The first cross country league competition since early last year took place at Horsenden Hill on Saturday 25th September. The NW London Young Athletes League has races for Under 11 to Under 17 age groups with boys and girls in the same age group racing together. One athlete who was relishing the long awaited return to cross country racing is Anna Kelly who led the TVH U15 Girls team to a second place finish in the team event. Anna started the 4km course cautiously towards the back of the field of more than 50 runners, moving through steadily and finishing very strongly to take 2nd place in the girls race, 9 secs clear of Skye Bishop in 5th place. The team was completed by Ava Levy (who finished in the top half) and Nico Lind in her second race for the club. Reggie Rock was our only competitor in the U15 Boys race, running a well-paced race, also finishing strongly 10 secs ahead of Anna.
There were 20 runners in the Under 11 Boys 2km race with Luis da Silva also running his second race for the club. 5 athletes broke away early on and were only separated by 4 secs in a sprint finish, with Luis edged out in 5th place. Luis will be competing in this age group again next year, having celebrated his 9th birthday earlier this month. There were traffic delays near the course with the start of petrol panic buying and Jacob Sabbata arrived too late for the U11 race but joined Xanthe Greenfields for a longer 3km run in the U13 boys and girls race.
We had 3 TVH athletes in the 5km U17 race, Max Bishop (who had shown good speed at a mini marathon trial 3 days earlier) was suffering with a cold and dropped back from the lead group to finish 6th, with Morris Rock in 15th. Sasha Mueller made a very welcome return to racing for TVH for the first time since January 2020 cross country races, finishing 14th in the women’s race.
SOAR Milton Keynes Road Relays, Sunday 26th September
The SOAR MK Road Relays was set up as an alternative event following the cancellation of the Southern Road Relays at Crystal Palace. The event was set up at short notice but was well supported by some strong teams in the 6 stage men’s race and 4 stage women’s race on a 5km course starting and finishing on the Milton Keynes track.
TVH had two teams competing in the women’s event, the A team of Charlotte Buckley (18:42), Alex Mundell (18:22), Tracy Barlow(18:05) and Chloe Baker (18:38) finished in 8th place in a close race. The B team of Lisa da Silva, Georgia Hanley, Tash Mundell and Fran Lou finished 17th with Lisa running the fastest leg in 19:07.
The TVH men finished 11th out of 40 teams in another good quality race. Antonia Silva ran the 1st leg in 14:49 (the 8th fastest run of the day), followed by Chris Thomas (15:25), Oli Newton (15:57), Hugo Cayssials (16:14), Michael Crone (16:37) with the team brought home by Niki Faulkner (16:13). Travelling reserve veteran Steve Norris had a runout on the first leg in 18:12.
Paulos Surafel competed in the Windsor Half Marathon on the same day, putting in a great performance to win by more than 4 mins in 65:08 in the field of nearly 2,000 runners. Paulos has competed for TVH this year over 1500m, has raced twice over 10,000m on the track as well as 10km on the road and this was his second fastest half marathon time after 64:12 at Reading in 2019 when he had other athletes for company during the race.