As the war against the global pandemic Covid-19 rages on, runners around the world continue to wonder when they will next be able to lace up their racing flats. Whilst we all train in hope of a swift return to normality, the men’s winter management team at Woodford hatched a brilliant plan to build on the success of the Virtual National 12 stage road relays – A Virtual Mob Match against Victoria Park Tower Hamlets AC. A total of 22 men from the squad took on the challenge of a 5 mile time trial around a route of their choice, whilst remembering the controversies around ‘generous courses’ which plagued the virtual road relays. For a 5 day period from the 7th to the 11th May, whatsapp notifications were a plenty, providing some competitive escapism from the lockdown conditions we find ourselves in.
First off the mark for the Woodford contingent was Simon Beedell, kicking us off with a marker of 27.38 at 7.30 in the morning! With a good target for everyone to shoot at, discussions about when, where and the prediction table run by Bertie Powell were in full flow. Victoria Park came out of the gates posting some early markers around the 27 minute mark, choosing the classic VPH 5 mile loop for some of their earlier legs. Taking the influx of early run legs as an additional boost, James Stockings stepped out the door to give us an early lead at the top of the leader board. Selecting a course which he became familiar with for the 5k time trial the previous month, James flew round in 26.29 and what would be our 5th fastest time of the match.