Whilst there has been no indoor competition for the majority of UK athletes due to the Covid restrictions currently in place, the sport has been operating a little more normally in the U.S. and a small number of elite level competitions have been recently held in the U.K. primarily with a view to aid selection for the upcoming European Indoor Championships due to be held 4-7 March in Poland. Both Tiffany Porter and her sister Cindy Sember (formally Ofili) have been selected over 60mH for the GB & NI team for those championships. Both have been in good recent form in the U.S. with Tiffany’s fastest being 7.89 secs in New York on February 13th and Cindy’s being 8.01 secs at Fayettville, Arkansas on February 21st. High jumper Will Grimsey was also in action at Loughborough where he cleared a good 2.17m also last weekend and Shanara Hibbert competed at Lee Vally and recorded 12.77m in the triple jump.
This January like most was bleak, dull, wet and cold, but this not deter 35 young WGEL runners from taking part in the second match against rivals Belgrave Harriers.
As our colleagues south of the Thames were involved in a virtual Middlesex Championships we agreed to run their distances.
Under 13 girls and boys: 1500 metres
Under 15/17 girls and boys: 3000 metres
Under 13 girls
A small band of Woodford athletes ventured out in the harsh cold of a locked-down January to record times for the qualifying round of the inaugural England Athletics Virtual Road Relay. Team scores comprise the cumulative times of the fastest four men and four women from each club over 5 miles each, with the top 50 clubs to qualify for the national round in February. As the window closed, provisional results put Woodford in 43rd place and through to the national round in February, with a time of 4:04:36 for the 40-mile race distance.
The mixed-team format shows the importance of strength in depth in both the men’s and women’s squads. While the 23 minute deficit to qualifying round leaders Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow is unbridgeable, the 9 minutes necessary to target the top 20 would be achievable through a combination of wider participation, competition for scoring team places, and marginal gains by the same individuals. This would give a shot at overhauling rivals such as Colchester Harriers, who we defeated in a 10k Mob Match before Christmas, and here were first Essex club in 18th.
The Club was further saddened to hear of the death of another notable member, Chris Foreman who passed away suddenly on Monday at the age of 78. Chris was a Life Member of Woodford Green A.C. having been awarded that honour in 1975. Chris had originally joined Woodford Green A.C. in 1958 and under the tutelage of Ron Bowden developed into a more than useful hammer thrower as well as an occasional thrower of the other implements. However it was his work as Team Manager/Captain of the senior men’s Track and Field team where he had the greatest influence. In the early years of the National Athletics League (later BAL) from its formation in 1969 through to the mid 1980’s Chris organised the Club’s participation in those events (as well as other team competitions) managing both the active and logistical side of the Club teams in those meetings around the U.K. and did so whilst having a successful and demanding professional career. Chris like others from Woodford Green AC over many years also contributed to the Hammer Circle where he served as a Membership Secretary for several years and was later made a Vice President.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.