Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Start Fitness Metropolitan League 13/01/2018

Wormwood Scrubs

RICHARD GOODMAN won his third Metropolitan league race of the season in a thrilling battle, right up to the finishing straight.
Hillingdon’s Abdi Abdulle, who won the Middlesex Championships the previous Saturday, rushed off at the start  soon to have a lead of 50 metres, after the first initial 200 but, then fell back to be with the large group behind him, which included  Richard Goodman, leading Junior Jeremy Dempsey, Audun Nordtveit, John Eaves and William Ryles-Hodges.
Both Goodman, who had been suffering with a hamstring injury and Nordtveit, just recovering from an achilles injury did not intend pushing the pace at the front so, at half way, Martelletti, who had been back in about tenth place earlier, moved up into the lead.
In the last lap Abdulle, Goodman and Nordtveit were together, clear of the rest and in the last 800 Abdulle stretched it out for a good finish but Goodman, eventually got on terms, as Abdulle slowed very slightly and Goodman then went clear, within the last 100 with Nordtviet not far away next in 3rd, following up a 2nd and a 3rd in the previous league races. Goodman these days is advised by Craig Winrow (1.45/3.43 800/1500 back in the 1990’s).
Richard Goodman, who has run as an international, made a healthy remark about the Met league. “I love club running and it got me into the sport”

In the senior Men’s race that first started in 1966 there was a record field for both the men 544 and the woman 268 finishers. The previous record field was on November the 11th at Welwyn of 529-249 respectively.
In the senior men’s league Highgate are pulling away with 4556 points to second placed Serpentine 3609 and lead for the Howard Williams Senior Trophy too.

For the Women’s league London Heathside lead with 952, Highgate are in second place (870).
The women’s race is always intriguing, as it threw up a different winner on all four occasions. One who is always respected and usually finishes between 2 & 5 is Hannah Viner. For much of the race Viner, Molly Renfer, Naomi Taschimowitz and Vicky Pritchard were running together out in front but, with just under a mile to go Hannah Viner was unaware she had built up a lead of 15 metres over Renfer and Tachimowitz, running together. She set off at that point, working really hard till the finish and, they were unable to catch her.
Viner, coached by Matt Yates, has improved by doing more speed work rather relying on her strength, which made a difference for her. Taschimowitz said afterwards “You can always rely on a hard race in the Met League”

There were good winners in the younger age group races and Woodford Green & Essex Ladies are leading for the Howard Williams Junior Trophy.
Barnet’s Gianaleo Stubbs, was winning his fourth consecutive Under 11 race and, remarked “At my Christchurch School Barnet, they want us all to be healthy so, they make us run a kilometre a day, which means doing 10 times round the playground!”
Hillingdon’s Asma Abd Aabdirihlan, who won the Under 11’s at Uxbridge, won well again at Wormwood Scrubs.
Jacob Hardy, who has trouble with his feet with growing pains and, races sparingly with his rates currently, won the Under 13 boy’s race from fellow club mate Jimmy Geller.  
12 year old Hardy was an Essex District 1500 Champion, with a time of around 4:50. His coach John Stow remarked to him “Just try and get round to show you are OK.’
‘I knew he could pull it off if he could get his mind set right and he has done that. You can’t ask for more than that. One for the future but we need to look after him”
Another Woodford runner Joseph Geller, when winning the Under 17 race considerably improved his positions in the Met League last season where 3rd was his best in three starts.
Under 13 runner Aimi Weightman had been a champion in the under 11’s before coming up to this group. The Shaftesbury Barnet girl had won the Herts title the previous Saturday.
She went into the lead quarter the way through and won well.
Grace Ingles won the junior under 17 women’s race from Freya Stapleton. Both are under 15. Regarding Ingles Jeremy Sothcott, her coach, remarked that she has tremendous potential  and should finish well up in the Championship races.

Alastair Aitken

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