Dec 14-15th 2013

The start of the summer track season may be many months away, but Herne Hill Harriers’ Ed Olsen kicked off his preparations with a stellar performance over 800m on Sunday.

The 15-year-old, whose personal best over the two-lap distance is one minute, 56 seconds, was deemed too fast to run in the U17 race and was elevated to the U20 event at the Metaswitch Games at Lee Valley. Even among faster and older athletes, Olsen was first, clocking an eye-catching 1:57.06.

Paul Burgess, a year younger than Olsen, also impressed in the 800m A race for U17s, finishing second in 2:07.51. Sam Cohen, 13, was fourth in the C race, posting a time of 2:20.07. At the opposite end of the age spectrum, John Garber was the fastest V70 in 3:10.88.

Harriers’ junior contingent were also in fine form at the Holly Run in Reigate Priory Park. Individual winners included Kayah Wilks (U13G), Turkay Korkmaz (U13B), Abel Tesfalem (U15B) and Billy Black (U17B). Daisy Setyabule and Francesca Reid-Lloyd were second in the U15G and U17W races respectively. Herne Hill picked up a further three team prizes from the event: a first for the U15B, a second for the U11G and a third for the U13B.

Pentathlete Breagha Campbell, meanwhile, finished seventh in the Scottish Schools’ Pentathlon International at the Emirate Arena after posting a personal best score of 3144 points.

It was a frustrating afternoon, however, for Harriers’ veterans at the Southern Veterans cross country championships at Biggleswade after a three-man U50M team narrowly missed silver medals and ultimately placed fourth. Despite good runs from Gary Ironmonger (14th), Vic Maughn (16th) and Tom Conlon (21st), Herne Hill finished nine points behind Dulwich and three behind Barnet and District AC in second and third places.

Standout individual performers in other age category races included Simon Coombes (seventh in the M40 race) and Jonathan Ratcliffe (16th in the M45 event). Racing at the same venue for Middlesex, Cathy Ansell was 10th in the Southern Inter-County cross country championships.

Away from cross country, Tom Levitt and Louis Waterman-Evans ran personal bests of 38.09 and 38.12 in finishing sixth and seventh at the Bushy Park 10k. Herne Hill also dominated the Dulwich parkrun, with Mohammed Ismail (16.35), Jonny Muir (16.44) and  Mike Boyle (16.52) filling the top three runners’ positions.

Further afield, Fabien Rosso was third in the TriUtah winter indoor triathlon in Salt Lake City. The three legs of the race were held separately, involving a one-mile swim, 40km cycle on a computer course on an indoor trainer, and a 10km run outdoors. Rosso was in 10th position after the first two events, but ultimately finished in the bronze medal place after winning the running leg.