FROM THE BACK BENCHES, NOVEMBER 2019- Martin Garrett
So, with our Christmas party fast approaching (December 17th), time to bring you up to date with the latest happenings around the club, and there's really only one place I can start this time around and that's with Parkrun. Yes folks, at the fifth time of asking, we've finally got the better (just!) of Metros in our annual mob match.Fifteen members lined up at Harrow on the 16th to take on an impressive fifty-eight Metros (with Prakash, Yogesh, and Uma making their debuts in the event), and, despite the yellows having the three top age-graded performers on the day (Nigel Rackham 88.83%, Sasha Birkin (82.87%), and Janice Newman (80.30%)), Tony (74.73%) led our 'merry band' to victory by 61.52% to 61.00%. Victory was celebrated afterwards with coffee in Morrisons, where Louis pointed out it took him longer to get served than it did to do the run! Elsewhere, five members paid a visit to Sunny Hill Park on the 2nd (whilst I was amongst those skiving off to watch the rugby World Cup Final), making up a seventh of the field. Pretty sure it's the first time we've had three runners (Tony (4th), Louis (6th) and Hsiang-Ju (7th)) in the top ten anywhere, and, for good measure, our former member (now an Ealing Eagle) Colin Goulding was first home. Overall, Gladstone Park's five runs during the month saw an average turnout of 191, whilst Mary logged her 150th run, at Harrow, on the 23rd, and it was also good to see Craig back in action at Canons Park on the 30th.
Away from Parkrun, the month 'kicked off', competitively, with Victor in New York for the marathon on the 3rd, whilst Adrian settled for half that distance at Marlow where Yvonne, Mark, Pat, John and Sofia opted for the seven miler. The 17th then saw Yvonne, Pat, Victor and Sofia South of the river for the Fulham 10k., whilst Tony headed up to Chesham in pursuit of his beloved hills for the Herbert's Hole race, the month ending with eleven of us at Cassiobury Park on the 24th (Liz sadly having to miss the race through injury) with Michael making his first foray over the country, and Ayesha tackling a 10k. for the first time. For the record, our women's team, led home by Simona (third in her catagory) finished eighth out of seventeen, whilst we managed to close two teams in the men's race, our A anb B squads finishing fourth and sixth out of nine respectively, the former (Tony, James and Mark) missing out on a 'podium finish' by the narrowest of margins finishing a mere forty-five seconds behind Ealing Eagles. We did however have our revenge, I'm pleased to say, edging Eagles out of second spot in the overall challenge (six men/women to score!) where we were runners-up to the hosts, Watford Joggers, who made a predictable clean sweep of the trophies. Thanks meanwhile to Bev, Wendy, Alice and David for the support.
Leaving behind our athletic endeavours, November also saw the debrief meeting for the 2019 Summer League, held at the Seymour Centre, Marylebone, on the 7th. I can report that race fees will remain at £2-50 for 2020 after what was considered a successful campaign with numbers once again on the rise (almost 400 contesting the main race at Regent's Park!). Proposed dates for 2020 are as under, with Regent's Park and Battersea Park already confirmed.
Sunday 31st May: Dulwich
Sunday 14th June: Harrow
Sunday 28th June: Perivale
Sunday 19th JulyL: Regent's Park
Sunday 9th August: Battersea Park
Well, think that about covers it for this month.