Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Metropolitan League- Trent Park (January 2017)

Start Fitness Metropolitan Cross Country League
Trent Park
14th January 2017

RICHARD GOODMAN won his third of three Met Leagues he has done this season, over the Roller coaster course at Trent Park.
“It was the hardest course I have run, with that hill going up to the memorial, that is a tough one but, I knew that, from  a 10k I ran, on my own midweek in about 31 minutes, I was going better” said Goodman, who now runs a child care service in the week for 40 to keep active.

Peter Huck, who works for a construction firm in London “I was working on the site this morning” About the 2 lap race he remarked ‘It was the start of the second lap that we both went the wrong way round a corner, we both slipped. He got away a bit faster and got a gap then, he carried on and he was stronger on the second lap. Training is going well for me. This race set me up for the rest of the season.’ About his London Championship which Peter Huck won ‘that was a good course at Parliament Hill. I like these type of courses I enjoy hills and mud. I am usually best at that. This was a good track for the rest of the season as; it is tough going in the mud

After a fast start, before going down into the valley, Ross Matheson, was leading a large group that contained Goodman and others. After a third, of the first of two laps, Peter Huck, training for the Northern and Goodman, started to pull away from the rest; that left Ross
, (the son of Neil Tennant the Scottish cross Champion of 1988), on his own next. It was on a slippery part of the course, going into the third lap Goodman got away from Huck and, was not headed again but Huck, was a good second with Tennant, who was 11th in the English National a couple of years ago (2015 at PHF) holding off John Eves, on the climb to the finish for third place, after Eves had  caught him earlier.
Ross’s Father, Neil Tennant, was a very good runner and did 62.39 for a half marathon, the year he won the Scottish in ’88. He was watching the race at Trent Park.
He felt, if he was running now, he would be a bit scared on the line with Richard Goodman standing beside him because; he thought, Richard is immensely talented.

It was interesting to see the second oldest man in the race 77 year old, Doug Milsom come 421 and John Steed the oldest, at 81, in 427 of the 428 finishers.

Molly Renfer (23) after studying as an Undergraduate at Harvard and doing her Masters at New Mexico University, came back to the UK with firstly, a good run in the Surrey Championships, when she was third, the previous weekend. The same position she said she got in the English schools 800 many years ago, when she did not think she would make the final.
It all progressed from there. Last year Renfer represented Switzerland in the European cross country championships (65th).
Renfer used to do the triathlon but decided to stick to the running part. She also used to be a 400/800 runner and stepped up to 1500 and now, more 5k. She also did a steeplechase last year. Renfer realised that the Surrey cross country race gave her vital experience for Trent Park so, she could then run over even tougher cross-countries courses.
She felt the Met League at Trent Park was a great race. She only really won the race on the last hill, before the finishing funnel. ‘I thought Naomi, was catching me’

Naomi Taschimowitz appears to be coming back to form. She was Southern Champion last year.

The Under 17 men had the highest standard, at the front, of the four under 17/15 league races this season, with the Claybury winner and recent Middlesex Champion, James Young having to be content with fourth place.
It was a real battle for the first three. Elliott Dee (coached by his ex-international Father Billy Dee who
was watching him as well as his brother Jamie Dee, in the senior race)

Elliott, who studies at Richard Hale School, knew his Father worked so hard in training. ‘He remarked “That kind of rubs off on me. Although, I am running every day but not massive miles or loads of reps. We think if we keep it steadier now I won’t lose interest for the future.
Yusuf Bizmana 2nd and Mohamed Sharifali (First U15) 3rd are two good runners also.

Bizimana who studies at Emerson Park Academy only took up athletics from football last year. He had run a very fast 1500 to win the Southern Championships ‘Under 17’ indoors (4.7) but, it was Elliott Dee who showed the strength on the hills that paid off, in the last
lap. Dee considered his best competitive race was winning the School Games 3000m at Loughborough last September.

Highgate Harriers men are further ahead after the 4th Met League but Woodford Green are capable of, at least, shortening the comfortable lead Highgate have, but it would be difficult to imagine they would catch them. The Highgate women have moved into the lead in the Women’s league but will have to pull all the stops out to be the Champions in the last league fixture at Alexandra Palace. The two teams that rival them are London Heathside and Serpentine.

Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets are currently leading the combined team trophy for the Junior Howard Williams Cup.

Regarding the other interviews on the day
Megan Greensmith (16) of Highgate was first of 48, in the under 17 women’s race with Nicola Ravenhill of ESM a
previous winner 2nd.
Megan “I do triathlons. I came here in July from New Zealand.’
On Trent Park ‘On the colossal hill I kept my eye on the girl in the front and she slowed a bit then, into the last section I gave it my all.
Running is my favourite of the three disciplines in the triathlon. I hope to continue with the triathlon.”

Tom Day from Slough, who has won the Under 11’ race a few times, was 1st in the Under 11 mixed race, at Trent Park, out of 82 with Jimmy Geller of Woodford second.
The race:- “It was difficult. I was staying behind Jimmy for most of the race. He made a wrong turning and went off the racecourse and I just took him and, stayed in the lead for the rest of the race’
School races? ‘I have got a few cross country competitions coming up with the school.
Mr Mitchell at school coaches me. I got in the County team for Berkshire. I just got in 8th in the under 13’s. As he is an under 11, it will give him some early experience of racing a County Championship.

Ruari McGonagle of London Heathside won from Eltham Primett of Herts Phoenix.
Ruari, the previous week won the Middlesex Championships, about the Trent Park race “It was the toughest Met League I have done. It is like a roller coaster. Up and down. It was the start of the second lap I went into the lead.”
Besides the Southern I think there is a Middlesex schools cross-country in Harrow where I will run for my borough. I was 2nd in the first Met League of the season, 3rd in the 2nd and 1st last time and 1st to-day.“
A great celebration for Ruari as, he was 13 on the day of the Trent Park event on the 14th of January.

Roisin Keohane of Trent Park, who goes to Dame Alice Owens’s School, won the girls Under 13 race from Lydia Louw of Hillingdon.
Running your favourite event?
I don’t really have one but probably cross-country and track. I do netball too.
‘My School coach is good Neil Gamester.”
At Trent Park she went in the lead on the second lap.

Alastair Aitken

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