Strong performances by road relay teams
HW's Senior Men and U15 Girls teams were the top South London and Surrey squads in the South of England Road Relay Championships which began in overcast and rainy conditions at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Sunday. Both teams finished just outside the medals in fourth place. The U15 Girls were a mere three seconds from a bronze medal; the men only 20 seconds.
A week after taking the silver medals in the Surrey Road Relay Championships, the Senior Men got off to a strong start with Andrew Penney, who posted the fastest individual HW time in the Surrey Championships, coming in ninth of the 78 teams and covering the 6km in 17:49.75. He handed over to Howell Craske who moved up to fifth (18:12.30). Jonny Cornish (18:32.15) slipped back to ninth before Tom Jervis (18:02.05) bounced back, handing over in sixth place to Richard McDowell (17:48.95) who gained another place, putting in the second best HW time of the day before Ben Toomer ran an outstanding anchor leg, clocking 17:27.35 to better last year's fifth place finish for the team.
By the time the senior races got underway the weather had improved and it had stopped raining. It was the youngsters who had to endure a drenching. Ellen Weir got the U15 Girls team off to a good start, handing over in fifth place in 11:34.60 to Lulu Weisz (12:04.80) who gained a place. Georgina Clarke posted the fastest time of the trio, 11:26.85, but while she overtook the Chiltern runner to temporarily move into bronze medal position, she was passed by a Bracknell athlete who just pipped the team to the bronze medal.
The Senior Men's B team also ran strongly, finishing in 28th to qualify alongside the A team for the National Championships at Sutton Park on October 6. Ross Matheson was 21st on the opening leg in 18:21.90 with Will Russell (20th in 18:46.10), Neil Fraser (28th in 19:26.45), Dave Lewin (29th in 19:28.15), Kieran White (28th in 19:28.70) and Joe Toomey (28th in 19:33.45) completing the team.
A third Hercules Wimbledon team of Matt Gibbons, Rob Tuer, Dave Scrimshaw, Zac Purnell, Henry Silverstein and Hector Revill finished 62nd with Zac clocking the fastest individual time of 19:53.20, moving through from 67th to 57th on the fourth stage.
The U15 Girls B team of Millie Doyle (12:27.20), Albane Fery (12:59.15) and Alix Baccardax 13:18.80) was 30th and the C team of Eloise Davies 13:27.65), Naina Raizada (15:09.20) and Milly Hodgson (13:38.90) was 61st.
Bailey O’Leary (13:09.85) who was 32nd of the 56 teams on the opening leg was the fastest of the Girls U13 team which also consisted of Cliona O'Brien and Anna Barker, finished 40th.
Rebekah Riches (12:27.95), who ran the opening leg, was the fastest of the Girls U17 team which finished 29th with Georgia Hanley (13:43.10) and Niamh Thompson (12:44.45) completing the team.
For whatever reason the results for Senior Women and Vets teams are still quite muddled, however the tentative details of the Senior Women's team which finished 26th, are that first leg runner Alex Binley was fastest (36th in 18:49.70). Eileen Brandley (19:14.45) handed over in 30th to U20 Elena Dauster (25th in 19:22.45) while Fran Clarke, who doubled up for the Vets, brought the team home in 21:09.10. The results for the Vets team have yet to be published.
Matt de Freitas (20:16.05) was the fastest member of the men’s V50 team completed by Paul Williams (22:50.10) and Pete Clarke (22:07.90, which finished seventh.
Continuing their honeymoon in South Africa Freddie Slemeck and Suzie Alway raced barefoot in the Melkbosstrand 5km Parkrun in South Africa. Fred headed home the 382-strong field in 20:44, winning by 13 seconds, while Suzie was seventh in the women’s race in 28:51. Nearer home and warming up for the South of England road relays the next day, Hercules Wimbledon’s Alex Binley was top woman finisher in the Wimbledon Common parkrun in 19:21. Adam Harwood was the fastest of the 22 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action finishing third in 17:38, 19 seconds ahead of club mate Peter Collins who was fourth with Richard Evans seventh (18:30) and Joe Toomey eighth (18:43).
Meanwhile Finn Johnson travelled to the West Country where he made a winning debut in the Trelissick event in Cornwall in 17:19, winning by more than two minutes and posting the top age-graded performance of the 110 runners.