Woodford athletes, sisters Tiffany Porter and Cindy Sember, excelled at last weekend's European indoor Championships held in Torun, Poland. Both racing over 60m Hurdles, they each made the final where Cindy placed 2nd to gain silver with a season’s best and equal personal best of 7.89 secs. Tiffany placed a close 3rd to take a bronze medal with 7.92 secs. These were very encouraging performances for both athletes. In Cindy’s case, having placed 4th in the Rio Olympics over 100mH but having suffered a serious achilles injury, it was a great return to form at the highest level. For Tiffany, now a mother of a two year old, it was her first major Championship medal since placing 3rd in the World Indoor Championships in 2016.
The senior winter squad finished 28th in the National Round of the England Athletics Virtual Relay that closed on 21st February, in a time 3:57:34 for the 40 mile race distance. This was an improvement of 15 places and was 7 minutes faster than the performance in the January Qualifying Round that secured our place at the top table in this new mixed team event, based on the times of each club's fastest four men and four women over 5 miles each. The undoubted highlight for Woodford was Phil Norman's run of 23:02, which was the fastest leg of the whole event. Phil had helped secure qualification, without prejudicing his Olympic ambitions, by submitting a training tempo run in the earlier round. This time he committed to racing and produced an imperious 4:36 per mile along the Tarka Trail from Barnstaple on the opening weekend of the competition, while much of the rest of England was blanketed in snow. The team's overall improvement was also built from significantly faster runs by Alicia McArdell, Rachel Lund, Ed Shepherd and Tom Beedell, and greater competition for scoring places as James Stockings entered the fray.
Phil Norman racing on the road 13 months ago
Well ahead on the virtual road, champions Wirral AC (3:32:39) edged out long-time leaders City of Norwich by just 21 seconds, and will now progress to represent England in the International Round against the other home nations' champions. Met League rivals Shaftesbury Barnet were 7th, and Essex challengers Colchester Harriers 22nd. The latter dropped 3 places despite their 3 minute improvement as standards were raised throughout the competition.
Chris Foreman’s family regret that more people cannot attend the funeral service next Tuesday. For those who cannot attend and wish to send flowers, these can be sent for delivery before midday on the 9th March to the following address.
178 High Rd, Loughton IG10 1DN
Alternatively, a donation can be made to the British Heart Foundation, a charity which Chris supported. A link is attached which allows donors to add their own note.
The family have reiterated their wish to hold a memorial gathering when circumstances allow.
Fourteen clubs and two schools, with 349 athletes competing in all, took up this challenge during the half term school holidays.
WGEL were represented in each age group, from Under 11 through to Under 17, and no less than 53 athletes from our club supported the event. It was the biggest turnout from the clubs taking part. This number was only a couple down from a year ago when we fought to retain the Howard Williams Junior Trophy for the Met League at Trent Park. This was an excellent turn out considering we had a few runners unable to compete as they are going through growth spurts, which is quite natural for a young athlete.
After a comprehensive win against Belgrave Harriers last month we kept our unbeaten record with another excellent overall win, just ahead of hosts Chelmsford. We also lost runners competing for their school in this same event.