Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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North of the Thames/Liddiard Cross Country (November 2016)

NORTH OF THAMES CHAMPIONSHIPS & LIDDIARD TROPHY
Kingsbury
October 29th 2016

RICHARD GOODMAN retained his 2015 North of Thames Championship & Liddiard Cup in just as impressive style as last year.
The interesting facts about the race were that, it was the 70th Liddiard Cup, held in conjunction with the North of Thames Championships which started in 1883.
Some interesting names have featured over the years. The recent  popular, Ealing & Southall man, Mike Barrett, won in 1955 and was victorious in the Queens Park Harriers, Liddiard Cup countless times.
10k World record holder Dave Bedford won the North of Thames for Shaftesbury in 1971 and in his final international comeback year of 1977.
Albert Hill, who won the North of Thames in 1910, achieved an Olympic gold medal over 800 & 1500 in Antwerp in 1920. A.C.S.Silsby of Hampstead Harriers, won it five times between 1897 and 1904.
 
In this year’s race Goodman’s club mate Jake Shelley, who was second, only decided to do the race because his Great Grandfather G.E. Barnes, won the North of Thames Championships in 1934. (President of NTCCCA 1939/40). Shelley, who was at the University of New Mexico, ran a PB for 5k of 13:46.7 at Walnut in April last year. He, found cross-country a bit of a shock after all his track racing and felt he might have been a bit closer to Richard, if he was used to the conditions again.

In the race at Kingsbury Goodman, went off hard and only Shelley and 18 year old, Jaime Dee could stay close to him. At the half distance Goodman had a sizeable lead with Shelley next followed by Jaime Dee and, the rest were out of the picture and that, stayed the same way till the finish in Fryent Park. Jaime Dee followed up his junior win in the Met League with a Junior title at Kingsbury.

If Shaftesbury Barnet had been allowed to have him as an official scorer in the senior race they probably would have won the six to score but rules are rules. Highgate Harriers had a solid team in the middle of the field bringing most of their runner’s home in the first 40 odd to finish and with the eight to score they were well clear and added the Liddiard Cup to their successful North of Thames result.

Naomi Taschimowitz, the Southern Champion was, the Woman’s race winner.
She, had not raced, except for park runs, since she came 2nd in the Lord Mayor’s 5k City Centre Classic, on the 2nd of July and, at Kingsbury she ran in flats.
“I had been injured for two months with tendon trouble and really only trained for the last two weeks, so this was a test run for me.” For the whole race she led with an equally convincing 2nd by Vicky Walker also of Shaftesbury Barnet and 3rd by Alex Gounelas (Eton Manor) was first veteran in 3rd.

Alastair Aitken

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