A WGEL dynasty

A recent addition to our ranks will be of particular interest to older members. Young Tilly Major, a bottom year U13, joined us from Herts Phoenix to maintain a family tradition. 

Tilly's parents are Paul Major and Sally Chapman, both of whom were good WGEL distance runners in their day. Paul's dad was Eric Major, a very fine distance man in the late 1950s/early 1960s who finished as high as 32nd in the English National CC. (John Hayward's review of the 1957 track season also had him as "Worst Turned-Out" due to the holes in his club vest!). And Sally Chapman's father is David Chapman, who ran as fast as 8.46 for the 3000m steeplechase and represented GB at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

So a fine heritage! We wish Tilly lots of enjoyment and success with her new club. She has reinforced an U13 Girls team which was already strong, and finished 3rd (2nd scorer) in the first Met League race of the season at Claybury last Saturday.

Tilly-Major-and-family

From L. to R.: John Hayward, Jill Chapman, Paul Major, Tilly, and Dave Chapman (photo by Sally Chapman)

2018-19 Met League race 1: Senior Women

After a 1976-beating summer, it was only to be expected that the 2018-9 season opener would be a balmy one - it usually is. Nobody anticipated it would be scorchio; but it was a stunning autumn day to kick off the season.

As has also become customary in this mighty league, the field was a big’un. 233 women finished, a record I think for Claybury, if not the League. With new flags denoting new clubs and a great vibe all round as Woodies gathered in their usual spot beside the beautiful ancient oak, there was bound to be excitement.

Relegated to Division 2 after (yet) another disappointing season last year, where we struggled to get a scoring six to any fixture after the first, things already looked like a challenge; losing the talented V40 Kat Gundersen to her old club VPTH added to the pain.

Provisional results

Photos (by Mark Easton - available to purchase)

Alicia-McArdle-and-Becky-Wilby-Met-1

Alicia McArdle (872) and Becky Wilby race it out in the woods (photo: Sally Chapman)

2018-19 Met League race 1: Young Athletes

Nearly 70 young athletes assembled at Claybury where the weather was more like a mid-summer's day rather than autumn. Temperatures were close to 25 degrees, while a strong southerly wind blew across the course.

We started the defence of the Howard Williams Junior Trophy in fine style, winning 5 of the 6 age groups, and taking 5th in the Junior Women’s age group, which is a big improvement on last year. Our B teams were 6th (U11 boys) ,6th (U11 girls), 3rd (U13 boys), 2nd (U13girls) and 7th (Junior Men). Praise must go to our WASPS section who provided a large number of U11s which hugely contributed to the wins for both age groups.

Provisional results

Photos (by Mark Easton - available to buy)

U13-Girls-Met-League-1-2018 19

The U13 Girls, whose A and B teams finished 1st and 2nd

National Road Relays

For the first time the Young Athletes section competed in these prestigious relays in Sutton Coldfield. All the athletes ran the same distance of just under 4k, which included a long climb at the start. The parents of the 26 athletes must be commended for travelling to the Midlands in order that our athletes could have a taste of racing the best in England.

So a wet cold morning greeted our athletes on the day, with the rain easing during late morning.

Under 13 girls

The girls exceeded the team manager's expectation of a top 20 placing from 60 starting teams by finishing an excellent 9th place, with the other team in 37th spot.

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