Wednesday 18th August saw another stunning result for a Herne Hill Harriers female athlete this summer as at the Manchester International meeting at Sport City on the Etihad Campus Phoebe Anderson ran a big 5000m PB time of 16:18.75. This performance is the second fastest track 5000m run by a woman of any age in the history of the club to and smashes her own club Under 20 Women’s record set earlier this season.
Anderson was racing for the England U20 team, having represented Great Britain Juniors at the European U20 Championship in Tallinn last month. Placing fifth overall in the race and second U20, her time puts her second on the UK rankings for U20 women in 2021 and 22nd on the UK all time list for her age group.
Another Harriers young athlete Ignatius Abebrese was also competing in the Manchester meeting, making his international debut representing a Great Britain Under 18 team. Abebrese produced a good 13.79m in the triple jump, placing seventh in the event and fourth among the U20M.
On Sunday 22nd Herne Hill athletes turned out in force for the biggest mass participation road racing event since Covid restrictions were relaxed, as the Vitality Big Half ran through the streets of four London boroughs, a half marathon for elites and all abilities finishing in Greenwich.
The Harriers fastest quartet packed well as a team, led home by Brandon Dewar 43rd in 72:06, closely chased by Jack Brotchie 54th in 72:42, Marc Geraghty 60th in 73:02 and Carl Delaney 75th in 73:33. Ryan Willmott was not far behind in 96th in 74:42, while a stand out performance came from Jonathan Ratcliffe, 205th overall in 78:18, but placing an excellent 2nd among all M50 competitors. Gen Huss and Laura Donnelly both ran very well to record times of around 87 minutes among the huge field.
Also over the weekend a handful of Herne Hill masters athletes travelled to Derby for the British BMAF Track & Field Championship and brought home a clutch of national age group medals.
Allan Long claimed gold in the M75 Triple Jump with 7.76m and Long Jump with 3.63m, plus silver in the 100m in 15.08 and 200m in 31.96. Giuseppe Minetti won the gold in the M50 100m in 12.23 and silver for 200m in 25.03, while Mike Cummings enjoyed a similar medals haul with gold in the M35 1500m in 4:04.51 a silver in a close 800m race in 2:06.12. Nikki Sturzaker was the winner of the W45 1500m in 5:08.51 to add her gold to our team tally.
There were also a good number of Herne Hill athletes in action at parkruns on Saturday. In Northampton Sophie Harris was again the fastest female and although her rapid time of 16:33 was quicker than she ran last week to top the national list, this week she found herself third overall among the women’s times around the country.
The Harriers turnout on their local at Tooting Common saw seven from the club in the first 20 finishers. The first female was Suzanne Swaine, placing 18th overall in 19:59, with Jeff Cunningham and Matt Cartwright at the front in second and third respectively in 17:08 and 17:12. Adam Westbury was fourth in 18:19, Steven Pugh ninth in 19:12, James Stocker tenth in 19:15 and Craig Barney 14th in 19:46.
Herne Hill first finishers at other events were M45 Raj Paranandi 17:14 at Roundhay in Leeds and Bryn Reynolds in 19:08 at the Ford parkrun in the Lake District. In St Albans half marathon international Stacey Ormerod made her first tentative steps back towards racing after giving birth last year and subsequent injuries, clocking 20:20 as the second female and finishing 17th overall.
In Dulwich Park U20 Sam Camenzuli finished 16th in 18:12 and second female Katie Balme ran a good PB of 18:53, placing 25th overall. Simon Coombes ran a very decent M45 time of 16:34 for fourth place at the Great Denham parkrun among our other best performers on the day.