Herne Hill Harriers update – April 12-13

Alan O’Shea, James Mason and Abdi Madar led the Herne Hill Harriers’ charge at the Virgin London Marathon, with the three athletes finishing inside the top-60 positions.

Irishman O’Shea clocked two hours, 32 minutes, two seconds, in finishing 51st, while Mason was 56th in 2.32.29, one place and one second ahead of Madar. Ruth Chalmers was the first Herne Hill woman to finish, completing the 26.2-mile route in 3.09.45, placing 161st in the women’s field.

Harriers were celebrating before the main race had even begun, as Turkay Korkmaz won the U13B race in the series of London Mini Marathon events run over the final miles of the marathon course. Korkmaz clocked an impressive 15.56 to win the three-mile race by two seconds. In other races, Eloise O’Shaughnessy (U13G) was eighth and first London athlete, Ed Olsen (U17B) was 24th and Mohammed Ali (U13B) was 48th.

The main race featured more than a dozen Harriers athletes, with Francis Marsh winning the battle for third clubman as he finished 244th in 2.41.56. Marsh, 14th overall in the V45 age group, was closely pursued by serial marathoner Jonathan Ratcliffe (318th and 27th V45) in 2.43.53. Luxembourg-based Jeff Cunningham also broke the 2.50 barrier, finishing in 2.48.48 in 511th. Robert Edwards (665th) clocked a six-minute personal best, posting a time of 2.51.46.

Other Herne Hill finishers were: Ed Barrow (1839th in 3.05.33), Stuart Slavicky (2372nd in 3.10.40), Mohammed Ismail (3131st in 3.16.59), Ieva Lobaciute (4777th in 3.28.39), Rebecca Barrow (10,113th in 3.54.23) and Andrew Grigg (19,328th in 4.31.33).

Away from London, duathlete Carl Ferri qualified for the world duathlon championships later this year after finishing second in the M40-45 age group and seventh overall in the long distance event at the European Championships in the Netherlands.

Closer to home, Mark Dooley and Keith Newton represented victorious second claim clubs in the Sussex Road Relays. Dooley was part of the winning Brighton Phoenix squad in the senior men’s event, while Newton anchored Brighton and Hove to glory in the M50 competition.

Herne Hill hosted their first open track and field meeting of the season at the club’s Tooting Bec headquarters on Saturday. The 100m proved the most popular event, with 17 races taking place. Blackheath and Bromley’s Toby Olubu was the fastest of all 100m runners, clocking 10.81s, with the Harriers trio of Dwayne Dowding (10.84), Nicholas Atwell (10.98) and Idris Ojuriye (11.04) also to the fore.

Dowding impressed again over 200m, clocking 21.94 to finish second in the A race, while Atwell was triumphant in a competitive 600m in 1:21.37. The 300m was dominated by home athletes, with Jamal Rhoden-Stevens (34.67), Peter Phillips (34.80), Raheem Stroude-McLean (38.37) and Mike Cummings (40.59) filling the top-four positions in the A race.

Hercules Wimbledon controlled the longer distance events, as James Moorcroft and Freddie Slemeck won the 1500m and 3000m respectively. In the hurdles, Harriers’ Jess Collins won the U13G 70m event in 12.92 and Adam Ssali was first in the U17M 100m race in a wind-assisted 13.60. Collins also won the U13G high jump with a leap of 1.53m. Further winners in the jumps were: Andy Kirtland (3.71m in SM long jump), Louis Carter (4.89m in U20M long jump), Samara Innerarity (3.58m in U11G long jump) and  Latisha Fleming (9.11m in the U17W triple jump).

Herne Hill also dominated the discus events, with Thomas Ashby (SM), David O’Sullivan (U20M), Briony Phillips (SW) and Barbara MaCanas (W60) winning their respective events. Finally, Phillips won the SW hammer with a personal best of 36.07m, while Hannah Gleed also posted a personal best as she cleared 2.20m in the pole vault.

Jonny Muir