We had no fewer than 20 athletes representing their schools in these annual championships, where the top 20 win selection to represent Essex in the South Esst Of England Inter Counties at Tonbridge on 21st March. Included in our squad of runners were three sprinters who gave themselves an outing on territory that was way out of their comfort zone, so great credit to them. For once, the weather was sunny and there was a light breeze. Even more noticeable was the lack of mud, as the course was pretty firm throughout.
A number of Woodford athletes have been in action indoors over the past week or so. There were debut England International vests for Anna Clark and Eugene Amo-Dadzie and fine performances and several personal bests from others both in the UK and overseas.
Venue: Victoria Park
Team WGEL U9s and U11s were out racing this weekend in the Chingford league. A one mile, single lap course was set around the main path of the famous “Vicky Park”. This made a pleasant change from the grass, mud and puddles of recent weeks.
There was a good field of 48 junior athletes competing in the race, the final in the series of the individual competition, with a mix of newcomers and race-hardened athletes looking to add to their final score. The scoring system rewards consistency and performance with a total score for individuals made up from their best five results (from maximum of six races) over the series.
Joe Everitt's squad was dominant at Victoria Park (photo: Marc Owers)
So after a smooth journey there for the team manager and coach, a dull overcast day and a brutal course greeted him and his team of 23 athletes. Dairly similar conditions were the order of the day some five decades ago when the manager first raced at this course as a seventeen year old.
Some of the others found it a challenge to reach the course with rail disruptions galore, some having to jump in taxis, not the ideal preparation for one of the sternest tests of the season.
Abigail Reid with the lead group after a few minutes' running (all pics: Alex Wardle)