JACOB ALLEN, who ran 5th in the Armagh International 5k in 13:47 on Thursday then, on Saturday, had a comfortable victory in the Met league, over the Trent Park course Alastair Aitken reports.
Afterwards, Jacob spoke about the pleasure he got from running for his club Highgate and his job as a PE Teacher at Central Foundation school, improving the boys at sports, particularly athletics.
In the race at Trent Park, it was a group, which included Allen, Brett Rushman, Seyfu Jamaal, Oscar Bell, John Eves and Tom Butler breaking away but soon Allen went ahead and, Brett Rasmusen fell heavily on a sticky patch that put him right out of the running for a place. Oscar Bell, who won at Welwyn, then became a good second in the final lap but, by then Jacob Allen was even further ahead.
The first M45 was Jim Cooper, the Harrow ‘stalwart’ in 61st place and the first M75 was Richard Bloom 340 (In 40.17) and the first M80 was London Heathside’s Bob Gould (52.41).
Highgate Harriers Men had enough points to go on to be the winners overall of the Men League for the 10th successive year but, the Howard Williams Senior Trophy, which adds the Men and the women for total points went to London Heathside because Highgate was Back in 6th place for the women!
There was a good Highgate individual winner in Hannah Viner in the women’s race. On the day it was TVH who had six in the first 9 places but as Viner dominated the second half of the race in second place, was Yvie Lock. A hockey player for Reading, who had only done three weeks of running training so, surprised herself. Angela Duncan (82) brought in the field.
Again, Lauren Russell was a good winner from Abigail Reid in the Under 17’s and Lauren’s mother was first W55 in the Women’s race. There were some impressive runners who won more than just one Met league in the season. In the Under 13’s for the 4th time James Branch went clear from the start, to think he only started running this season and plays on the right wing for Cheshunt Football club; Jonjo Marsh won all her Met League races and declared after the last one at Trent Park “It was tough but good to finish on a good note” Middlesex Under 17 Champion Michael Cattini looked good winning his Under 17 race but, he had to run well to beat that good Woodford youth Jimmy Geller but, one must remember that, as predicted by their coach, John Stowe, very early in the season, that Woodford Green & Essex Ladies would win the Howard Williams Junior Cup which they did.
Trent Country Park, Cockfosters, Enfield, London EN4 0JZ (please note; because of its size, Trent Park has several different postcodes. The one given is the most appropriate and closest to the Cockfosters Road entrance to the Park).
The main start/finish area is adjacent to the race HQ, located just beyond “Go Ape”, on the right-hand side (south) of Lime Avenue.
Located just beyond “Go Ape”, on the right-hand side (south) of Lime Avenue.
There are no dedicated changing facilities - please arrive ready to run.
*** IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE *** The area around ‘Go Ape’ is out of bounds. Under no circumstances should this area be used for changing and/or as a toilet – please use the facilities provided. Anyone ignoring this request will risk damaging our ability to hold future events at this venue.
No showers available
Male and female WCs adjacent to the Cockfosters Road entrance car park
Refreshments are available for purchase in the Trent Park café which is near to the Start/Finish area. In addition, the Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (Enfield), located at the eastern end of the access road known as Lime Avenue (approx. 600 metres from the Start/Finish area), has a tea shop which is open until 4 pm.
A Club/Team Assembly Area has been identified in the field adjacent to the Start area. This is in the area to the south of Lime Avenue and close to the pond. Please see map attached. Please note that the area shown hatched in red must be kept clear.
Where possible, please use public transport, walk or cycle. If travelling by car, please car share to reduce the impact and check for restrictions that may be in effect in the area (Ultra Low Emission Zone for example). Please also park with consideration of others.
The league and/or host club(s) do not warrant the accuracy of the information provided so take no responsibility for any fines or charges that may be levied.
London Underground – Cockfosters station is the northern end of the Piccadilly Line.
Use of public transport is strongly recommended due to the proximity of the underground station and limited car parking at Trent Park.
The station is 300 metres to the south of the Cockfosters Road entrance to Trent Park (approximately a 5-minute walk). Turn right out of the station, and walk north along Cockfosters Road, past the BP Garage (with M&S).
Parking is available within Trent Park but is likely to be very limited. Given the proximity of Trent Park to Cockfosters underground station, use of public transport is therefore strongly recommended. If you intend to drive, please car-share as much as possible.
The main car parking facility is at the Cockfosters Road entrance to Trent Park.
PLEASE NOTE: The private car park close to the Southgate Hockey Centre at the top of Snakes Lane is NOT available. Please do not attempt to park there – you WILL be turned back.
Cars must not be parked on any of the roads within Trent Park.
Trent Park closes at sunset, which will be at approximately 17:00. The gate at the Cockfosters Road entrance is usually closed at this time, but drivers must take care to check the closing time which will be shown on the sign inside the main entrance.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD DRIVERS PARK ON THE SURROUNDING ROADS. Anyone parking in local roads will risk damaging our ability to hold future events at this venue.
Directions from major roads:
Cockfosters Road (A111) entrance; approximately two miles to the south of Junction 24 of the M25, on the left-hand side, or just over half a mile to the north of the junction of the A111 and A110 (Bramley Road), on the right-hand side (sat nav EN4 0JZ).
Undulating course on open, rough, lumpy parkland. Liable to be soft underfoot in places. Some exposed tree roots in places, and several small wooden bridges that could be slippery.
Senior races only include a woodland path with a small stream crossing.
The course is suitable for spikes or trail shoes.
The course is likely to be very muddy and slippery in some places so is not suitable for ordinary trainers.
One-half lap and one full lap of Start/Finish Field. Approximately 1,800 metres
Approx. ¾ lap of the Start/Finish Field Dropping Down the Hill from the Gap to do Half of the Oakwood Lap & Returning to the Finish. Approximately 3,000 metres.
One full lap of the Start/Finish Field, followed by approx. ¾ lap of the Start/Finish Field, dropping down the hill from the gap to do half of the Oakwood Lap & returning to the Finish. Approximately 4,000 metres.
1 ¾ laps of the Start/Finish Field Dropping Down the Hill from the Gap to Run One Lap of the Oakwood Side & Returning to the Start/Finish Field. One Further Complete lap of the Start/Finish Field, Dropping Down the Hill from the Gap to Run One Further Lap of the Oakwood Side & Returning to the Finish. Approximately 7,800 metres.
Competitors and parents of competitors are reminded not to encroach on the course and to be mindful of runners on the course.
The timetable is approximate and subject to change without notice where necessary. Please plan to arrive early and listen for any announcements.
For the 2022 season, the timings have changed, and all races now start earlier. In addition, it may be necessary for a start to be delayed to allow for finishers in the previous race.
Under 11 Boys
Under 11 Girls
Under 13 Boys
Under 13 Girls
Under 17 Men/Under 15 Boys
Under 17 Women/Under 15 Girls
Senior Women/Veteran Women
Senior Men/Veteran Men
PLEASE NOTE: In the interests of safety and because of the nature of the course layout:
The U11 Boys and Girls races will be run together;
Please join us after the last race for the end-of-season presentations (and tea and cakes!), which will be held at
11th Southgate Scout Group,
1c Chalk Lane,
Hertfordshire EN4 9JQ
Directions: Leave Trent Park by the main Cockfosters Road entrance and turn left down Cockfosters Road back towards the Underground station. Just after the BP Garage (with M&S), turn right down Chalk Lane. The Scout Hut is approximately 50 metres along the road on the left-hand side (see map).
Please note there is no car parking at this venue.
Please also note that the Scout Hut is quite small so there is limited space available.
Polite Request; the Scout Hut has a wooden parquet floor so muddy shoes must be taken off and left at the entrance
Although official restrictions have been lifted, there are still many people still suffering from the virus.
Please DO NOT TRAVEL to this event if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the NHS or if you have had a positive test.
COMPETITORS try to remain socially distanced at all times whilst at the event, in particular, when in the toilets or when queuing at the kiosk or café. Also try to keep your distance, as far as possible, at the start and finish.
SPECTATORS are encouraged to keep their distance from the competitors, especially when calling out for encouragement.
All try to AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT with runners, race officials, volunteers and spectators including high fives and hugs etc.
When using the toilets remember to WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly.
You are also reminded to catch COUGHS AND SNEEZES and to avoid touching face, eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.
It is not practical to provide sanitising stations around the park, so DO NOT UNECESSARILY TOUCH OUTDOOR SURFACES, and perhaps bring some sanitiser to use after touching anything.
If you experience COVID-19 symptoms soon after the race, then please follow NHS guidance regarding testing and self-isolation, also please inform the Race Organiser.
UKA Anti-Doping Rules
All entrants shall be deemed to have made him/herself familiar with, and agreed to be bound by the UKA Anti-Doping Rules and to submit to the authority of UK Anti-Doping in the application and enforcement of the Anti-Doping Rules.
The UKA Anti-Doping Rules apply to entrants participating in the sport of Athletics, for 12 months from the date of entry into the Metropolitan Cross Country League 2022/23, whether or not the entrant is a citizen of, or resident in, the UK.
OSCAE Bell (23), who works for Bloomberg and recently on 50 to 60 miles a week, coached by Andy Hobdell, won the 4th of 5 Metropolitan Leagues in inclement weather, on the undulating Stanborough Park course Alastair Aitken Reports. “I think my main aim is to improve my general performance each year”. He had been 9th in a Met League race last year and 2nd in the previous one this year at Hillingdon House Farm. Up to about halfway Seyfu Jamaal; Alex Lawrence, Robel Bahelbi and Thomas Butler were all in contention before Bell, moved ahead for the rest of the race.
Despite Highgate missing two of their ‘Star’ runners who were competing for England in Spain, Alex Lepretre & Jacob Allen, Highgate as a team, still continued to be well ahead with their 12-man scorers within the first 61 places but, are unlikely to give London Heathside or Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets a challenge for the Howard Williams Trophy, which combines the Men and women’s scores at the finish.
9th overall was the first M40 John Eves and the two oldest, as M75 competitors, were Charles Taylor and Stuart Mann 336 & 337 of the 357 finishers.
In the Women’s race going down into the woods Liz Janes was striding along, going clear, with Rebecca Gummow on her own next and then came Kate Olding in a good third position. Janes husband Matt Janes, a good county runner was there, watching with their three children 10, 8, and 5. Ex-international Janes (Elizabeth Hall) who works as a physio said “I do my runs early in the morning except on a Monday. I was pleased to run a personal best 10k of 34:08 at the Telfford 10 in December”. Annabel Gummow has had a long career already at 29, having been 3rd in the European Championship ‘Under 20’ 5000 in 2011 and 30th in the World cross country amongst other things but, due to injury is just coming back into form and remarked “ For me I want to do the road now, run some half marathons. I plan to run a good marathon.”19th was Sally Judd (F45) in 43rd place. Angela Duncan (82) brought the field in of 161 runners. London Champion, Lauren Russell, was dominant in the second half of her race for Under 17’s. She was followed home by an Under 15 Lyn Macdonald. The interesting thing about Lauren Russell is that her mother Sabrina Russell was the first over 55 in the women’s race in a good 38th place overall and her Father Andrew Russell who is an M55, competes quite a lot too. He ran last November in the Met league coming 400 of 462 at Wormwood Scrubs.
Violet Muraidhar (10) followed up her win at the last league at Hillingdon; James Branch has won all his league races and added the one at Welwyn to his Under 13 victories but had been injured recently. Jonjia March was a winner again in the (U13’s) She declared ‘It was very muddy!’ but there had been a lot of rain in the week and on the day.