Third Met League race of the 2022 season
3rd December 2022
ALEX LEPRETRE followed up his win at the previous Met League & the Fraternity Cup race, with a victory at Hillingdon House Farm in cold conditions Alastair Aitken reports. Despite the recent rains, it was surprisingly dry for the grassland course, except for the brook to negotiate on each of the two large laps. At the brook on the first lap, Lepretre led from Sam Hart with a gap to Oscar Bell but, at the halfway point Lepretre and Bell were running out ahead together. On the hill, before going down into the woods Lepretre took the initiative and, was not troubled again. Lepretre, who had run two very good half marathons this year said “Next year I hope to do the marathon”. Bell, who is 23 and coached by Andy Hobdale, is a Hertfordshire track and cross country champion, with a time of 14.25 for 5k. Highgate Harriers still top the league with their 12 to score but at Hillingdon. The first M60 was Mark Curzones 153 in 31:39 and for the oldest category M75, it was Chris Taylor of Trent Park (41.11), who was 346 of 373 finishers.
TVH’s Verity Hopkins won the women’s race but London Heathside is still leading the women’s league from Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, who are in a good second position.
Verity Hopkins went into the lead on the hill in the 2nd of the two laps but she said she found the last 200 hard work. Hopkins ran 33:57 for 10k in October in Leeds. The first under 20 was Sofia Latham in 3rd place at 31:00; she came in with only one shoe on, as the other was prized off in the mud at one place. It was interesting to see Sabina Russell as a first W 55 because. she was the mother of Lauren Russell the winner of the Under 17 race. The oldest was Pauline Fischer who was 109th of the 161 runners in 40:55
Lauren Russell, in her race, started right at the back of the field in her race but worked through to win well. Lauren, a Highgate Public Schoolgirl, won the London the week before and is coached by Highgate’s Hannah Viner.
In the junior leagues, Shaftesbury and Woodford Green teams were the most prolific.
There were a lot of good winners. In the Under 11 girls’ Violet Muraidhr, who is 10 and goes to Notting Hill & Ealing High School and, the Uner 11 Boys race saw guest Ted Bambridge come in first. In the Under 13’s Boys race, Aneirin Lessard (12) won and declared “ I love cross-country and courses like this with a hill in it. I also like swimming but athletics is my best” In the Under 13 girls Joajia March, who had won the previous Met league she did, looked back to her best result when she won the English schools Cup race,
The Under 15/17 Men’s race was won by Henry Johnston (A guest from Windsor S&E). He has run a 1:59.7/4:03.76/800/ 1500.
Regards Alastair Aitken