TVH battle the mud at Met League Match 4

The 4th Met League race of the season saw a return to Trent Park, close to Cockfosters in north London on Saturday January 14th. The park has been used for the occasional Met League and county championships in the past and has always been a challenging though popular course and is a welcome addition to this season’s Met League.

On arrival at Trent Park the juniors were welcomed by cold
temperatures and light rain, though thankfully this gave way to some blue skies and drier conditions with some mild winter sunshine to warm things up a little by the time the senior races were underway. The course is run over undulating grassland and through the park woods and can be divided into 2 halves, starting and finishing on a large upper field which leads on to an even larger field and the park woods. The going was not that bad considering the previous day’s rain and light early morning rain, most of the ground was fairly firm underfoot with mud on the lower parts of the fields and going into the woods. There were a number of hill climbs around the course with the most challenging a long climb leading up into the woods, so spikes or good trail shoes were
definitely the order of the day.

The ladies 6k race was made up of a combination of one small lap followed by a medium and large lap, with the large lap crossing over into the lower field and woods. It was a good turnout from TVH with 9 strong ladies on the start line. 193 participants in total completed the course.

Stephanie Ainley was the first TVH lady to finish, she finished in 21st position with her best performance yet this season. Chloe Beckett was not too far behind Stephanie in 30th, also an improvement on her previous Met League position in Stevenage. Next across the line were Siana Jones and Lauren Morris in 69th and 78th respectively, both improved positions from the Wormwood Scrubs race and Lauren worked hard to negotiate the mud in slightly too short spikes. Lisa Da Silva, still running for two, was the final scorer for the senior ladies team in 119th, with Jess Bass hot on her heels in 121st. Gemma Fairhurst finished her 3rd Met League race in 138th position, improving her position from her race at Stevenage. Gemma was just ahead of Kirstie Tew who also improved her position from Wormwood Scrubs, finishing 151st. Marion Brydson showed great strength and endurance in her debut Met League race for TVH. Marion stepped up her race profile from the, considerably
less-undulating, Wormwood Scrubs Parkrun to finish 189th.

The team finished 3rd in Division 2, leaving TVH as 3rd team overall, only 45 points behind 2nd place. In the veteran’s race the team were 4th and are now 4th in the Veteran Division 2. With the top 2 teams gaining promotion we will need a big effort in the final race to be promoted to Division 1 next season. The next and final race is on February 11th at Alexandra Palace, so please save the date.

In the men’s 8k race it was 2 large laps around the park for the slightly smaller than usual field of 428 runners. There were also some key Valley men missing through injury and other commitments, but it was pleasing to see that a good sized TVH team of 17 men were ready to race. Leading the line was Simon Prigent, who was definitely enjoying the hills and came home to record his best ever Met League finish in 54th place. Just over 10 seconds behind an in-form Andrew Mitchell had another good race in 65th and was also the 1st V45 man home. An ever-improving Manuel Caeiro gave it everything he had and was rewarded with his highest ever Met League position in 72nd place. Calum Nicol has been training hard for the marathon and he raced well to make it into the top 100 for the first time this season in 94th, while Daniel Garcia-Rasines also went well and was only just outside the top 100 in 104th. Manuel da Silva made good progress through the field to record his highest finish this season in 176th and Steve Norris made a welcome return to the Met League team for his first Met League race of the season in 198th. Christian Nielsen and Greg Bennett are both showing good improvements as the season progresses, and they were only separated by 4 seconds with Christian in 207th and Greg in 210th. Another 2 fast improving Valley men, James Malcolm and Joe Cooper, enjoyed a good race to both record their highest ever Met League positions, with James in 251st and Joe in 276th place. Hugo Dias has been managing a long-term injury but still arrived early enough to support his son, Brandon, in the U11 race, and then raced himself in the senior race to finish 291st, just 3 seconds and 2 places ahead of Scott Brewer in 293rd. Close behind and chasing hard were Richard Hooley and Richard Bell, finishing in 298th and 312th respectively. Peter Hill was another early arrival to give support to his son, Oliver, in the U11 race, and then removed his hat and gloves to finish 349th in the senior race. Final man home for the Valley was David Ford, who showed good strength having only returned from a recent injury to finish in 364th place.

The final results placed the team in 4th in Division 2 on the day, meaning the team stays in 3rd place overall in Division 2, but the gap to 2nd place has now increased to 201 points. There was a better result in the Veteran Division 2, where the team finished 2nd on the day and remain in 4th place in Veteran Division 2.

With just the final Met League race of the season to go next month, it is going to be a tough task for both the men and women’s teams to win promotion to Division 1, but everyone that races can make a difference.

For this reason alone we will need the best possible turnout for the final Met League race at Alexandra Palace on Saturday February 11th.

Women’s Division Two Team Result

1 Highgate Harriers ‘B’ 309
2 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 290
3 Thames Valley Harriers 271

Women’s Division Two Positions

1 London City 1082
2 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 1013
3 Thames Valley Harriers 968

Veteran Women’s Division Two Team Result

1 Woodford Green & Essex Ladies 90
2 London Heathside ‘C’ 68
3 London Front Runners 54
4 Thames Valley Harriers 46

Veteran Women Division Two Positions

1 Woodford Green & Essex Ladies 293
2 London Heathside ‘C’ 204
3 Serpentine RC ‘B’ 175
4 Thames Valley Harriers 162

Women’s Race Results

21 Stephanie Ainley 25:05
30 Chloe Beckett 26:10
69 Siana Jones 28:28
78 Lauren Morris 28:44
119 Lisa da Silva 30:45
121 Jess Bass 30:53
138 Gemma Fairhurst 32:07
151 Kirstie Tew 33:39
189 Marion Brydson 41:03

193 finishers

Women’s TVH Met League Cup Positions after 4 races

1 Stephanie Ainley 51
2 Barbara Maddison 47
3 Lauren Morris 45
4 Gemma Fairhurst 39
5 Kirstie Tew 36
6 Chloe Beckett 35
7 Lisa da Silva 32
8 Jess Bass 30
9 Siana Jones 29
10 Shania Lorenz 23
11 Christine Munden 22
12 Tracy Barlow 20
13 Alex Mundell 19
14 Anna Critchlow 18
15 Leanne Lyons 16
16 Lara Scerri 14
17 Marion Brydson 11

Men’s Division Two Team Result

1 Highgate Harriers ‘B’ 1,098
2 Trent Park RC 1,058
3 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 977
4 Thames Valley Harriers 950

Men’s Division Two Positions

1 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 4,484
2 Highgate Harriers ‘B’ 4,448
3 Thames Valley Harriers 4,247

Veteran Men’s Division Two Team Result

1 Trent Park RC 309
2 Thames Valley Harriers 278

Veteran Men Division Two Positions

1 Trent Park RC 1,134
2 London Heathside ‘C’ 1,059
3 Serpentine RC ‘B’ 900
4 Thames Valley Harriers 812

Men’s Race Results

54 Simon Prigent 29:02
65 Andrew Mitchell 29:13
72 Manuel Caeiro 29:35
94 Calum Nicol 30:08
104 Daniel Garcia-Rasines 30:29
176 Manuel da Silva 32:23
198 Steve Norris 33:04
207 Christian Nielsen 33:18
210 Greg Bennett 33:22
251 James Malcolm 34:44
276 Joe Cooper 35:16
291 Hugo Dias 35:54
293 Scott Brewer 35:57
298 Richard Hooley 36:03
312 Richard Bell 36:37
349 Peter Hill 38:16
364 David Ford 39:29

428 finishers

Men’s TVH Met League Cup Positions after 4 races

1 Andrew Mitchell 120
2 Manuel Caeiro 106
3 Kieron Sexton 84
4 Richard Bell 83
5 Greg Bennett 80
5 Will Jones 80
7 Fergus Johnson 72
8 Manuel da Silva 70
8 Calum Nicol 70
10 Mervyn Walker 67
11 James Ellis 60
12 Simon Maddison 55
12 James Malcolm 55
14 Simon Prigent 53
15 Scott Brewer 49
15 Daniel Garcia-Rasines 49
17 David Ford 46
17 Richard Hooley 46
19 Hugo Dias 45
20 Joe Cooper 4321 Christian Nielsen 39
22 Bernie Robbins 38
23 Mohamud Aadan 35
24 Rob Russell 33
25 Kevin Seaward 30
26 Conor Kissane-Wood 29
26 Louis Willam 29
28 Matt Douthwaite 27
29 Peter Hill 26
30 Steve Norris 25
31 Will Paynter 22
32 Paul Woodgate 21
33 Matt Ponting 17
34 Nick Michael 14