BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Herne Hill Harriers fielded a 10-man team and two six-women teams in the Wimbledon Park 5km road race on Sunday – as local athletics club competition returned.
Harriers’ men placed fifth of 12 complete teams with the women’s A and B teams second ninth respectively.
The men’s race was first, starting in ten waves each comprising one runner per team setting off from the track at one-minute intervals.
Nick Dewar and Lewis Laylee found times of 15:14 and 15:21 on the hilly course good for only the 18th and 21st fastest overall on the day, an illustration of the quality at the front of the field.
On the subsequent waves Carl Delaney (15:35), Brandon Dewar (15:39), emerging talent Joe Fenwick (15:51), Marc Geraghty (16:06), Jack Brotchie (16:11), Eoin Brady (16:29), Joe Elliott (16:34) and Jeff Cunningham (16:52) brought home a good team effort with Kent AC, Thames Hare & Hounds and Serpentine among those who finished behind Herne Hill based on the cumulative times of the ten runners from each club.
Harriers were the only club with two complete female senior teams of six. Kent AC took the team win. Seven of Harriers’ 12 women completed the course in under 20 minutes with four more clocking sub 21.
Fiona de Mauny was their fastest woman, recording 18:30 to place 11th in the overall standings.
Gaby Reynolds made her team debut clocking (18:47) – backed up by Sarah Grover (18:50), Julia Wedmore (19:16), Zoe Tompkins (19:34) and Katie Balme (20:37). Balme bravely completed her run despite feeling sick.
The B team saw a fine debut run from Laura Donnelly (19:38).
Natasha Lodge (19:51), Ella Newton (20:00), Martha Reynolds (20:07) and Karen Ellison (20:50) all made encouraging steps back towards race fitness following their respective injuries.
Laura Miles is returning from a knee operation and her recovery may not have appreciated the steep downhill section, but she ensured the completion of a second Harriers team when one or two other clubs were unable to finish their one team.
There was a masters race for athletes over 35. Ben Paviour ran 17:14 and Robin Jones 17:17 to finish second and third in the M45 category and overall in the race.
Gary Ironmonger was eighth overall and first M55 with a good time of 17:39, with Jonathan Ratcliffe third M50 and 17th overall with 18:27.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.