Monday, 10 December 2012

December Newsletter

The last newsletter of the year, but plenty to share with you this month.

Sat 8th December 10:30 start - Club 5 Mile XC  Woodford Golf Course.
A final reminder about this Saturday's event at Woodford.  Weather is looking good, some volunteers have stepped forward to help out, now all we need is runners.  If you've not run any cross country before, this is an ideal opportunity for you to try it out in this pretty setting, running against your fellow club members.
All the details can be found on the club noticeboard - just click here
Sat 15th December - Metropolitan XC League Race #3 - Alexandra Palace
For those who were there at 'Super Saturday' race #2 at Stevenage a few weeks back I suspect you'll be telling your grandchildren about that one.  Well, let's try and keep the dream alive (along with our hopes for promotion of the men's team).
It's a pretty easy venue to get to, by car, bike or public transport.  Full event details can be found on the rather good website.  Click here for the link
Sat 15th December - Club Christmas Party – 7:30pm until late
As if the two events above weren't exciting enough, the Christmas party to end them all is upon us once again.  Tickets on sale, available on Tuesday and Thursday night from Rob P or Malachy.  These are always a lot of fun and a great for new club members to come and see what we like to do when we're not training or competing.
Thu 20th December -Christmas Handicap  - from 7pm 
A repeat of last year's successful event, please put the last handicap of the year in your diary and dig out your best Christmas fancy dress.  I'll be offering a prize or two to those most in the spirit of the season on the night.  I was amazed by the creativity (and courage) of some of the club members at last year's event and truly hope to see the same again this year.  Usual handicap arrangements apply, get to the club house by 7pm to register, and we'll set off around 7:15.
Sat 29th December - Chingford League Race #4 - 2:30PM - At Chingford
We are doing really well this season.  After 3 races the Mens A, Mens B, Womens & Womens Vets teams are all TOP of the league. Just the Mens Vets team needed for a clean sweep! Tom Heslop is also second overall in the individual standings.  So, if you are around after Christmas, please make every effort to get to Chingford for this race, held in the beautiful Epping Forest.  More details will be on the noticeboard nearer the time; full results can be found here .
Tuesday 8th January - New Year Mob match – 7:45pm Start - NEW VENUE!
To celebrate local friends and rivals, Eton Manor's centenary year it will be hosted at a new venue and will be a 5km event, held at Marsh Lane E10. Additional changing facilities will be available in the new pavilion at the Seymour Road entrance to the park. Presentations and buffet afterwards in the Hare and Hounds.  More details will be on the noticeboard nearer the time.

Time to register for the Middlesex champs, Southerns and National XC
A call for entries for the Middlesex County Championships (Jan 5th), South of England XC Championships (26th Jan), National XC (23rd Feb).
Please click this link to complete the simple form.

Annual General Meeting 
Minutes from this are now available on the club website:  Please click here for full details.  Many thanks to member Joe Feltham who maintains the site and keeps it up to date.
Subscriptions: a polite reminder
A reminder that November is the start of the subscription year for those members who pay annually.  Please note that subscriptions have changed, all the fee details are now on the website - please click here.  If you pay by standing order, please update your payments.

Lastly, from our friends at Eton Manor - Quiz night, Saturday February 2nd.
We are arranging a Quiz night as part of our centenary celebrations next year and would be delighted if our close friends (and rivals!) would like to join in the celebrations by each sending a team (max. 8) along to the evening.  Please contact me if you'd like to go along and I'll put you in touch with Steve Adams at Eton Manor.
Do not worry if you cannot make up a full team, we can put people together to make up teams.  If you haven't been to the O's supporters club, it is a very nice venue, winner of CAMRA social club of the year, they are arranging for some local real ale to be available specifically for our evening.
Saturday 2nd February 2013
7pm for a 7.30pm start.
£10 per person
Leyton Orient Supporters Club
West Stand,
Oliver Road,

That's it for now.  Have a great Christmas break and we'll see you in the new year for what looks like a very exciting 2013.

Men's Road and XC captain

Saturday, 10 November 2012

November Newsletter

Hello all,

Welcome to new members joining this circulation list. After a summer of incredible sport, Autumn is well and truly here now.  That doesn't mean the fun should stop though, it's just a little colder and muddier.  So, lots of news of forthcoming races and new faces, but first, an important note about our annual fees for membership.

IMPORTANT: Changes to the Annual Subscriptions
Following some changes to the affiliation fees charged by England Athletics to the club we have had little choice but to revise the fee structure for members.
- Seniors using the clubhouse, the fee has risen to £96/year or £8/month.
- Seniors just based at Mile End, the fee has risen to £40/year or £3.33/month   
- Full-Time Students or Unemployed members, the fee has risen to £40/year or £3.33/month
- Unchanged for OAPs or Second Claim athletes

If you pay by standing order, please update your monthly payment.  If you pay annually, your fees are now due. Standing orders/bank transfers: please make payments to HSBC account number 31384414, sort code 40-06-23. Account name is Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC.  Please include your full name as a reference so that we know who you are.

Welcome new board members
Following the AGM we have some new members on the board
- Victoria 'Tori' Poole takes on the role of Women's Director of Road & XC running,
- Claudia Abe-Minale takes on the role of Director of Youth Development
- David Wilkey becomes the Company Secretary to the club.
I hope you welcome these new board members on board and get a chance to say hello to them as they appear at the club in the coming months.  We hope to post more details and pictures on the website soon.

Forthcoming Cross Country League Races:
We've had a very good start to the season, with good turnouts and notable results in a lot of the races, especially in the Chingford League.  Don't forget to keep an eye on all of the results on the noticeboard and also the fixtures page . Specific sites:
- Chingford League results here:
- Metropolitan League results and information:

Some future dates:
- Met League Race #2 - Stevenage - 10th November - PM
- London XC Champs - Parliament Hill - 17th November (this is a pre-entry race, entries now closed) - PM
- Ware Cup - Loughton - Saturday 24th November - 2:30PM
The Men's team retained this piece of silverware in 2011 with a very good turnout.  Unfortunately, the Women had to relinquish their cup last year.  So, let's aim for a really big turnout and win it back from local friends and rivals Eton Manor AC.  No need to pre-enter this race, just turn-up on the day - it's a short walk from Loughton tube on the Central Line and reasonable parking on site.  More details nearer the time on the noticeboard.

- Club 5 Mile XC - Woodford Golf Course - Provisionally Saturday 8th December - 10:30AM start
Race #3 in the club's Winter Championships, the annual trip to Woodford Golf Course, a pretty 2* 2.5 mile course.  It's free to enter, just turn up on the day. Club members and their guests may run. Always a great event, for runners and spectators alike. If anyone is able to assist with the following, please let me know:
- timekeeping (during)
- course marking (before and after)
- photography (before, during, after)
More details nearer the time on the noticeboard and Facebook.

Pre-Entry Races: Coming soon. Look out for a call for entries for  Middlesex County Championships (Jan 5th), South of England XC Championships (26th Jan), National XC (23rd Feb).  I'll be using a webform this year to make it a little easier to register your interest.

Christmas Party - Saturday 15th December
Put it in your diary folks.  Tickets are already available for the Christmas party - ON SALE NOW - from Rob P or Malachy or just in the bar, generally, on a Thursday night.  More details to follow on the website.

2013 - Officials Course - Provisionally March 9th/10th
Something the sport lacks sadly, is an ample supply of people prepared to get involved in an official capacity.  In order to remedy this plans are being prepared for an officials course, to be held at Mile End, for anyone interested in officiating at Track or Field events, Starting or Timekeeping.  It will be open to club members and others interested.  More details to follow, or contact Major Carr for further details.

That's it for now, time to get muddy.
Men’s Road & XC Captain

Sunday, 16 September 2012

September Newsletter

With the Olympic flame still cooling down, the towpath now re-opened, gold painted postboxes all over the place and McDonalds scratching their heads as to what to do with their biggest restaurant, our thoughts turn to the winter season and some exciting developments at the club.  Starting with a short sharp race this very week...

Thursday 20th September - Club champs 1 mile - Start 7pm sharp
Traditionally the start of the winter season, the Flowers Mile will be run this Thursday.  It is the first race in the annual Club Championships series (1, 3.5, 10, 20 mile on the road, 5 mile XC).  Named after a former club member the course is the classic one mile route adjacent to the clubhouse in Victoria Park.  This fast race is over in a flash but great fun.  Due to low light levels at this time of the year we must start the race right on 7pm.  Registration from 6:30pm, last sign-up at 6:55pm to get the race under way on time. You will need to run with a number which you collect upon registration.  There is no fee and current members may invite guests.  As usual, we are looking for a few folks to assist with timekeeping and marshalling on the course - please let me know or respond to post on the noticeboard.

Saturday 29th September - Middlesex County 10k, Victoria Park - 10:30am start
It is our annual pleasure to host the Middlesex County 10k road race once again.  This county standard race will take place within the park on a certified course and is open to all as an open event as well.  It would be great to see a strong turn out from club members, either as volunteers helping out on the course, within the club to assist entrants on the day or of course, competing with pride for this great club.  Please get in touch with me or Major Carr if you can assist for a few hours on the day.

More details and entry form on Middlesex AC website - closing date for entries is 22nd September, so get moving.

Saturday 29th September - Club Open Day
If the Middlesex 10k wasn't exciting enough, how about the club open day planned for the very same afternoon? A chance for a ALL club members to come along and get involved in something a bit different, learn a little bit more about the works taking place in the clubhouse, meet some new members and test your changeover skills in a series of relay events.  This is also being promoted to other local clubs too.  As usual there are more details on the clubwebsite and some of the posts on the noticeboard

Saturday 6th October - Club Champs 3.5 mile - 10:30am (Provisional)
Lots of Winter Fixtures are already on the website but a special note for the second race of the club's championship will be the 3.5 mile road race.  Again, it will be held in the park on the traditional course. More details to follow.

Sunday 21st October - The Art of Running with Malcolm Balk Workshop - Central London
For those interested in learning more about running using the 'Alexander Technique' a club member has let me know about a workshop taking place in Central London in October.  Please see the website: 

Thursday 25th October - VPH & TH AC Annual General Meeting - 8:30pm
Full notice, details and agenda to follow but please put the date in your diary now.  There will be much to discuss as the club enters an exciting period of works and prepares for 2013 and beyond.  Particularly, there are a number of vacancies arising on the board including Director of Women's Road & XC Running, Club Secretary and Director of Youth.

Winter Fixtures - Road and XC
Lots of winter fixtures are on the website now, in addition to those above the first of the Chingford League series will be at the Hog Hill Cycle circuit on Tuesday 2nd October.  Check them all out here:  It is updated regularly as more key events are confirmed.  The Serpentine website is also an excellent source of additional fixture details.

Thursday sessions at the clubhouse - 
As the evenings get dark it is more important than ever to consider your own and your fellow club member's safety when out training.  As far as possible we try to group people together for the Thursday sessions leaving from the clubhouse.  Please remember, if you are in a group it is your collective responsibility to look out for one another and ensure that no one gets left behind.  It might be frustrating if you discover that your group members all run at different paces but that doesn't mean you should leave your group members behind.  If you start in a small group make sure you are aware of everyone's position within the group, particularly if you sense one of your members dropping back.  Don't just leave them to drop behind, slow the pace of the group and make sure you agree on the course of action to get you all back. It's not fun being left alone, but, more importantly, it creates unnecessary risk for those who get left on their own.  Please make sure you put this in to action next time you are running in a group. Member safety is everyone's responsibility.

Men's Road + XC Captain

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

March Newsletter

Hello folks

Lots to update you on this month, lots to keep you busy and involved in your club.  Firstly, this coming Thursday a chance to hear about the proposed clubhouse improvements and have your say, too:

Thursday 15th March - 8:45-10:00 PM - Clubhouse Improvements Open Night
There will be an open evening  for all members to review the plans for the clubhouse improvement works and discuss them with the refurbishment committee.  This will be an informal drop in session where you can bring up a drink from the bar and look through the drawings, discuss, and make comments etc.  Members are encouraged to attend but if you are unable to make the open evening and would like to comment, you can review the documents at the links below and email the board at
The previous and current boards have been seeking grant funding to improve the facilities and accessibility of the clubhouse. Sufficient funding is now in place to undertake phase 1 and 2 of the improvement works.  Below is a brief summary of funding and proposed improvements.
Secured Funds:
London Marathon Trust -  £50k
VPHTHAC club funds    -  £20k to £30k
We expected a further £50k to be approved by City Bridge Trust on 15 March. Further funding is being sought.         
Phase 1 & 2 – stage removed from hall; gym relocation to space occupied by female changing rooms; new female changing and shower area above Men’s changing on first floor; unisex disabled changing with WC and shower; external works to improve disability/wheelchair access to the hall; central heating in changing areas, bar and committee room. Please click the links below for: 

Saturday 17th March 2012 - Chingford League Relays - Highams Park
The last cross country of the season, and a real bit of fun this one. Whilst the individual races are over there are still team prizes to be decided so, once again, I encourage as many members as possible to come and run.  It's in the lovely and easy-to-get-to Highams Park. Given the terrain and dry weather of late you may not even need spikes.  There will be two races: 12.30pm u13 boys +girls  (one lap park), 1.00pm all other categories, (one lap park, one lap lake) 
Full details will be posted on the club noticeboard.

Thursday 29th  March 2012, 7pm - Monthly 2.9 mile Handicap - Well St Common
The last 'short' handicap of this season will take place as usual at the end of the Month before we move on to the summer 5 mile course in the park for 5 months.  As ever, previous results [typed up by me :-) ] are all available here:

Thursday April 12th, 7:15pm start - Assembly League Race #1 - Beckenham
April = Summer = Assembly League = Yay!   For the six summer months, the Assembly League runs on Thursday evenings early in the month.  This is a great little series, a chance to get a fast, flat road race around 3-4 miles on a school night, usually followed by some essential re-hydration. As ever, the first race is in Beckenham.  PLEASE START PLANNING NOW to attend this one. Yes, it's a bit of a sacrifice and a bit further to travel than usual but it is worthwhile.  We have won this league in Mens and Womens teams in previous years (medals available to view upon request).  Look out for the Assembly League website going live soon as well.

General News:  Club Expenses Policy 
The board recently adopted an expenses policy to cover the sort of costs the are incurred attending events.  Please read carefully if it is relevant or of interest to you and feel free to address any questions to the board at the email address above or come and have a chat in person. The policy will be added to the website, along with claims forms for you to download and complete in order to make your claim.

Too much to fit in this month so look out for another update soon. In the meanwhile, check out the club website, with a wonderful picture of the club's own World Championship Gold Medal Winning Perry Shakes-Drayton.  Check out the club Facebook page, expertly tended to by Stanley, follow us on Twitter , expertly tweeted by Joe Feltham. Or come and drink in our bar on a Thursday night. Or, simply feel proud of being part this great club.

Road and XC Captain

Sunday, 19 February 2012

February Quick Newsletter

Hello all, a quick quickie to remind you about this Saturday's race in the park and to get you invovled with the Open 5 on April 7th
Chingford League – This Saturday, Victoria Park
This Saturday is the final major race of the Chingford League and it’s the club’s turn to host this race in Victoria Park (tarmac, so you don’t even need spikes!).  We are doing very well in the league this year with some strong performances – a good show on Saturday could see us take a prize.  It’s just under 5 miles , with the Seniors race starting at 2:30pm.  The Junior races start at 1:45 and 2:05.  even if this is your first race of the season it would be great to see you there.

Open 5  2012 – Compete or Help Out
A reminder about the Open 5 on Easter Saturday,  one of the most important events we host each year which brings good publicity for the club, keeps the historic events going and also much-needed funds for your club too. A few of you have kindly offered to get involved with the Open 5 but we don’t yet have enough.

If you can’t enter or help out  on the day, you could always print an Open 5  flyer or three at the link below and post up at your work place or give to your friends/colleagues. 

Those of you who have benefitted from the Monday, Tuesday or Thursday training sessions but who have yet to get involved competing or helping out - now is your chance to get involved– it’s good fun and that is what keeps the club going.  For this Saturday, we particularly need marshals for the course, help with the finish funnel area and also assistance serving tea and coffee around race time.  Please get in touch with me write2sim |at| or post on the clubnoticeboard.  For the Open 5, there is a wider range of tasks, see the previous email sent on 29th Jan.  Without your support, these events can’t go ahead.

That's it for now.  I truly look forward to seeing you at either or both of these events.

Simeon (Men's Road & XC captain)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

January 2012 Newsletter

If it's not too late, a happy new Olympic year to members past and present,

New club representative for Women's Athletics
Welcome to the board Emily Mosedale who will look after the role of Women's Track & Field. We welcome Emily on board and I hope you will give her your support.  Please see her post on the noticeboard and get in touch with her at emosedale78 AT  We'd like to say thank you to Nana Qawson who is stepping down from her role but will continue to stay involved with activities and events down at Mile End.

Right, there are plenty of new fixtures, including road & XC and athletics fixtures for the year on the website, please check the fixtures page of the club website for details.  

Saturday 4th February 2012 - Club Championships 10 mile race - 10am Start
Back after a year's absence, the 10 mile race is back on the calendar, a nice respite from XC running for those of you who need a break. 10 miles of fast flat traffic-free running against your fellow club members. Please get to the club house by 9:30 as we will depart the club house at 9:50 for the start at 10.  Please note the Zumba class will be using the hall between 10-11 whilst the race is on. There are cups for the winners and I will try and arrange some post run tea and cake for afters (how's that for an incentive?).  

Thursday 9th February 9:30-3:30 - London Mini Marathon Trials
The folks at Tower Hamlets Sports Development will be running Virgin London Marathon Mini Marathon trials at the club house on the above date. If you have some time to spare and can help out or for more info, please get in touch with Shen Brereton:

Sunday 25th March - 12 & 6 stage Road Relays - Milton Keynes
We are entering team once again for this exciting and unusual event.  For more details, visit the rather good website and then get in touch with Women's Team manager: Holly Gilbert (hollyjangilbert AT or Men's team manager for this event - Tom Heslop (tom.heslop AT - Holly and Tom have risen to the challenge of taking this on, the momentum is building so please do get in touch with them or me if you're interested..  As usual, the club will pay for entry and arrange for transport to this event.

Easter Saturday 7th April - 2012 Open 5 mile Race
The Open 5 date has been announced.  The biggest road running race that the club hosts each year, this year will be the 47th time we have run this event. This year, as every year, we want as many members as possible involved either competing or helping out.  All the entry details are on the club website . If you don't plan to enter, your help beforehand will be appreciated.  Specifically, we are looking for:
  • Baggage - lead + helpers
  • Course marshalls and chief marshall 
  • Refreshments team
  • Chips/Numbers/Entries-on-the-day team 
  • Lead Cyclist
  • End funnel marshalls
  • Water team
Please get in touch with me (write2sim AT , Major Carr (major_carr AT or Pats Carden (patcardenn66 AT to volunteer.

Monday evenings, 7pm - Hill Training - Foot of Spring Hill, near the Boat Club
For those who are not satisfied with the vast number of sessions available at the club, a few of us are doing a hill training session on a Monday evening.  Come along to work some different muscles, develop your core strength and raise your pain threshold.  We start at 7, the session lasts around 40-45 mins.

Saturday 28th April (PM) - Mike Penman Memorial 10k Mob-match - Victoria Park
A date has been found for the annual mob match.  For those new to the club it is run each year in memory of a former club member whose life was cut short by an accident and organised by friends and family along with the club.  It is a mob match against a number of local clubs - there is always a good atmosphere at this free 10k (not many of those these days) in Mike's memory.  Keep the date in your diary - more details to follow.
VPH & TH AC Club Website - What do you think?
The club is looking to significantly improve the website and would like to understand the views of its members. Please take 5 minutes to share your opinion at: The survey will be open to responses until midnight on 5th February 2012. 

Is the bar closing?
Finally, those of you who have been enjoying the great atmosphere in the bar on a Thursday night will know what a good place it is.  What you may not know is the work put in by a small team of volunteers who keep it running.  Rob, who manages the bar, is always on the look out for fresh hands to help out as he can't do it all alone.  Either to help out with preparing food, opening up or serving during the evening.  Without these folks there is no bar, so please contact him and get involved: robpitkethly AT  

Wishing you a happy and healthy start to the year.  I hope you will achieve your goals this year and that we'll see as many of you as possible taking part and getting involved with our great club.

Men's Road & XC Captain