BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Richard Henderson placed second overall in the Gordon Pirie 10-mile cross country race on Farthing Down, Coulsdon on Sunday morning behind international marathon athlete Nick Torry, who had originally hoped to be racing at the Valencia Marathon.
Henderson chased the leader hard throughout the race over the tough undulating terrain.
He successfully defended the Herne Hill club 10 miles cross country championship which means that he retains the huge and historic Dewar Shield that is awarded annually to the first Harriers finisher at this event.
Jeff Cunningham, Eoghan Wiles and M50 Andrew Simms also raced in this South London Harriers-organised event with Cunningham and Wiles also placing in the first eight across the line.
Other senior men’s results from the weekend came from the Valencia Marathon, also held on Sunday morning. Carl Delaney clocked 2:43:20, super M50 Jonathan Ratcliffe – a very prolific racer – ran his fastest time since the spring with his 2:44:09.
Bryn Reynolds recorded 2:55:05 and Eric Dol cracked his sub three hours target (2:57:11).
The club’s young athletes raced in the Downs League at Epsom Downs where they consolidated their league positions challenging in most of the age groups.
In the U13 boys race Oak Buchan finished strongly to snatch second place in the closing strides from Keeran Sriskandarajah, followed in by Fabien Whitelock in fifth place for a resounding Herne Hill team win.
They were well-supported by Josh Lee Baum in sixth, Freddie Hake in seventh Jake Swinhoe in 14th, Jon Goldston (19th) and newcomer Josh Maguire (20th).
The U13 girls team finished second, led home by Lucy Wright, closely followed by Rosalie Laban and Abbey Jeffcoat and supported by Daisy Furminger and Margaret Forster.
Both the U15 boys and girls teams placed second.
Among the boys Joseph Russian finished seventh, Diego Lister eighth and Harvey Kande 10th, while for the girls the team of Zakia Azim O’Neill, Iris Forster and Sinian McDowell ran strongly to keep the club in contention for league honours after two matches.
Some of the club’s young athletes distance squad are in action at the English Schools cup final this weekend.
Harriers runners are also representing Surrey in the South of England Inter Counties cross country southern races at Horspath, Oxford.
There is also a senior women’s Inter Counties championship where four Herne Hill athletes will race as part of strong Surrey teams and the Southern Masters Cross Country Championship also takes place.
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