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Uxbridge (2021) Race Report by Alastair Aitken

The 3rd Met League of the season
4th of November 2021 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.