Forth Met League race of the 2022 season
14th January 2022
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.
Regards Alastair Aitken