EA Virtual Road Relay: National Round

The senior winter squad finished 28th in the National Round of the England Athletics Virtual Relay that closed on 21st February, in a time 3:57:34 for the 40 mile race distance. This was an improvement of 15 places and was 7 minutes faster than the performance in the January Qualifying Round that secured our place at the top table in this new mixed team event, based on the times of each club's fastest four men and four women over 5 miles each. The undoubted highlight for Woodford was Phil Norman's run of 23:02, which was the fastest leg of the whole event. Phil had helped secure qualification, without prejudicing his Olympic ambitions, by submitting a training tempo run in the earlier round. This time he committed to racing and produced an imperious 4:36 per mile along the Tarka Trail from Barnstaple on the opening weekend of the competition, while much of the rest of England was blanketed in snow. The team's overall improvement was also built from significantly faster runs by Alicia McArdell, Rachel Lund, Ed Shepherd and Tom Beedell, and greater competition for scoring places as James Stockings entered the fray.

Phil Norman Speedway 10K 2020

Phil Norman racing on the road 13 months ago

Well ahead on the virtual road, champions Wirral AC (3:32:39) edged out long-time leaders City of Norwich by just 21 seconds, and will now progress to represent England in the International Round against the other home nations' champions. Met League rivals Shaftesbury Barnet were 7th, and Essex challengers Colchester Harriers 22nd. The latter dropped 3 places despite their 3 minute improvement as standards were raised throughout the competition.

Funeral of Chris Foreman


The funeral of Chris Foreman, our former club track and field captain, will take place on the 9th March at the City of London Cemetery. The service will be at 3:00 pm and will be held in the Traditional Chapel. Covid restrictions will apply on the number of attendees. This has restricted the service to only close members of the family and friends. The City of London Cemetery has also indicated that no one will be allowed to attend outside the Chapel and attendees will be restricted to the list given by the family.

The family have indicated that, when circumstances allow, there will be a memorial service for Chris.

Essex Virtual Challenge: Feb 2021

Fourteen clubs and two schools, with 349 athletes competing in all, took up this challenge during the half term school holidays.

WGEL were represented in each age group, from Under 11 through to Under 17, and no less than 53 athletes from our club supported the event. It was the biggest turnout from the clubs taking part. This number was only a couple down from a year ago when we fought to retain the Howard Williams Junior Trophy for the Met League at Trent Park. This was an excellent turn out considering we had a few runners unable to compete as they are going through growth spurts, which is quite natural for a young athlete.

After a comprehensive win against Belgrave Harriers last month we kept our unbeaten record with another excellent overall win, just ahead of hosts Chelmsford. We also lost runners competing for their school in this same event.

Results: go here and click the Results button

Ofili sisters selected for European Indoor Championships

Whilst there has been no indoor competition for the majority of UK athletes due to the Covid restrictions currently in place, the sport has been operating a little more normally in the U.S. and a small number of elite level competitions have been recently held in the U.K. primarily with a view to aid selection for the upcoming European Indoor Championships due to be held 4-7 March in Poland. Both Tiffany Porter and her sister Cindy Sember (formally Ofili) have been selected over 60mH for the GB & NI team for those championships. Both have been in good recent form in the U.S. with Tiffany’s fastest being 7.89 secs in New York on February 13th and Cindy’s being 8.01 secs at Fayettville, Arkansas on February 21st. High jumper Will Grimsey was also in action at Loughborough where he cleared a good  2.17m also last weekend and Shanara Hibbert competed at Lee Vally and recorded 12.77m in the triple jump.

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