Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Newsletter 110: Nice News for November

Hello all,

Clocks may have moved to GMT but that will never hold us back! The cross-country and winter road-running season are already in full swing. So, here's a few of the key highlights in the coming weeks and other club news.

This Saturday 4th November - Veterans AC - XC Race - Loughton - 11am start
This annual one-off XC race held on the familiar course at Loughton at a much more sensible time of 11am. Open to men age 40+ and women age 35+. It is free to run and registration is on the day. A few more details can be found on the Veterans AC website. There are limited changing facilities at Loughton (short walk from Loughton tube) and usually someone selling tea and cake afterwards. What more could you ask for in this crazy and complicated world?

Also - North London XC Champs are being held in West London. This is a pre-entry event but please get in touch if you would like to run.

Tuesday 7th November - Chingford League Race 3 - Redbridge Cycle Circuit - 7:30pm (women) / 8:00pm (men)
We've had a fantastic start to the season in the Chingford League. With two races under the belt we are already in great shape, leading most categories. Race three and we're back for the second Redbridge fixture.

Saturday 11th Metropolitan League - Race 2 - Welwyn - 1:55pm / 2:35pm
After possibly one of our most impressive starts to a Met League season ever, let's keep up the incredible momentum for race 2. Yes, there's a little further to go to this one, but keep any eye out on Facebook and other outlets for transport and travel details. Travelling together just adds to the fun and team spirit. This is a new venue, a replacement for the slightly dull Stevenage fixture, let's hope. All the details can be found on the Met League fixture page.

Thursday 16th November - The Great VPH Bake Off - Club Bar after the evening session 8:30pm ish
Back for yet another event, the annual carb-loading fest is an opportunity to show-off both your baking and consumption talents. Organised once again by Dr Charlotte Bewley, members are encouraged to bake and bring along their offerings. If that's not your scene, then please come along with an empty stomach and full wallet, ready to contribute and raise funds for the excellent Medecins sans Frontieres, a fantastic charity for whom we have raised many hundreds of pounds over the years.

Saturday 18th November - London XC Championships - Parliament Hill - 1:15pm/2pm
Last chance to enter this annual XC bash at beautiful Parliament Hill. Open to first claim club members only - please see this post on the Facebook page for more details. If you'd like to just enter, there's still time - do so here: http://tinyurl.com/LondonXC2017 - DEADLINE WED 1st November.

Saturday 25th November - Club Championships 3.5 mile race - Victoria Park - 10:30am start
The second race in the club's own Winter series (to complement the 1 mile, 5 mile XC, 10 mile and 20 mile) and another chance to get some Boswall points for those all-important bragging rights. Run on the mile loop + figure-of-8 loop entirely within the park on a Saturday morning. More details can be found on the noticeboard here

Club Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 Places Ballot
A number of you have asked about club marathon ballot places. I'm pleased to report that the club will be allocated 4 places for the 2018 event. The details are not fully confirmed yet (the places are not officially available at present) but please keep an eye out on the noticeboard and Facebook page for details of how to enter the ballot. In the meanwhile, please familiarise yourself with the requirements, which will be updated soon following a change to the criteria to ensure a fairer distribution of places between men and women.

And finally (1)
Club's most improved athletes. For Road and Cross Country it was another tough, tough year for the decision makers, but the awards went to Matthew Walker and Rachel Thomas who both proved over the year what commitment to training can do for your results. Over in Track & Field the awards went to Neil Kirkham and Hazel Robertson, whilst for the junior T&F athletes Yusuf Bizimana and Kai Dubarey Gay set shining examples to us all - WELL DONE ALL.

And finally (2)
It's been a very busy start to the season, with the club's athletes flying the club colours in Berlin, Chicago, Frankfurt and Beachy Head. If you get a moment, please do take a look at the club Facebook page, too many achievements to list here, but all of them inspirational in their own way.

And finally (3)
A big thanks to Laura Morgan who stepped down as Women's Director of Road & XC running, who stepped down after years of service to the club, to focus on her next big event - having a baby. We wish Laura all the very best for the coming days, weeks, months and years. in her place, we welcome Cheryl Evans to replace Laura, many of you will know Cheryl as a regular at club races and training sessions, please welcome her and give her your full support.

So, that's November sorted, I'd say. I hope to see many of you at some of the events listed above (and no, not just the cake-eating one!)

Men's Road & XC Captain

Find out what your clubmates are up to on the Club Facebook page
Get the latest news and updates, follow @VPHTHAC on Twitter
Get news, updates and race results on the club noticeboard - handicap results are here: tinyurl.com/HandicapResults
Keep an eye out for forthcoming fixtures on the club website

Monday, 23 October 2017

Metropolitan League XC 2017-18 – Race 1 Claybury, October 14th

VPH&THAC get X Country season off to a cracking start with a record-breaking turnout at Claybury!

Saturday’s Met League saw over 100 club members tackle the bone-dry undulating Claybury course. The results across the board led Neil Cook (Met League Pressure Group Administrator) to hail the VPH team performance as, “one of the greatest days for our fine club.” This was even more impressive due to the record number of participants, 506 men and 211 women, the corresponding fixture last year saw 472 and 160 respectively.

The juniors kicked things off and led by example, the Under 11s finishing 1st with Louis Reynolds putting in an exceptional individual performance to achieve 2nd!  It was also a 2nd for the Under 13 girls and 3rd place for U11 and U15/U17 girls, continuing their dominance from last season and topping the junior league overall.

Annie in action for the women

Inspired by the juniors, the women also put in a strong team performance, the Women’s A team finishing in 4th place in Division 1 (above Heathside). Buoyed by newcomers Helena Eastham (16th), Annie Byrne (27th) and Hannah Somai (36th) who on their met league debuts were able to catapult the women 6 places from last year! The remainder of the A team was filled by Rachel Thomas (12th), Sophie Donges (28th) and Holly Weir (34th).

Gritty runs from Charlie Maling, (42nd) Sue Bint (43), Emma Dunk (47th)  and Rachel Rowling (57th and first post baby Met League) saw the Women’s B team finish top of Division 3 making the B team favourites for promotion and demonstrating our great depth. New joiners Nat Forester, Amelia Evans and Emma Robinson (first X country for club) all had great runs and showed great promise for the future fixtures.

The VETs also asserted themselves on the league with some fantastic running from Holly, Sue, ‘Come back Queen’ Catherine McLaughlin (82nd) and Agata Slota (117th) to finish 4th a mere 16 points adrift of third place. With some key VETS out of action this weekend, the women will be looking to build on this placing at the next fixture and keep up the VPH charge.

The men’s race witnessed the second stand out performance of the day from Paul Martiletti with an astounding run, after sitting in 11th position after the first lap he was masterfully able to work his way up the strong field to finish in 3rd position overall. The great work did not stop there and fresh from his Isle of Wight success Joe Dale came home in a very impressive 33rd, followed by the reigning Chingford League champion James Cordwell (48th) and Fabien Lassonde (63rd). Alun Myers on his first x country outing in a while proved that his talents were not just on the roads finishing just behind in (64th), showing great promise for the rest of the season. Steve Hobbs (68th), Michael Channing (74th), Tony MacDowall (90th), and Ewan Cameron (95th) continued their fine form and were scorers for the A team. Special mention must also goes to newcomers William Kirk (76th), William Woodcock (78th), and Aaron McGrudy (80th) who played a vital role in helping the men’s A team finish in an incredible 3rd place overall in Division 1 streaks above our local friends and rivals Barnet and Heathside.

There were also some fine performances in our B team with David Jones (99th), Neil Cook (117th), Gareth Evans (119th), Anthony Withstandley (122nd), Craig Norris (124th), Simeon Bennett (157th), Andre Dahlkamp (171st), Duncan Steen (175th) and Jordi Mila (195th) which rocketed them into 1st place of Division 3 cementing themselves as serious promotion contenders. 

The Men’s Vets also proved there was still some life left in the ‘old gits’ and surged to third place in Division 1 respectively.

Men's cheer squad

Undoubtedly, it was a truly memorable day and evening for VPH&THAC and a massive thank you must go to all the supporters, new kit designers, baby/dog sitters, brownie makers, photo snappers, marquee erecters, Club captains, junior coaches and number distributors that were key in helping to contribute to a fantastic team performance across the board. Not forgetting Cheryl Evans who organised a brilliant team social and at the same time managed to do some recruiting for the next track season. 

I urge you now to get the next Met league fixture in the diary, November 11th at Welwyn Garden City, at the picturesque Stanborough Park (great day out for the kids too), let’s keep up the strength in numbers as that is what makes the difference. #VPH4EVA

Post race & Brownie photo