Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Middlesex Cross Country Championships (January 2018)

Berkeley Fields, Greenford Saturday 6th of January 2018
ABDI ABDULLE and Southern Masters Champion, Chris Smith long time member of TVH, battled out the four lap race in Berkeley Fields. It was only in the last 50 metres that Abdi went clear but till then Smith, had been leading all the time. Abddulle’s coach warned Abdi about Chris Smith’s strength on any uphill climb and to stay behind him till the opportune moment. Certainly the plan worked as Abdi, the Middlesex 10k road winner, who tends to blast it in races and then fade, took his coaches advice to the letter.
Rob Thompson was in an isolated third place all the way but behind that Damian Nevins, was overtaken by Philip Crout in the closing stages for fourth place.

Hillingdon AC, who had won the London Championships were victorious again but, possibly their most serious rivals Southern Champions Highgate Harriers, were down in seventh place. Hillingdon had been doing so well in cross countries in the North London areas in the season and clear winners again here.
Chris Smith who was second said “I am looking forward to the ‘National’ at Parliament Hill and the mountain races which, I hope will include Ben Nevis and Snowden.

Gemma Barry considered her win in the Women’s race her best result so far. She was fifth in the last Met League at Uxbridge. In the race Barry went into the lead after the first of the four laps. At that time Sarah Johnson was ahead but lost a few seconds veering off course at that point, which affected her momentum but, still managed second place.
She is doing a final year of research work at Imperial College which, she feels, should give her a little more time to train.

One person whose season is improving, under his coach Steve Mann, is Mukhtar Farah who went well clear on the second lap in the Under 20 Mens’ race. He is appearing to come into some sort of form. He has run 4:01.43/1500 & 8:38.36/3000 and hopes for 3:55/8:30.00 in the summer.

Latymer School boys, should do well at schools level, as they had the first two home in the Under 17 Boys race, both running for London Heathside; Jem O’Flaherty & Liam Garrett.
In the Under 11’s the race was won by Jack Bailey, who comes from a family of runners Father, Mother, sister and brothers are all club runners.

Alastair Aitken

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