Jonny Cornish gained an impressive win in damp and blustery conditions when he headed home a 2,600-plus field in the Wokingham half-marathon on Sunday.
It was victory at his third attempt in the event having finishing eighth in 2016 and ninth last year.
But it proved a painful experience for schoolteacher Cornish as he suffered two nasty blisters on his left heel which hampered his running.
He sat back with Nick Torry of Serpentine and Joe Wade of Ryde as Bristol’s Harry Allen spearheaded the race for the opening mile.
Soon after that, he overhauled by Cornish, Torry and Wade who ran together until the 11-mile mark when Cornish kicked on to win by almost half a minute in one hour seven minutes 13 seconds, his fastest time for the course by 10 seconds.
It improved on the 1:07:13 he clocked in finishing ninth last year.
“I wore two pairs of socks to protect my feet but felt them rubbing during the race,” said Cornish, who won the Oxfordshire cross country title last month.
“I need to sort my feet out before March 7 when I’m running in the Inter-Counties cross country championships at Loughborough. It seems the socks I was wearing were too tight.”
Claire Grima finished runner-up to two-times English cross country champion Louise Damen in the women’s race.
Grima had the consolation on being top woman veteran. Running at Wokingham for the fifth time, she was not far off her best time for the course of 1:18:26 set in 2018.
Grima’s husband David was 48th in a PB of 1:15:54.
More than 30 Hercules Wimbledon were in action at the English National Cross County Championships at Nottingham’s Wollaston Park on Saturday.
Surrey champion Ellen Weir led the Hercules Wimbledon girls U17 runners in finishing 23rd in the 257-strong field. Georgie Clarke was 32nd and Niamh Thomson 47th.
The fourth member of the team, Selma Hegvold had the misfortune to lose her chip in the mud and did not score. She finished about 190th.
Lulu Weisz led the U15 girls to ninth out of 39 teams. She was 50th of the 394 finishers with Millie Thorpe 101st, Eloise Davies 120th and Rosie Speed 143rd.
Ronan McArdle led the U13 boys to 19th place. He was 114th of the 385 runners with Ibrahim Mohamed Achchi 134th, Oliver Holden 173rd and Matt Weisz 176th. Grace Emission led the U13 girls home finishing 154th of the 358 runners in the race. Sophie Thorpe was 197th, Elena Hernandez 235th and Indira Ferree 331st.
Tom Jervis led the senior men’s team home finishing 95th of the 1,715 runners with Fred Slemeck 127th, Joe Toomey 239th, Matt Sharp 243rd, Ed Mallett 253rd and Rob Tuer 596th.
Four Hercules Wimbledon runners contested the Self Transcendence 10km road race in Battersea Park on Saturday. Bill Woodcock was second in 31:41, five seconds behind the winner.
Rosemary Fernando was seventh woman and Tom Cheetham third veteran over-50 man.
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