This fixture at Uxbridge was always going to be a tricky one for us as it has been the last two seasons. Having said that, no less than 27 athletes toed the line across the four races and, despite having nine on duty for their county at Oxford, plus Jimmy Geller and Nathan Wright being wise and waiting for the new year before starting back on the racing circuit, the youngsters rose to the occasion in great style to retain the their lead in the Howard Williams Trophy. But we only have a two point lead from Shaftesbury Barnet.
Woodford’s senior men could only manage 6th in the 3rd Met League of the season to see them slip further down the Division One table to 4th. A notoriously difficult fixture to get men out for all teams; Woodford were not immune and losing big hitters, such as Ash Harrell and Ahmed Abdulle (to the Telford 10K) Tom Frith (to injury) and Alex Cornwell (to general Christmas cheer), it was always going to be a difficult match to compete with League leaders of Highgate.
Despite this, there was much to celebrate in the camp, with early changing room talk of team sizes and river crossings punctuated by questions of disbelief that club life member Paul Stockings could be about to complete his 150th Met league. Most of this disbelief was vocalised by the two other Stockings preparing to take on the two laps course, but after some discussion it was decided that Paul’s 100th met league finish was actually more than 10 years ago and the majority of the Club had almost as much (if not just as much) faith in his ability to count as they did in his ability to complete the surprisingly dry course in the shadow of Hillingdon sports complex.
Nine of our young athletes were selected to represent Essex/Hertfordshire in this annual event. Unfortunately Evan Johnson(Under 15 Boys) and Ben Sloan (Under 17 Men) were unable to run for Hertfordshire as they are both out injured. We are hopeful that both lads will be back in the New Year.
After recent rain the majority of this course was quite muddy making it a true test of endurance. At least the rain held off for the races and the wind was much kinder this year compared to 2018