Hercules Wimbledon round-up: Medals gained at British Masters Indoor Championship

BY TOM POLLAK

A small group of Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s older athletes returned with a bagful of medals from the British Masters Indoor Championships.

Peter Giles, 75, gained a hat-trick of gold medals.

Giles, who only took up running when he was 44, won the 1,500m on Saturday in 5:36.94 seconds and then  took the 800m on Sunday in 3:15.12, just 0.54 seconds clear of the runner-up, and the 3,000m in 12:07.08.

He tops this year’s UK rankings in his age group at 800m and 1,500m and is ranked second over 3,000m.

Anna Garnier is another top ranked Hercules Wimbledon athlete. She went into the over-65 15,00m firm favourite after her winning time at last month’s South of England Masters indoor championships at the same venue topped the 2020 UK rankings. She took the title in 5:56.57, just outside her season’s best.

The small Hercules Wimbledon contingent at the national championships managed to win seven gold medals.

Paul Wignall had a busy weekend, taking gold in the over-65 200m on Sunday in 29.78 after picking up a bronze medal in the 60m the previous day. He was also fourth in the 400m.

Lisa Thomas took gold in the women’s over-50 400m on Saturday in 65.89, finishing more than two seconds clear of the runner-up and then taking the silver medal in the 800m on Sunday in 2:35.50.

Justin Reid, the youngest of the five-strong group won the gold medal in the over 50 3000m on Sunday in 9:45.87 after taking the bronze medal in the 1500m on the previous day in 4:28.78.

Another of Hercules Wimbledon’s older athletes, Tom Cheetham, is close to completing his 100th marathon.

Cheetham, 53, finished 16th in testing conditions in the Thames Meander marathon along the Thames towpath from Kingston to Barnes and back in 3:14:54. He was fifth in his age group in what was his 92nd marathon.

It was part of his build-up for next month’s London Marathon which may be under threat because of the Coronavirus epidemic.

Two Hercules Wimbledon youngsters represented Surrey in the UK Inter-Counties cross country championships at Loughborough’s Prestwold Hall and a small contingent were in action in the penultimate East Surrey League cross country meeting in Croydon’s Lloyd Park.

Teenagers Ellen Weir and Georgie Clarke posted below-par efforts at Loughborough after recovering from seasonal colds.

Clarke finished 45th of almost 300 runners in the U17 championship in 23:18 while Weir, winner of the Surrey title in January, came 85th in 24:09.

Hector Revill was second U17 finisher at Croydon in 14:52 with Adam Hammadi the second U15 runner across the line in 16:18. Ronan McArdle was fourth in the U13 race in 16:27.

Forty Hercules Wimbledon runners took part in parkrun 5km events on Saturday.

Adam Harwood headed home a 37-strong field on Wimbledon Common in 18:37. It was the 227th time he had taken part in the event in which he made his debut in June 2009 and only his ninth win.

Over-55 veteran Richard Evans posted the top men’s age-graded performance to finish ninth in 21:03, 15 seconds behind club- mate Simon Woodley.

David Lewin was third out of 1,504 runners in Bushy Park (16:52) as he sliced six seconds off his PB, set in September 2018.

Alex Binley was third woman finisher in Kettering in 20:54 while Matthew Sharp was seventh out of 555 runners in Dulwich Park in 16:06.

Teenager Millie Doyle was second woman finisher in the Fulham Palace event in a personal best of 19:35, an improvement of more than  two minutes on her PB set in December 2018.


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