The 3rd Met League of the season
4th of November 2021
START FITNESS – Metropolitan League – Sponsored by Start Fitness
Hillingdon House Farm.
JACOB ALLEN the previous Met League winner at Welwyn, who came 14th in the European Trial & Cross-Challenge at Liverpool, had the race well under control early on Alastair Aitken reports. “It felt a tougher course than last time but I enjoyed it. I had been refereeing football in the morning at the Central Foundation Boys School. After a lap, Robel Bahelbi was a good second and behind that Chris Rainsford was running on his own. Alex Lepretre led a group of runners next and amongst them were Rob Thompson and first Under 20 runner Thomas Archer. Lepetre’s shoelace came undone and, down in the woods it happened again and he stopped and half a dozen runners went by him. He panicked as he wanted to go quickly up the field and, his club ‘mate Charlie Haywood (7th) said to him ‘Calm down’. It was after that he went over the brook and then caught the second man Rob Bahelbi and went ahead of him to be second behind Allen. Highgate Harriers had their 12 men inside 55 to go a bit further ahead in the League. The oldest was Richard Bloom of Herts Phoenix who was an M75 and came 361 of 376.
In Division One of the women’s league London Heathside slipped to 3rd on the day but are still sufficiently ahead to give strong hopes for eventual victory. Their top scorer Beth Hawling won for the third consecutive time. She said “ I love the atmosphere in the Met League I was 20th at Liverpool but found there was lot of pushing at the corners.” Beth Hawling was strongly challenged by Hanah Viner who got a lead of 20 metres early on but Hawling was stronger going down the hills and, Viner admitted that the brook, covered twice by the senior women and men, and the mud near it was a bit of task in itself. Tara Bage who is a medical student at UCL looked a clear third and remembered one of her best results as 35.30 on the road in January 2020. The first W45 was Alice Sunderland, formerly Alice Braham the National Under 20 Champion of 1995. “ I had not done a cross country for a couple of years and I really enjoyed it but not if had been a shorter course then, I would not have got going”
The Under 17’s Men’s race was the closest of the day when Abdirahim Hamude came in with the same time as Ethan Primett who won the two previous Met Leagues. It Was interesting to see Jack Hayward win the Under 11’s for the 2nd time and after coming 2nd in the Youth Games at Parliament Hill Fields.
START FITNESS METROPOLITAN LEAGUE Welwyn Garden City
JACOB ALLEN, 27, took Highgate Harriers to an individual and team victory (12 in 44!) in the 2nd Metropolitan League of the season Alastair Aitken reports
In mild conditions, over the hilly Stanborough Park course, in Allen’s first win over the country he explained “ When I was running for San Francisco University, all the American courses were flat and mostly over golf courses. I was 16th in the Rigonals’ and my 10k time was 29.49” Allen who was in the silver medal team in the National cross relay the previous and after a fast start, was in the front alongside Seyed Ghafri and the previous Met league winner Tom Frith. It was well into the second of the three laps Allen chanced his arm and burst ahead, building up a lead that was not seriously challenged again although. the fight for the minor places became intense. Ghafri got a stitch and lost his second position on the last lap, suffering a stitch. Frith was caught by the strong finish of Alex Lepretre but held on well for second with Le Pretre third but Ghafri was nearly caught by Phillip Crout for the fourth position. The oldest man was Stuart Mann’ who was an over 75 and came in 425 of 441 finishers.
Perhaps the most emphatic win of the day was by the Claybury winner Beth Hawling, who led from start to finish in the women’s race which put London Heathside further ahead with the team scoring. Hawling won by nearly a minute and a half.
She hopes to run in the Liverpool race but feels there will be bound to be people around her and in the front but, her win over the Stanborough course should not, by any means be downplayed. In second place came ex-international Tamara Armoush, a previous winner, who works for Sport England as a strategist but not currently doing high profile races at the present time because of a persistent injury, then in third was Anne Kaye who fairly recently joined the RAF and she had been 4th in the last Met league.
It was interesting t see Jack Hayward, now ten years old win the Under 11’s race as he was 2nd at Claybury. He goes to Fielding Primary School and running is his favourite sport. Again in the Under 13’s Tom Mythen won again and will test himself in a Biathlon and in the London Youth Games, also in the Under 17’s Ethan Primett was a good winner again. A very talented girl Natasha Wynn (12) who ran a respectable 2.19 for Woodford club Under 13 record. She was 2nd in her first Met league but won here. She has a very fluent style and John Stowe the Lead coach thinks she has a very good future in the footsteps of Abigail Reid and is coached by Joe Everett and does sessions with Richard Thurston at the weekend.
`9 as an Uner 13 Woodford record for the 800m was 2nd in the first Met League but won at Welwyn Garden with her very fluent style. Like with Abigail Reid John Stower, the lead coach feels she has a bright future but not to pressure her. Woodford Green & Essex Ladies coaches Joe Everett and Richard Thurston look after her sessions