For a rare weekend that was bereft of club team races for Herne Hill Harriers, there was nevertheless plenty of competitive action, with some athletes racing for their university or county teams and others taking the opportunity to take part in open road races or parkruns.
Some of the most impressive racing was seen in parkruns. At the Dulwich parkrun Mike Cummings returned from recent injury to beat all comers on the day in a time of 16:06, but close behind our overall winner was the first lady runner, Cummings’ Herne Hill club mate and Great Britain 800m track international Katie Snowden. Having just returned home from a high altitude training camp in Kenya, Snowden wanted to test herself at the 5km distance and the result was a new ladies record for the Dulwich course by 33 seconds with a time of 16:28 for third place overall on the day. This was a very encouraging return to the colder climes of the UK, showing form that should bode well for the bigger challenges on her horizon.
At the British Universities and Colleges Cross Country Championship at Graves Park in Sheffield, Harriers men Jay Rossiter and Lewis Lloyd placed a very good twelfth and thirteenth respectively in a very strong field in the main men's race and with only two seconds separating them over 12km. Lascelles Hussey placed eighty-seventh in this race, while Katie Moore was a good fiftieth in the main ladies race. In the men's shorter race Merhawi Tesfaldet placed forty-fifth and John Tayleur finished eighty-eighth.
Younger than their student counterparts, two Herne Hill girls raced very well at the South East Schools Inter-Counties Cross Country Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent. Racing for Berkshire Schools, Eimear Griffin claimed a good silver medal in the Intermediate Girls race just ahead of her club mate and bronze medallist Olivia Stillman, who represented the Surrey Schools team. Both of these young ladies had been part of Herne Hill’s victorious under 17 team seven days earlier at Parliament Hill.
Last Wednesday’s London Schools Championship at Wormwood Scrubs saw a good number of excellent performances by Herne Hill athletes, many of whom will qualify to represent the London team at next month’s English Schools Championship in Norwich. Medalists were Alex Brown, a clear winner of the Inter Girls race, Ella Newton second in the Senior Girls, Jaden Kennedy second in Junior Boys and Laurie Pope third in Senior Boys, with also a very fine fourth place for Poppy Craig-McFeely in the Junior Girls.
In road running, Sunday’s Chichester Priory 10km road race saw Alex Hobley take around forty seconds off his previous PB as his time of 34:11 gave him a placing of twenty-eighth in a good field on a day where the wind was unhelpful on an exposed section of the course between 7 and 9km.
Other Harriers runners who were first across the line in parkruns were Australian Eric Sapac who won unchallenged in York clocking 16:30 and Jack Hillier who recorded 16.49 for the win in Burgess Park.