Athletics round-up for Herne Hill Harriers and Hercules Wimbledon: Katie Snowden wins award


Katie Snowden has been crowned Active Wandsworth Sportsperson of the Year at the annual awards evening held a week ago at the Civic Suite in recognition of her stellar performances in 2023, writes Geoff Jerwood.

Among the many highlights of Snowden’s year was her victory in July at the UK Championship in Manchester where she beat British record holder Laura Muir to earn selection for the World Athletics Championship in Budapest in August.

The global event saw her finish eighth in the 1,500m final after having set a new English women’s record in the semi-finals, her time of 3:56.72 ranking her 10th in the world female list for 2023.

Super veteran Nikki Sturzaker, who topped the UK female over 50 rankings in a number of middle distance events, setting lifetime personal bests, was voted third place behind Snowden.

Harriers enjoyed further success with coach Andrew Black being one of the winners in the Volunteer of the Year award and Herne Hill’s community project Tooting Run Club being shortlisted for Club/Organisation of the Year.

Teenage combined events athlete Jasmine Nkoso was shortlisted for Young Sportsperson of the Year and her coach Tony Mayhew for Coach of the Year.

Georgie Grgec continued her preparation for the World Cross Country Championships in Serbia later this month with a big win in her home city of Auckland, New Zealand.

Grgec was the first female in the AKL Round the Bays Race, advertised as 8.4km. Her time of 26:55 was impressive as she placed seventh overall among more than 21,000 finishers and was more than 90 seconds ahead of the next woman to finish.

At the Run Through Battersea 10km road race Mat Hudson’s time of 36:34 was a PB by around 20 minutes as the former sprinter now moves up a few race distances.

Also in Battersea Park on a very wet Saturday morning the Sri Chinmoy 10km saw a strong set of runs from Harriers.
Andrew Clarke finished third in 32:17, just ahead of  Andrew Warburton (fourth in 32:21), then Lewis Laylee (sixth in 32:56), Brandon Dewar (eighth in 33:02) and Max Rose (13th in 33:25).

Sunday was half-marathon day and featured more very good runs. In the Cambridge Half Marathon Ben Warren clocked 72:35 in 94th place and Scott Morrison ran a PB of 75:19.

In the Paddock Wood Half M45 Ben Millar was 47th overall in 73:52, M40 Paul Calver 82nd in 76:09, Chris Speed 83rd in 76:23 and M55 Jonathan Ratcliffe was sixth among the over 50s in 79:24.

Also at Paddock Wood, the leading females from the club both recorded PBs as Jenny Nandi was timed at 81:00 and Laura Donnelly 86:16.


On a wet and windy Saturday in Oxford, some hardy veteran athletes were seen competing at the British Masters Winter Throws Championships.

Even negotiating hail and snow in part, two Hercules Wimbledon athletes led from the front, writes George Mallett.

Jean Pascal Laperotine threw 29.17m in the final round of the discus to win the disability category. It took the bragging rights over his training partner Mark Andrews, whose 28.53m was good enough to win him V35 discus gold.

Andrews gained some form of revenge in the javelin, throwing 31.22m to finish fourth in his V35 class with Laperotine winning his class but managing slightly less in 25.08m.

Laperotine, competing against many able-bodied athletes, threw 9.11m in the open category of the shot put, good enough to earn him second place overall.

Andrews opted instead for the hammer, where his throw of 36.88m saw him win the V35 title.

On Sunday, in brighter conditions in another university town, James Stockings took 28 seconds off his half-marathon best to finish 25th at the Cambridge Half Marathon in 68:01. The Hercules cross-country captain moves 11th on the Hercules all-time list. Austin Hall finished in 80:51 for 401st.

Competing on the South Coast, Rhys Boorman ran 1:14:39 for second at the Eastbourne Half Marathon.

Based in Hastings, Boorman won the race in 2016 and this year came within a minute of that time, a strong showing on a return from injury.

Other athletes were seen competing at parkruns over the weekend with Max Harrison posting a PB of 18:07 at the Dulwich event.


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