No less than 35 young athletes arrived at Uxbridge to find a course that was reasonably dry underfoot, although a small stream had to be negotiated, plus a couple of challenging hills. The weather was kind to us being dry throughout the afternoon.
With ten of our best athletes unavailable due to the clash with the Essex Under 13/15 champs which had been held earlier in the day, our task of maintaining our overall lead plus leads in four age groups was going to prove mighty challenging.
The athletes rose superbly to the occasion by not only maintaining the age group leads but brilliantly holding on to our overall lead too - an unbelievable performance.
Under 11 Boys
This race developed into a battle between Gianleo Stubbs, the winner in the last two league matches, and our own Eden McNicholas. Eden (right) had the courage to take the Shaftesbury runner on and led most of the way only to find Stubbs just had that bit extra at the finish to edge in front to come home one second ahead of our lad, who placed a fine 2nd. Leo Everitt had a good run to place 24th and Hector Clark can feel very happy with his debut run for us in 26th. Edward Brigstocke-Williams also ran well for 28th. In this age group Woodford were 5th on the day and are 6th in the overall standings.
Under 11 Girls
We had no less than 9 girls (top photo) on the start line from 50 starters. Abigail Reid, who was 3rd last time, improved her position to come home 2nd, just 6 seconds behind the Hillingdon runne - a fine run indeed. Hot on her heels was Molly Sherrin, who battled hard in the home stretch to shrug off a Herts Phoenix runner and place 3rd. Right behind those two was Holly Hudson, now in her third season for us, placing an excellent 5th. Rosemary Kelly closed in our A team by running well for 10th. Isabelle Kyson was 14th and is improving all the time, while Emily Caton was 17th and also had a good run. Molly Wain (22) and Rose Grady (26) closed in our B team. Alice Caton placed 36th. The A team won on the day and our B team was 5th. More importantly, our A team lead by over 100 points, whilst the B team are 4th.
Under 13 Boys
We had no less than five boys missing, having triumphed in the Essex Champs earlier in the day. The other lads who raced were brilliant, maintaining our overall lead and placing 3rd on the day. Having recently been selected to run for Hertfordshire next Saturday, Evan Johnson led the team home in 8th place. Having being sidelined with injury in recent months, James Brigstocke-Williams made a welcome return and should be happy with 15th. After his fine run at Liverpool last Saturday Archie Sherrin ran well again for 16th and Reuben Aiden closed the team in 23rd on his debut. Special praise must go to our other four runners. They are very much part of a strong Under 13 boys squad. Sid Cody was 28th, Jay Russell was 32nd, Ben Savidge was 36th and Rafferty Groat, with a tremendous sprint finish, was 52nd. Over 60 started.
Under 13 Girls
We had just four runners on the line (photo above) and with Molly Matheron, Bronya Overington and Emily Scofield having valid good reasons for not racing this was going to prove a challenge, with both TVH and VPH hot on our tails in the overall team event in this age group. Our runners were brilliant and can feel really chuffed as we now lead overall by over 50 points. From a field of just over 40 runners Zahara Malcolm was 3rd having another excellent run over the country. Bottom year Kezia Beeton ran brilliantly and was just one place behind Zahara. Miya Maeda had another fine run for 9th. Spare a thought for Larna Morgan who got a bad stitch during the race yet had the courage to finish 17th and was not going to let her team mates down.
Under 15 Boys
Again, with five of our lads romping to a Essex title earlier, we still had four others giving their all from a field of 60 runners. Ben and Sam Sloan, both recently selected for Hertfordshire next Saturday, had great runs for 6th and 7th. Liam Waldron had his best run ever in placing 11th, while Fred Taylor, a tremendous club athlete, placed 57th.
Under 17 Men
This was a very high class race with Joe Geller leading the team in 7th place from 40 starters. Thomas Adolphus, improving all the time, placed 12th with Todd Maleary, recovering from illness, 27th and Videsh Weerakkody 32nd.
In the combined results U15/17 Woodford placed 3rd but in the overall table we still lead by over a 100 points.
Under 15/17 Women
Again we had four runners who regulary support our club not available for this one, again with good reasons. Georgina Handford, another excellent club runner, placed 28th in the Under 15 race and this result has more than helped the club leading in the Howard Williams Junior Trophy.
So an excellent day for our 35 runners at Uxbridge, and we all now look forward to having the other runners back for the match at Wormwood Scrubbs on the 13th January. The overall lead is a slender one, just one and a half points ahead of a strong Shaftesbury Barnet outfit, but our runners are having an excellent season and will not want to surrender our lead.