points
1     Andrew Mitchell132
2     Richard Hooley *116
3     Fahad Abdi100
4     Richard Bell *91
5     Christian Nielsen88
6     Chris Thomas81
7     Rob Russell77
8     Alex Warnakulasuriya74
9     Kieron Sexton67
10   Greg Bennett64
10   Matt Douthwaite64
12   Scott Brewer59
12   David Ford59
14   James Ellis58
15   Nathan Egan50
16   Bernie Robbins48
17   Manuel Da Silva47
18   Mervyn Walker46
19   Ali Yahye44
20   Joe Cooper39
21   Simon Maddison38
22   Peter Keane36
23   Caspar Donnison34
24   Botond Safar32
25   Calum Nicol30
26   Paul Woodgate28
27   Will Paynter23
28   Mohamud Aadan22
28   Paul Heaphy22
30   Nick Michael20
31   Robert Vallance16
32   John Husbands15
33   James Malcolm14
34   Matt Ponting12

* Completed all 5 Met League races