Herne Hill Harriers round up: Big runs at Valencia Marathon

With no club senior team races on last weekend’s calendar at least 10 Herne Hill Harriers athletes had targeted the prestigious and notoriously fast Valencia Marathon on Sunday with the aim of bringing home some personal best times.

A perfect day on the rapid course, which features only 18 metres elevation in all of its 26.2 miles, saw massive runs from all, writes Geoff Jerwood.

Carl Delaney heroically overcame sickness to take pride of place with a PB by five minutes of 2:23.39.

Australian Brandon Dewar took 10 minutes off his PB as he clocked a superb 2:26:38.

Irishman Marc Geraghty was next Harriers finisher and was close to his best with 2:32.08, followed in by Ross Brown, whose 2:34.31 was a PB by some four minutes.

Max Rose took six minutes from his best with 2:37.05, then came Joe Elliott (2:45.48), Paul Calver (2:45.53), Jack Coy (3:22.44), Hayley Shearman (3:23.51) and Simon Evans (3:38.26) to complete a very strong set of performances from the athletes in red and black hoops.

There was a grand master racing performance from Gaby Reynolds at the Goodwood Running Grand Prix Half Marathon which featured laps around the motor circuit.

W40 Reynolds was the winning female in the race with a PB of 77:12, well inside her target of sub-80 minutes for the distance.

More Harriers masters produced excellent runs at the BMAF 5km road race championship which was held on a fast course in Battersea Park.

Individual national medals were claimed by Mike Cummings (third M35 in 15:17), Ben Paviour (third M50 in 16:10) and Nikki Sturzaker (second W45 in 18:59), while some team medals were also won in the age groups.

Very good runs were recorded by Oliver Morrison (fourth M45 16:43), Jonathan Ratcliffe (eighth M55 17:41), Mike Boyle (seventh M60 18:33), Sue Swaine (sixth W40 19:08), Andrew Simms (18th M55 20:27) and Sarah Allen (eighth W55 25:38).

The younger element from the club represented well at the Annual Oxbridge Varsity Cross Country races on Wimbledon Common on Saturday.

Herne Hill’s 18-year-old Poppy Craig-McFeely had a superb run in a dominant Cambridge University ladies team in sixth place and Alexandra Brown raced superbly to finish ninth for the Oxford University team in one of the strongest female fields seen in the long history of this annual fixture.

This coming weekend sees the South of England Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Horspath in Oxfordshire where a number of Herne Hill young athletes and senior women will represent Surrey.

The Harriers veterans, including Reynolds, will be competing in the Southern Masters Cross Country Championships at the same meeting.

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