Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Metropolitan League (December 2017)

2nd of December, 2017

RICHARD GOODMAN, who won the last (2nd) Start Fitness Met League at Welwyn, won again at Hillingdon House farm, over much fast grass land with some hills, a wood and even a shallow river to cross.

Where as Goodman was able to execute a plan to win well at Welwyn, it was a different matter at Hillingdon. As they came out of the woods for the final large lap, four were ahead, in a closely knit group, with Audun Nordtveit pushing the pace at the front, with Goodman, Abdi Abdulle and the  London Champion, Kadar  Abdullahi staying with him. There was then a gap to Robel Bahelbi, running on his own next. A mile and half to go Nordtveit and Goodman pulled away from the other two. Goodman made a sustained effort in the last 500m to win with Nordtveit a good second. Abdi Abdulle got the better of Kadar Abdullahi in the sprint finish to the line for third place. 82 year old, John Steed, brought the field home in 485th. Richard Goodman said “I found it hard at Claybury and Hillingdon but I was more rested for Claybury and, I am now doing more specific work to enable me to do a faster time for 5000 in the Summer, rather than the accent being on distance work”. One must point out though like Goodman, Nordtveit enjoys cross country running, as he said “I like the nice change of pace. You have the hills and even a river to cross this time.”

Naomi Taschimowitz started very fast in the women’s race but was soon joined by Hannah Viner, Tamara Armoush and Revee Walcott-Nolan and, they all went through the first lap together and it was not till the last run out of the woods, that Taschimowitz, coached by Charlotte Fisher, was able to draw clear but, racing up the straight behind her was 800 specialist, Revee Walcott-Nolan with Armoush and Viner not far behind that. Naomi did remark that it was not an easy race “I worked hard most far out”
About the Cross-Challenge & European Trial at Liverpool the previous Saturday, when Taschimowitz, finished 24th “It was one of my worst finishes in terms of places but the field was very strong, so it was one of the races I was most pleased with. I don’t like the mud and you were caked with it all the way round.”

Gianleo Stubbs won his third successive U11 boys Met League race.
The U11 Girl Asmaa Abdullah (from Hayes Park School), who was 2nd the previous two times, won at Hillingdon plus, the U13 winner Abdirahim Hamud, are both coached by Idris Hamud at Hillingdon AC.
Perhaps the revelation of the day was Keira Flannery, from Cooper’s Copeland School.
In the last cross-country race she was fifth in the first Met League of the season at Claybury but won this time. She does running at her school but her favourite sport is football that she does outside of school, as they have running and not football at her school. However, she is a talented footballer and has played already, for the Under 12’s for Arsenal football club.

In the U17/15 race Thomas Patrick, recently turned 16, got away from his rivals in the woods, before the grass finishing straight. “Mo had been leading and I could see that I would be able to overtake him at that stage (Mo is Mohamed Ali, the first under 15 who came 3rd overall at the finish).On looking back, Patrick was pleased with his 3rd in the English schools 1500 but said. “I was leading till the last five seconds of the race but I got lactic in my legs and hit the deck and, overtaken by two boys.’
‘I was pleased to do 1:54 for 800 in a BMC race at Milton Keynes.’
‘I would not have come this far so fast if it was not for my coach George Harrison’
He also said ‘Things are going well, balancing my ‘A’ levels at Parmiter’s School, Watford. with my training.”

The U17/15 Women’s race Freya Stapleton, coached by Steve White, had run well at Claybury. About her race at Hillingdon “It was a harder race to-day, as I did not go into the lead till the last kilometre.”

The Howard Williams Trophy for Seniors for Combined women & Men, currently being fought out by the first three clubs at the moment, Highgate Harriers 45; Serpentine RC 43 & London Heathside 40.
The Junior Howard Williams Trophy reads, at the moment, Shaftesbury Barnet 94, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies 93 & Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 91

Alastair Aitken

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