BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers’ women were the overall winners of the Hercules Wimbledon 5K Team Road Race on Saturday – with their men second overall.
Highgate Harriers won the men’s team race. With Belgrave Harriers second in the women’s event and Kent AC third in both women’s and men’s, Herne Hill became unofficial double county champions within the overall open race.
The event was not a relay, but a road race held close to the All England Tennis Club, starting and finishing with laps on the Wimbledon Park athletics track. There were 10 men’s teams of 10 runners each and 10 women’s teams of six in separate races with all runners to score.
One athlete per team started together in waves going off at one minute intervals, so there were 10 runners per wave, with the team results based on aggregate team times, with chip timing.
Herne Hill women’s victory margin was around two minutes led by Georgie Grgec. Grgec, fresh from a 9:20.11 track 3,000m PB at Bromley the previous weekend, ran away from international Naomi Taschimowitz of Shaftesbury Barnet in the second half to record the fastest women’s time of the day (16:35). The team packed well with Sarah Grover 10th in 18:44, Martha Reynolds was twelfth in 18:55, Fiona de Mauny came 17th in 19:08, team captain Julia Wedmore finished 18th in 19:12 with Olivia Zeltner 28th in 19:22.
Highgate dominated the men’s race with five of the fastest 14 overall but superior packing by the Herne Hill’s men saw them finish ahead of Kent and Belgrave.
The men’s team was spearheaded by Nick Dewar, clocking 14:58 for fourth on a strong first wave and sixth overall. Next was Lewis Laylee (11th overall in 15:11), then Brandon Dewar (19th in 15:33), Nick Bester (20th in 15:34), captain Angus Butler (25th in 15:42), Andrew Grigg (42nd in 16:07).
Jack Brotchie shrugged off injury (43rd in 16:08). Andrew Warburton was 53rd in 16:14 with Jeff Cunningham (60th in 16:35) and Simon Coombes (67th in 16:51) making it a successful day for the senior distance runners.
Myles Preston finally got to run a marathon in 2020 after a difficult and long build up due to several previous race cancellations.
He produced a PB of 2:38.41 at the Bedford Autodrome Marathon.
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