The weather was clearly picking up where it left off as we arrived at at Uxbridge for fixture three in torrential rain. If the weather forecast was to be believed it would be Welwyn in reverse, and we’d end in glorious sunshine.
The third fixture of the Met League has been held here now for the third time. Two laps flat-ish with a sharp rise to a kind of trig point, each lap ending with a river crossing. In prior years this has been a mere trickle. After so much autumn rain this year, it was deep, flowing and as soon became clear for the unsuspecting runner, treacherous.
Whether unable to face a second soaking in a row, or busy shopping for the festive season, fewer athletes were around on Saturday with the women’s soft and slightly soggy field a ‘modest’ 215. Woodford had a team though, with two to spare - so we were happy.
First home, having bounded through the crossing was Rachel Lund (24) in what is surely one of her highest ever league placings as she benefits from the strength conferred by marathon training. Next was Suzanne Phillips (31), running strongly after a chest infection had kept her away from Welwyn. At some stage on the first lap we lost Alicia McArdell who, running strongly this season, had been first scorer last time but twisted her ankle this time, so sadly for us did not finish. Third for the green and whites was Beccy Wilby (45) beginning to fulfil her promise with a significant improvement on her 67th place last time. Next was Kate Stockings (113) another athlete with an improvement on her performance last time, clearly energised by the challenges of inner city teaching. Closing for the team, V50 Jenny Thomas (122) was unable to catch Stockings this time but made it 5 in 122. Though not scoring for points this time, V50 Alex Wardle (123) closed closely behind Thomas in what was probably her best run of the season.
Not only did we finish in sunshine but we did so in second place in Division 2 and with that moved up to second third place overall. Vicky Park B leads the Division and seventy five points is the gap. Not insurmountable but we’ll need all of our strength at Scrubs and the Pally if we are to stand a chance.