The HHH men got our cross country season off to a super start with our most emphatic win yet in the Surrey League, as we posted a very low score of 99 points for 10 scoring runners which has only been beaten on one occasion in the history of the league, more than 20 years ago in the days when the current team manager occasionally led the team home. After just one race we have a good lead of 150 points over our closest challengers Thames Hare & Hounds and are almost 300 ahead of Belgrave Harriers. With young Paul Burgess leading our U13 boys to team victory and our combined U17 & U15 team 2nd it was a good day for the club on Wimbledon Common.
Although we had 5 over 35’s among our 10 scorers, our charge was led by 2 guys who still often require their id as Chris Busaileh overhauled Joe Morwood in the second half of the race to place 2nd to Joe’s 3rd. With 4 more men in the first 10 it was apparent that we would be the clear on the day victors and with our 10th counter placing 19th and and 11th in 23rd we sealed a huge win to set our stall out for the season.
Ben Paviour confirmed his return to form in 6th place, closely followed in by 1st and 2nd veterans in the race, Brian Wilder (7th) and former World Masters track champion Dave Taylor (8th). Irishman Mark Dooley, from the John Downes stable in Dublin but currently studying in Sussex made a welcome HHH debut to place a good 10th in his first race for 4 months after injury, while Mike Cummings confirmed his track pedigree and recent good training form in finishing 13th.
Keith Newton ensured a HHH vets 1-2-3 on the day by closely following Mike in 14th and with Simon Coombes recording his best ever Surrey League finish in 17th and John Kettle also in the top 20 for the first time in 19th our fabulous team score was confirmed. It is not often that a man places 23rd and doesn’t score in his team in this league, but on Saturday James Mason was that man, in his first league race. With Jonny Henderson having essentially a training run in 35th, Basil Wallace in 41st, Sam Knight 51st, another vet Vic Maughn 55th and Jonny Muir 57th of 181 finishers our scoring 10 was very well backed up for good measure.
Paul Burgess ran very well to comfortably win the U13 boys race in conjunction with the older boys up to 17, with Paul acquitting himself very well in this overall young athletes field. With Callum Barker 3rd, Oscar Millard 5th and Ollie Fox 9th we were able to fend off Hercules Wimbledon, despite them having a full 5 man team to our 4. We were unable to beat HW in the U17/U15 race for a clean sweep of the male races, but we did well here too, with Idiris Ali leading the team in 4th, just ahead of Amiin Jisow 5th, backed up by John Tayleur 10th, U15 Max Ferrari 14th and Abdu Mohammed 15th for 2nd placed team. Everything augers very well for the league season with the next men’s and boy’s races at Ham Lands on Saturday 12th November.