Excellent Running at Stevenage with Senior teams finishing 2nd

Bookended by lovely autumn days, Saturday dawned with pouring rain. A smaller than usual Scrubs Parkrun group braved the weather circuiting home territory, led by Sarah Johnson running really fast. Sitting in the clubhouse after did not offer great prospects for the afternoon’s Met League at Stevenage. Always a bit of a slog round the North Circular and up the A1, this Saturday seemed worse than usual, making for little spare time on arrival. Valiant Barrie had been waiting in the café, thinking we were all going to be no shows, but as ever patiently and carefully distributed the numbers as we trickled up to the starting area. Fortunately the rain had by that time eased off to an intermittent drizzle. Phil hurried up with the last of the men, the club tent in hand, providing very welcome shelter for changing and racetime storage.

Amazingly, for all the earlier heavy rain, the course was firm and fast underfoot, the deluge having been soaked into the long desiccated ground, as at the Scrubs. Much better organised than last year when the switchbacks caused confusion and corner cutting, this year’s course was simple, with a shorter first lap, followed by two full laps for the ladies, and 3 for the men, around the entire periphery of the meadowland. With only minor undulations and nicely mowed grass paths for a good part of the course it was fast going all the way round.

Simon Maddison Reports:

In the ladies race Chloe Beckett made her league debut with a good run coming in at 37, with Anna Critchlow catching fast at the finish just 4 seconds and one place behind, also running brilliantly to finish 4th in her V45 category. Stephanie Ainley was only 5 seconds further back at 41, with Lara Scerri from Malta enjoying(?) the change of climate at 75, triathlete Gemma Fairhurst returning again at 141, Barbara Maddison at 159, newcomer Shania Lorenz at 166 and Christine Munden at 180. A very promising start from Heather Timmins was unfortunately cut short as she was forced to withdraw suffering from what must be a virus and we wish her well on her recovery. The final team result brought the ladies in at 2nd in Division 2, holding position at 2nd in the league. Despite Anna’s great run, the veteran ladies finished only 4th in Vets division 2, disappointingly dropping to 3rd in the division.

In the men’s race the drizzle started up again as the race progressed, but this didn’t slow down Ireland’s Olympic marathon runner Kevin Seaward who ran brilliantly to finish in the top 10 at 9th. James Ellis made a welcome return to the Met League team at 62, while Simon Prigent had a very good Met League debut at 66, just ten seconds behind. Kieron Sexton was running solidly to improve on his position and reverse the finishing order with Manuel Caeiro from Claybury, with Kieron in 82 and Manuel at 88. With an influx of Cambridge University students racing as guests, Andrew Mitchell found himself finishing just outside the top 100 at 103, and was once again an outstanding second in the V45 category. Will Jones had another well-paced race and the larger numbers ahead gave him a finishing position of 116. Close behind a fast improving Calum Nicol was only 21 seconds back at 128, with Fergus Johnson chasing a 42 second gap to finish at 161. A welcome appearance by Louis William after a long absence surprised many on the team and he gave a good account with a finish of 291. Not content with a 3rd place finish in the Scrubs Parkrun 5 hours earlier, stalwart James Malcolm was just 3 seconds behind Louis at 295. Manuel da Silva and Scott Brewer were involved in a fierce sprint finish to the line and were both given the same time, with Manuel given the nod at 300 and Scott at 301. Next in at 312 was junior athlete Joe Cooper, with Richard Bell also sprinting hard to catch a couple of places at 335. Greg Bennett still struggling out of a bad cold made some headway at 361, with Mervyn Walker having doubled up on daughter support at 379. The ever-present David Ford came home in 389, followed by Bernie Robbins at 392, and Simon Maddison managing to gain a couple of places in the last half lap at 432. It was a frustrating race for Hugo Dias who stated the race well but a long term injury meant he was unable to finish, though he plans to return for the next Met League at the Scrubs on December 3rd.

The excellent performance of the leading runners in the team brought the Valley team in at second place in Division 2, hauling us up to 3rd in the League. Let’s keep this up guys, and carry on this performance please!

Similarly to the ladies, despite Andrew’s excellent performance the Veteran men finished in 7th place, languishing at a disappointing 6th in Division 2.

Once again very many thanks to Barrie for sorting out the numbers, and to Phil for his organisation of transport and indefatigable welfare for the team in terms of shelter (the tent) and goodies afterwards.

Start Fitness Met League, Stevenage, 12/11/2016

Women’s Division Two Race Result

37 Chloe Beckett 24:52; 38 Anna Critchlow* 24:56; 41 Stephanie Ainley 25:01; 75 Lara Scerri 26:59; 141 Gemma Fairhurst 30:44; 159 Barbara Maddison 32:32; 166 Shania Lorenz 33:10; 180 Christine Munden 37:03; 182 finishers.

Women’s Division Two Team Result

1 London City 271
2 Thames Valley Harriers 250

Women’s Division Two League Positions

1 London City 560
2 Thames Valley Harriers 521

Veteran Women’s Division Two Team Result

4 Thames Valley Harriers 31

Veteran Women Division Two League Positions

3 Thames Valley Harriers 58

Men’s Division Two Race Result

9 Kevin Seaward* 26:17; 62 James Ellis 28:38; 66 Simon Prigent 28:48; 82 Kieron Sexton 29:08; 88 Manuel Caeiro 29:18; 103 Andrew Mitchell 29:35; 116 William Jones* 30:01; 128 Calum Nicol 30:22; 161 Fergus Johnson* 31:04; 291 Louis William 34:24; 295 James Malcolm 34:27; 300 Manuel da Silva 34:44; 301 Scott Brewer 34:44; 312 Joe Cooper 35:14; 335 Richard Bell 35:56; 361 Greg Bennett 37:06; 379 Mervyn Walker 37:47; 389 David Ford 38:17; 392 Bernard Robbins 38:35; 432 Simon Maddison 44:15; 441 finishers.

Men’s Division Two Team Result

1 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 1,090
2 Thames Valley Harriers 1,040

Men’s Division Two League Positions

1 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 2325
2 Highgate Harriers ‘B’ 2241
3 Thames Valley Harriers 2051

Veteran Men’s Division Two Team Result

7 Thames Valley Harriers 133

Veteran Men Division Two League Positions

6 Thames Valley Harriers 333


Thanks to Phil, the Met League Cup results are below.

Congratulations to the two veterans currently in the lead!!

Race 2 – Men

Cup Position               Handicap Time  Cup Points

1      Kevin Seaward          25:59           30
2      Andrew Mitchell      26:30           29
3      James Ellis                   28:38           28
4      Simon Prigent            28:48          27
5      Kieron Sexton            29:08          26
6      Manuel Caeiro          29:18           25
7      Will Jones                    30:00           24
8      Calum Nicol                30:17           23
9      Fergus Johnson       30:25            22
10    Mervyn Walker      31:11            21
11    Richard Bell              31:26            20
12    James Malcolm       32:48            19
13    Simon Maddison    33:25            18
14    David Ford                 33:29           17
15    Manuel Da Silva      34:00           16
16    Greg Bennett            34:01           15
17    Joe Cooper                 34:04           14
18    Louis William             34:08           13
19    Bernie Robbins        34:18            12
20    Scott Brewer             34:39            11

Overall Standing – Men

Cup Position                      Cup Points

1      Andrew Mitchell       59
2      Manuel Caeiro            53
2      Kieron Sexton             53
4      Will Jones                      50
5      Fegus Johnson            47
5      Calum Nicol                  47
7      Mervyn Walker          44
8      Richard Bell                  42
9      Simon Maddison        37
10    Greg Bennett              36
11    Manuel Da Silva        33
12    David Ford                   32
13    Joe Cooper                  30
13    Kevin Seaward          30
15    Conor Kissane-Wood 29
16    James Ellis                   28
17    Simon Prigent            27
18    Bernie Robbins         25
19    Scott Brewer              23
20    Christian Nielsen     20
21    James Malcolm         19
22    Hugo Dias                    18
23    Peter Hill                      14
24    Louis William             13
25    Will Paynter               11

Race 2 – Ladies

Cup Position       Handicap Time  Cup Points

1     Anna Critchlow          22:32        18
2     Chloe Beckett             24:52        17
3     Stephanie Ainley        25:01       16
4     Barbara Maddison    26:36       15
5     Lara Scerri                      26:59      14
6     Gemma Fairhurst       30:44      13
7     Shania Lorenz              33:02      12
8     Christine Munden      34:12     11

Ladies – overall standing

Cup Position                        Cup Points

1     Barbara Maddison  32
2     Gemma Fairhurst    26
3     Christine Munden   22
4     Tracy Barlow              20
5     Alex Mundell              19
6     Anna Critchlow         18
6     Lisa Da Silva                18
8     Chloe Beckett            17
9     Stephanie Ainley      16
9     Leanne Lyons             16
11   Jess Bass                     15
12   Lauren Morris          14
12   Lara Scerri                  14
14   Shania Lorenz         12
14   Kirstie Tew               12