Breakthrough run for Raj in Battersea Park

Last Thursday evening saw fine performances from Herne Hill Harriers athletes at the Under the Lights 5km road race last in Battersea Park.

The first man in the club red and black was also easily the first M45 runner on the night, as Raj Paranandi broke 16 minutes for the first time in spectacular fashion with his 15:42. Next men were Ross Brown, also running a PB in 16:09, with Tom Brookes hot on his heels only a couple of tenths of a second behind him.

Sophie Harris was fastest of the Harriers women as she clocked a good PB of 16:19, placing third female behind European Indoor 1500m silver medalist Holly Archer. 

Simon Coombes was another M45 in form with 16:29, Henry Brown ran 16:40 for a big PB, Eric Dol ran 16:42 and Fiona de Mauny was first W35 with 18:07.

The previous night in the Veterans AC 10000m Championship in Wimbledon Park M50 Jonathan Ratcliffe clocked 36:30.42, M45 Robin Jones 36:52.48, M50 Paul Doyle 38:58.80 and M55 Glen Keegan 49:05.08 as they closed out their track seasons.

On Saturday a number of Herne Hill teams raced at the Will Bolton Memorial Blackheath cross country relays at Sparrows Den. There were eight Harriers teams in the young athletes race for under 15 and under 13 boys and girls. 

Herne Hill were winners of the under 13 girls category with Orla Wright, Sophie Wright and Florence Mills and under 13 boys with Dylan Gillies, Jack McLennan and Caspian Holmes.

The under 15 boys and under 15 girls both placed second, the boys were Fabian Whitelock, Keeran Sriskandarajah and Josh Lee Baum and the girls B team ahead of their A team counterparts were Rosalie Laban, Eva O’Hanlon and Vivi Marshall. The A team who placed third were Sophia Sahai, Lucy Wright and Izzy Perry.

A men’s team comprising M35 Mike Cummings, M50 Mo Haile, U17 Jacob Alley and U20 Sam Camenzuli finished in the top 10 in the senior race.

The ongoing issues with the competition usage of Tooting Bec track saw this year’s Sri Chinmoy 24 Hours race held at Battersea Park and 43 year old Ian Jack took part in this gruelling around the clock run, placing 18th of 45 competitors and completing a distance of over 104 miles in the allotted time.

In half marathon action Fiona de Mauny was second woman at the Reigate Half in 86:41, with husband Chris 6 seconds behind her and 24th overall in the race. While at the Chester Half Jordan Foster ran 88:37 as she returns to racing fitness less than a year after the birth of her daughter Gracie and now looks forward to the upcoming London Marathon with much greater confidence.

Geoff Jerwood