Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Start Fitness Metropolitan League (January 2019)

Wormwood Scrubs Park. 12th of January
ROGER POOLMAN improved massively, since the last cross-country season to have his best run in the Metropolitan league at the scrubs.
In the 4th of 5 league races it was a fast grass land course, where the front runners were able to run under five minute miles all the way.
A large group went through the first lap which contained Martelletti, Poolman, Alex Lepetre, Chris Wright, John Eves and Tom Butler.

At the half way stage three broke away from the fourth runner Chris Wright and fought it out to the finish. Martelletti put in some little bursts to break it up but with mile to go Lepetre took the initiative closely followed by Martelletti and Poolman. Poolman judged this one to perfection taking off with a sustained sprint with 300yards remaining and, Martelletti followed him but Poolman had timed his sprint perfectly. Lepretre ran in a good third in easily his highest position ever in the league with Chris Wright a good fourth. Seyful Jamaal was the first Under 20 in seventh place but it was interesting to see Richard Goodman in 38th place in the record field of 547. The reason I say that is Goodman had only done three days training in recent months but, can look back on to having won a Metropolitan League race nine times out of ten consecutively before that!

Revee Walcott-Nolan and, Isabel Clark. (The latter started club racing 18 months ago and has personal bests of 34:34/1:16.29 for the 10k/half marathon in 2018), were locked to-gather for the first half of the race with Emily Dudgeon and Yasmin Goater the next two. Tall, Revee, who ran the 800m in personal best of 2:01.78 last year and has run 4:15.02 for 1500 indoors in 2017, showed  tremendous pace in the last mile to win well. Her coach Matt Yates (1990 Commonwealth bronze 800 & 1992 European Indoor 1500 Champion)-- thought it was important to use the cross country racing for the track, as a means of enjoyment, as well as conditioning. He felt the atmosphere and pleasure runners get doing the Metropolitan league is a big plus. He qualified that  adding “Success comes with enjoyment.” Something else was he thought another runner in his stable, who has won a Met League last season, Hannah Viner, could turn out eventually to be a good marathon runner.

(U17) Mohamed Ali won well but had to leave his effort till quite late because, he had a cold in the week.

(U17) Freya Stapleton has won 4 out of 4 Met leagues but considered the Scrubs race the toughest as, she was pressed to beat Lia Radus who came second. Freya said her coach Jeremy Sothcott is a very helpful and good coach.

Another 4 times winner on the trot was (U13) Jimmy Gellar, who went for it with 800 remaining. He had been helped with coaching by Richard Thurston on a Sunday and John Stow on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Highgate Harriers senior men are well clear with 4490 total points (12 in 68 at the Scrubs) with Victoria Park second with 3615. That is not the case for the Highgate women who will only win, with a super human effort as; they have a total of 1036 behind London Heathside 1122 and Victoria Park on 1083.
Woodford Green looks almost certain to win the Howard Williams Junior Trophy with 15 match wins, with there nearest rival Shaftesbury Barnet 2nd with 5 match wins, followed by Hillingdon & TVH.

Alastair Aitken

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