Herne Hill Athletes Excel in BMC Virtual 1km Time Trial Event

Athletes from Herne Hill Harriers took the opportunity to compete in another of the virtual time trial events which are proliferating as lockdown continues to prevent athletics competition in its usual format. There are now a string of socially distanced races being set up which involve the participants running a set distance alone from close to their homes at their convenience within a prescribed date range.

The idea of spreading these events over several days is to give people the chance to run when best suits and to avoid the potential for a number of runners being out at the same or similar times with the implications for maintaining social distance this might entail. The athletes then upload their performance timed and measured using GPS devices onto the results system and are ranked according to their times over the distance with further gender and age categorisation.
Over the bank holiday weekend the British Milers Club Virtual 1km Time Trials could be run and uploaded between Friday 22nd and Monday 25th May by those who had entered and nineteen Herne Hill athletes put themselves on the line.
The fastest Harrier was middle distance star Andrew Warburton, whose rapid 1km time of 2:34 placed him 36th of more than 1,000 participants up and down the country and even some running their kilometres overseas and uploading online.
The quickest Herne Hill woman was Masters athlete Fiona de Mauny with a very good 2:57, a time which placed her as second in the W35 age group close behind Scottish senior international 800m runner Pippa Millage. Another who made the virtual podium in her age category was Nikki Sturzaker, whose 3:13 saw her finish third W45. A time of 3:19 was enough to see Andrew Simms just outside the top ten among M55 athletes as he placed 11th.
The other Herne Hill athletes who gave this rarely raced distance a go were Nick Bester 2:43, James Stocker 2:44, Marc Geraghty 2:47, Jonny Whittall 2:59, Jon Key 3:07, Gavern Newsum 3:22, Orlando Brooke 3:23, Jonathan Boyle 3:25, Natasha Lodge 3:25, Hannah Edwards 3:31, Julia Wedmore 3:38, Gabija Rasiekeviciute 3:41, Sophie Burn 3:49, Rob Nagorski 3:53 and Zoe Buckland 4:16, as the runners in red and black sought to put themselves on the map.
The next events on the horizon are a challenge between runners from the Surrey Cross Country League and the Metropolitan League north of the river in a virtual 5 miles this coming weekend, a one mile time trial tribute event to lifelong Hercules Wimbledon club servant Pete Mulholland to help raise funds for a bench in his name on Wimbledon Common during the following week, then a Parklands relay 5km event to replace the annual Thames Hare & Hounds fixture and for athletes over the age of 35 the British Masters Virtual Relay Championship, another 5km event.


So there is plenty of training stimulus to keep those who are keen going into the next phase during which it is hoped that the lockdown restrictions will be gradually relaxed and steps taken towards the restoration of club athletics training and racing.

Geoff Jerwood