BY TOM POLLAK
Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s runners return to action this weekend after an enforced absence of two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the club’s youngest athletes will be in action at Morden Park on Sunday in a much-delayed start to the Downs Young Athletes Cross Country League season.
It will be the first time a Downs League race will have been staged in Morden Park as its long-standing traditional location, Epsom Downs, is not available.
The Downs League season normally starts in October so it is beginning two months late and with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic there is no guarantee a full season of four fixtures can be completed.
Organisers Jeff Manson and David Clarke reckon one of the benefits of using Morden Park is that there is an exceptionally wide starting area to help them comply with Covid-19 requirements.
Youngsters will be set off in waves 26 abreast at intervals of about a minute. There will be three races for both boys and girls.
The U11s are due off at 10.30am, the U13s go at 11am with the U15’s starting at 11.30am. The start and finish will be near the bandstand.
Some of the club’s older athletes will be in action at an all-day athletics event at their Wimbledon Park headquarters on Sunday.
There will be a 5km road race in the morning, with runners going off at two-minute intervals in waves of 10. The first group is due off at 8.45am.
Around a dozen runners from the club will be among 100 runners taking part in the road race.
They include over-50 veterans Justin Reid, Peter Lee, Stewart Bond, Peter Collins, Ben Revill and Andrew Davies. Annmarie Seymour and Felix Allen (both over-45s) are also among those taking part from the club. Over-40 veterans in action are Jim Carrington and Felix Allen.
The Covid-busting track events meeting in the afternoon, which is being staged in conjunction with Veterans Athletic Club, starts at 12.30pm with seven races over 150m. There will then be six races over 1,000m, starting at 12.55pm, seven races over 300m starting at 1.45pm and seven races over 600m starting at 2.20pm.
Peter Giles, Hercules Wimbledon’s oldest runner at the age of 75 competes in the 1,000m.
Over-55 veteran Lisa Thomas is in action in the 300m and 600m and over-50 veteran Mark White competes in the 150m and 300m.
Entries have closed.
Charlie Eastaugh was just pipped in his bid for victory in the Run Through Clapham Common 5km multi-terrain race in his first competition since mid-October. He shared the same time as the winner, Chris McGurk from Notts AC of 32:56 and had the consolation of clocking a PB.
Other leading finishers from the club were London marathon regular veteran David Grima, who was fifth of the 350 runners and top veteran over-40 finisher in 35:50.
Justin Reid was 10th and top veteran over-50 finisher in 37:29. Grima and Reid also last competed in a 5km road race at Wimbledon Park in mid-October.
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