Friday, 16 February 2018

Metropolitan League XC 2017-18 – Race 5 Trent Park, February 10th

Trent Park provides VPH with a fitting finale for the final Met League!

The closing fixture at Trent Park didn’t fail to deliver and rounded off a fantastic season for the VPH&THAC with a testing lactic inducing course. For some it was their first taster of X Country and undoubtedly a true X Country experience, mud, hills, rain, wind and pure guts!


The heavens opened as the Juniors commenced and the conditions worsened as the afternoon went on. The Juniors, brilliant as ever didn’t let this deter them proving depth and talent across all age groups and tribute to all the hard work put in by coaches Cornelia and Charlie. The Under 11 Boys rounded off a successful season finishing an impressive 2nd overall with brave runs from Edgar Sayers (8th) and Tom Scott-Gall (15th). The Under 11 Girls nearly matched them finishing 3rd overall with 2 top ten performances from Ruby James (8th) and Sophie Whiteside (9th).


The Under 13 Girls dominated their competition putting in the team performance of the day with some outstanding individual runs to finish 1st and second overall.  The very talented Keira (Arsenal girls superstar) finishing 1st for the second time already this season followed by Ruby in (3rd) and Anoushka in (8th).


In the Junior men’s competition Yusuf was back on fine form romping along to yet another met league victory, pursued by Luca in (5th) and Benjamin in (9th) rocketing them to 2nd place and 4th overall. The Junior women also put in a good shift finishing 4th and coming 3rd overall to add to their remarkable stash of bling and finish third in the Howard Williams Trophy.


The ladies meant business and donning coordinating jade ribbons courtesy of Sophie battled the elements to finish in 3rd place, narrowly missing 3rd place overall in Division 1 (which is a team personal best for the club and a monumental improvement of 8th place from last year). Mandy on her new favourite course relished the tricky conditions to finish in (17th) and 1st V35 with Rachel (7th), Sophie (22nd), Helena (23rd), Hannah (29th) and Annie (35th) all working together to power up those hills. The depth of the Ladies which has been evident all year was confirmed by the B team, with Kelly (41st), Sue (55th), Faye (58th) and Ellie (62nd) demolishing the opposition to secure promotion to the Second Division. Other notable performances was Emily Catmur on her Met League debut.


The Vets were also on fire and came second by a mere point and completing the season finishing 3rd overall in Division 1 with Helen and Agata also adding all important points.

The Ladies jubliant post race!

The 35 strong Men’s squad had some tough acts to follow but equalled the Ladies scores with a season’s best display in 3rd spot, bagging 5th overall, showing that numbers in this league really do make all the difference. The first ten home were all impressively inside the top 100, Paul M (7th), Josse (29th), Ewan (47th), James (50th), William S (54th), Andrew B (57th), David J (61st), Hobbs (75th), William Kirk (78th), Tony M (85th). The B team buoyed by Mike’s return from Dhaka notched the 3rd spot and maintained 3rd position overall in Division 3. Promotion to the next division looking like a strong possibility and goal for next season.

Josse battles the bog to a seasons best finish!

The Old Gits put in a great shift to finish in 3rd and put us in 2nd overall showing that we not only have youth on our side. The B team also destroyed their opposition to finish top of Division 3 and gain promotion to Division 2 (please no one take an early retirement over the summer). 


It was a glorious ending to the X Country season which pitted us against the biggest and the best that London had to offer. Well done to all those that ran, marshalled, baked and supported and contributed to its success and helped us finish 4th overall in the Howard Williams Trophy (7th last year). Best of luck to all those running at the Nationals on Parliament Hill on February 24th and if you are already getting Met League withdrawals don’t forget the Chingford League on Saturday at 2.30pm on home turf where you can get your running/supporting or marshalling fix! #UpthePark #VPH4EVA

Friday, 2 February 2018

Newsletter 112: Feeling Fine February

Time for another newsletter, the first of 2018 in fact. Plenty of events this month, plus LOTS of baby news to share as well.

This Saturday 3rd Feb - Club 10 Mile Champs - 10am for 10:30am start - Victoria Park
The penultimate event in our own Winter series, and a nice break from XC running for those who need it.  10 miles of fast, flat, traffic-free running against yourself or your fellow club members.  Please get to the club house by 10am as we will depart the club house at 10:15 for a prompt start.  The course is a measured straight + five '2 mile' loops, finishing in front of the White Lodge.  There are cups for the winners + tea, cakes and glory in the clubhouse bar afterwards. What's not to like? Club members may bring a guest to run, please wear your club top if possible and DON'T FORGET YOUR GREEN NUMBER if you have one.

We already have a few kind volunteers but we could always use a few more to help out.  Otherwise, maybe bring or make a cake for afterwards?   Please get in touch with Cheryl or I.

Saturday 10th Feb - Metropolitan XC League - Race 5 - Trent Park - Seniors 1:55pm / 2:35pm
Can you believe the finale of the Met League is almost upon us?  What a great season it has been. After four races, our incredible Senior women's team are in 4th place in Division 1 - such results were unheard of in recent years. So well done women, please cement your highest-ever place in the league by remembering to turn up and run on the 10th!  Meanwhile the women's B team are poised for promotion to League 2 - I'm almost breathless now - again, missing one race and we could lose a lot, so race 5 is the opportunity not to be missed.

A similar story for our amazing men who sit 5th in Div 1, again, another first for us. A big push and we could steal another position, that means ALL of our first men need to TAKE ACTION. You have no excuse now. Meanwhile our Men's B has a chance of promotion, but this means EVERYONE needs to get out to run, not only to score points in their own right but to diminish other clubs.  Get to it Men.

Trent Park is easy to get to on the Picadilly Line, a pleasant countryside Tube ride and a fantastic modernist station awaits you at Cockfosters, followed by a short walk to Trent Park.  All the fixture details are here.

Saturday 17th February - Chingford League - 5 Mile Race - Victoria Park - 2:30pm start
Runners Needed: It's our turn to host in this fantastic mix-terrain league. So with a race on home turf there's no excuse not to shuffle down to the park on Saturday afternoon.  You won't even get muddy as all five miles are on tarmac!  As usual, bring your trainers, your club top and a desire to run as fast as possible. No pre-registration required.
Helpers Needed: As usual, I'll need help to stage the event, either before, during or after the event.  Either helping to set out the course, marshalling during the races, or afterwards clearing away or helping with the tea/cake stall.  Even if you'd like to run your help will still be valid, you can even bake a cake if you like.  Please get in touch or look out on Facebook nearer the time.

Saturday 24th February - English National XC Championships - Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath - from 1pm
The 'Nationals' are back in London this year, and we have a good strong entry or seniors and juniors running once again.  Entries are closed and complete now but even if you don't plan to run, why not get yourself down to the Heath for some fresh air, shouting and the possibility of a cheeky drink afterwards.

Other news:
VPH & TH in print
Club member and advocate Helen Croydon has written another book, this time about the transformation in her life when she discovered endurance sports.  The club gets a mention or two within its pages; I'm sure Helen would happily sign your copy next time she's down at the club.  The book is available to buy here (and other places) and you can find out more about Helen here.

Typical, you wait for months for a club member to have a baby and then three turn up at once.  January has been a fertile and productive month.  

Firstly Congratulations to former women's captain Laura Morgan and running demigod Sam Humphrey (who met at the club) who welcomed baby Josie Lea to the world on 17th Jan after entering this world via Homerton Hospital.  Congratulations to you all, we hope to meet Josie very soon.

Secondly Congratulations to club stalwart and 'oldie' inspiration Paul Gaimster and his partner Helen, who welcomed a beautiful baby girl in to the world on 16th January, announced via the magic of Strava.  Hopefully a name will be revealed soon  and Paul will take a minute out of his busy diary to come down and say hello!

Thirdly, big congratulations to long-time club member Erica Brown-Vasey and her partner Lee who welcomed their baby son, Berry in to the world on January 9th. Erica maintained contact with the club helping out whenever she could all through her pregnancy, and brought him for his first visit to the club just last week. She's unstoppable.  Welcome to the world Berry and best wishes to you all.

That's it for February news but loads more news to come soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more news in a month.  In the meanwhile keep your eye on the channels below for updates in the meanwhile.


Men's Road & XC Captain

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