Metropolitan League 8k (men): 13 November 2010
Men's Division One Team Result
1 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 1614
2 Woodford Green with Essex Ladies 1589
3 Serpentine RC 1422
4 Highgate Harriers 1205
5 Hillingdon 1021
6 London Heathside 1018
7 Thames Valley Harriers 943
8 Serpentine RC 'B' 932
9 Metropolitan Police 877
10 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 640
Men's Division One League Positions
1 Woodford Green with Essex Ladies 3240
2 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 3142
3 Serpentine RC 3107
4 Highgate Harriers 2445
5 Serpentine RC 'B' 2141
6 Metropolitan Police 1967
7 Hillingdon 1950
8 London Heathside 1848
9 Thames Valley Harriers 1825
10 Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 1251
On Saturday 13 November, Serpentine cross country team travelled to the provinces (Trent Park) for the second Metropolitan League (www.metleague.co.uk) fixture of the 2010-2011 season. After winning the first fixture in Claybury we knew that we had a target on the back of all our singlets and that Woodford and Shaftesbury in particular would be keen for revenge. Still, what with this being the first time we have hosted a Metropolitan league race and it being a venue with which a lot of us weren't familiar we were keen to do our club proud.
Nick Torry as alwayslead the team home, coming third behind Neilson Hall of Herts Pheonix and Tom Bedford of Shaftesbury. Richard Phillips in 18th reversed recent fortunes against Hugh Torry in 22nd, while Will Green (in his first ever cross country race in the red and gold and fresh from a 2:32 marathon in Berlin) came home in 36th. We sorely missed Hendrick Zietsman who is still recovering from New York marathon, Andy Greenleaf who was has had various cycling misfortunes and Aodh O'Neil who had to work, who would all have been in this group. Tony Bourne was 45th, followed by Miguel Branco in 52th (putting Claybury behind him) with Phil Dickens (recently recovered from Amsterdam marathon and in his first cross country race for us for a few years) in 57th just getting the better of Martin Gaunt in 58th and new recruit David Miller in 59th. Jol Attwooll came 66th, Andy Reeves (recovered from flu) came 86th and Duncan Hancox in 88th closed out our first 12 A team, leaving us third in the league after two races.
Andrew Orr came 91st, Wesley Harrison (in I think his first cross country race for us?) came 93rd, Nick Smeeton was 100th just beating Greg Stevens (converted from the roads!) in 101st. Embrima Noble was 103rd while Eric Phillips (to paraphase Haile Gebresallasie "no excuses - I just need to refind my mojo") came 106th. Huw Lobb was an understated 115th, Richard Fanning came 119th, Jeffrey Ng was 122nd and John Nugus (fresh from Istanbul marathon) was 123rd. Joe Thompson in 134th and James Edgar in 144th closed out our B team, leaving them still in fifth in the league and well ahead of the relegation zone.
At the front of the theoretical C team, Dave Morgan, was 145th, Andrew Hibbert came 158th, new recruit Paul Lanzoni was 161st and Kevin Darcy (another one who's lost his mojo) came 164th. We packed well with Brent Plump in 171st, Stephen Brown in 173rd, Alistair Maher (new recruit and in marathon recovery mode) was in 174th, Andy Davies was 179th, Josh Paparo was 180th, Will Jones (arrived at the startline late!) was 194th, Richard Taylor came 205th and Justin Lock (just returned from honeymoon) came 223rd. I actually think it's a bit unfair that our C team (who are stronger than the B teams of many clubs) don't get an official league result and I think we might suggest to the relevant powers that next season they get to join the lower division.
Further down the field we had James Gwyther in 223rd, Tim Renshaw in 238th, Robert Ashby in 253rd, Fraser Johnson (with wife and daughter supporting!) in 261st, Michael Stainton in 263rd and Alex Mazoni in 267th. Gavin Burn came 269th, Jean-Luc Hoez was 285th, Ian Johnson was 299th, Guy Regis was 301st, Andrew Richards was 303rd and Richard Hardiman came 305th completed a fouth dozen.
Gaetan Ellie (all the way from France!) was 312th, Joachim Larson (all the way from Sweden!) was 318th, while Ian Hodge (all the way from East London!) was 323rd. William Raymond Harvey Simpson was 336th, Robert Kennedy 343rd, Nick Spearing came 351st, Alex Pearson came 352nd, Lars Menken came 356th, Theo Chen came 364th, George Allen was 366th and Michael Woodock was last man standing in 374th.
Congratulations are due to Shaftesbury who were worthy winners and Woodford who were stronger than us on the day. Conditions were cold but not oppressive, the ground was very muddy, but everyone preferred the venue to Wormwood Scrubs. Many thanks to Macolm French who organised the race, Sally Hodge who also seemed to be heavily involved and very important, Simon Barrett who acted as team manager (we hope you can race again soon) the Serpettes for their cheering and support (the cakes were phenomenal!), all the various other marshalls and officials and tea-ladies and eventually the Cock and Dragon who provided some buttery sandwiches and plenty of the good stuff.
The result was not the one we wanted of course. But we still have three races to go, Stevenage on 18 December and then two more races in January and February and we must now focus on them. At the start of the season we knew it wasn't going to be an easy league and wins would be difficult, but that's why we want to do it. Long distance running is about putting ourselves as individuals and as a team outside our comfort zone and we experienced some of that this weekend.
And if you're not already involved in cross country...
...but want to be? Get involved! Find me or Rich on a Wednesday at the club if you have any questions or drop me an e-mail. There is lots of information on the club website. I'll be in contact with people to confirm availability for upcoming Metropolitan races and also the Southerns and the Nationals shortly.
Massive numbers of Serpies!
If you have any queries about these results please email firstname.lastname@example.org