TVH Seniors run the First Met League of the Season

It was good autumn weather for the Valley men and women who travelled to Claybury Park, Woodford, for the first Metropolitan League cross country race of the season.  There were some good individual performances in both races, including 2 inside the top 50 for the men and 2 inside the top 40 for the women.

Unfortunately both the men and women dropped valuable points due to low turnout on the day. So with 4 Met League races to go it’s going to need some great team effort from the Valley to make up the league points deficit, but it can be done with good support. Alongside the Met League races there is also the Valley’s own Met League Cup competition, a handicap competition based on age-graded times, with a trophy and medals awarded to the top 3 Valley men and women at the end of the Met League season.

The best 4 out of 5 races are scored for each athlete to decide the winners, with Rob Russell and Audrey Hall taking an early lead in both competitions after Saturday’s race.

Taking place at Claybury Country Park, Woodford, Saturday’s race has always been a popular Met League venue due to the fast nature of the course and the autumn weather usually providing dry conditions, as was the case on Saturday with some warm sunshine and a light wind prevailing.

With each lap around Claybury Park consisting of a fast downhill start, some fast flat grassland sections, a strenuous hill climb through the woods and an uphill stretch to the finish, this course has something for everyone.

For the women’s 6k race it was 2 laps around the park, while the men’s 8k race took in 3 laps, and following the junior races next up was the senior women’s race, where the 198 strong field took on the park challenge.

Four ladies were brave and strong enough to take on the mega-long-steep-tough hill as part of the Claybury course. This hill is part of each long lap of the course and, in previous years, many good runners have been reduced to walking, or dropping out half way up!! Therefore, it’s a well-deserved congratulations to Audrey Hall, Siana Jones, Frankie Lynch and Christine Munden who all completed the hill TWICE on Saturday.

All the results are below.

For all the TVH ladies who weren’t quite ready to face the uber-hill, don’t worry, the next Met league race is in Stevenage on Saturday the 7th of November and it’s a fairly flat course so you will be able to use your summer-speed training to help us score lots of points and work our way out of the 1st division relegation zone.

As the men’s race got underway a fast start was essential down the first hill, especially with the very large field of 427 men, one of the largest for a Met League.

Thankfully there were no casualties going down the first hill and the field soon began to spread out as the leaders went out across the fields and then into the woods for the first hill climb.

Leading the way for the TVH men was Rob Russell, who having travelled down from Scotland for the race was determined to put in a good performance, and he didn’t disappoint as he worked his way through the field with a great performance to finish well up in 30th place.

Next in for the Valley was junior U20 athlete Robert Vallance, who enjoyed an excellent race for his highest ever senior Met League finish in 49th place, and it looks like there will be more good races to come this season.

It was good to see Calum Nicol back on the team on Saturday, as having joined the club as a junior he is one of the longer serving members of the team and he did well on his return to record a finishing position of 147th and looks good enough for a top 100 finish next time.

Matt Ponting had also taken a break while away over the summer and although not back to full fitness he finished just inside the top half of the field in 205th and will no doubt move higher as he gets fitter.

Continuing a run of good form it was Richard Hooley leading the way for the Valley veterans, finishing in a good 230th place he looks set to continue his improvement from the summer season.

Not far behind in 251st place was Paul Woodgate, who after a good summer season which included a number of pb’s will be going from strength to strength this winter.

The final man home for the Valley was Richard Bell, who did well in 280th place given the field of over 427 finishers and will look to better this next race.

One final word for Fahad Abdi, who started the race well and looked to be up inside the top 100, but unfortunately couldn’t finish due to difficulty breathing.

The team results saw the TVH senior men finish in 8th place in Division 2 and veteran men finish in
6th place in Division 2, and with both teams looking to win promotion this season there is a lot of hard work to be done in the remaining 4 league races.

The women’s team results placed the TVH senior women in 10th place in Division 1 and the veteran women in 6th place in Division 2, and as with the men’s team there is much work to be done in the rest of the season.

So we need everyone out for the 2nd Met League race at Stevenage on Saturday November 7th and look to produce some fireworks on the day!

Up The Valley!

Men’s Met League Results :
Race 1 : Woodford : 11-10-2015

Race Position Time
30. Robert Russell  27:23
49. Robert Vallance 28:24
147. Calum Nicol 31:09
205. Matt Ponting 32:46
230. Richard Hooley 33:23
251. Paul Woodgate 34:10
280. Richard Bell 35:15

427 Finishing Athletes.

Men’s Division 2 Team Result :
8. TVH 670 points

Veteran Men’s Division 2 Team Result :
6. TVH 95 points

TVH Men’s Met League Cup :
Positions after 1st race.

Cup Position Cup Points
1 Robert Russell 17
2 Robert Vallance 16
3 Richard Hooley 15
4 Richard Bell 14
5 Calum Nicol 13
6 Matt Ponting 12
7 Paul Woodgate 11

Women’s Met League Results :
Race 1 : Woodford : 11-10-2015

Race Position Time
28 Audrey Hall 24:13
39 Siana Jones 24:54
195 Frankie Lynch 36:41
197 Christine Munden 37:25

198 Finishing Athletes.

Women’s Division 1 Team Result :
10. TVH 55 points

Veteran Women’s Division 2 Team Result :
6. TVH 5 points

TVH Women’s Met League Cup :
Positions after 1st race.

Cup Position Cup Points
1 Audrey Hall 14
2 Siana Jones 13
3 Frankie Lynch 12
4 Christine Munden 11