Herne Hill senior men win Southern Cross Country Relays bronze medals


Herne Hill Harriers athletes produced some excellent cross country and road racing performances over the weekend with the men taking centre stage.

The senior men’s A team claimed superb bronze medals at the Southern Cross Country Relay Championship at Wormwood Scrubs, supported by a men’s B team finishing first of the B teams crossing the line as tenth team, but appearing as ninth in the results as the fifth place team was non scoring. 

At the Surrey Masters Cross Championship in Morden Park Ben Paviour and Gary Ironmonger picked up individual county silver medals in the M45 and M55 categories respectively with excellent runs against strong opposition.

In road racing PB were recorded by Harriers menat the marathon, half marathon, 10 miles and 10km distances, the latter two performances both from one man over two days of racing, along withsome other strong runs from athletes who ran well while not achieving their fastest ever times.

The Herne Hill women, although upstaged by the men this week also showed good depth at both Wormwood Scrubs and Morden with the senior teams at the Southern Cross relays finishing in the “wrong” order with the B team placed an excellent seventh ahead of the A team 13th. This was the first time Herne Hill have ever fielded a complete women’s B team at this event as they gear up for the upcoming National Cross Country Relay Championship at Mansfield on Saturday 2nd November. 

The bronze medal men’s team were led off superbly by Mike Cummings who has made the opening leg of this race his own and he handed over in fourth, but close to the lead with 13:50. Angus Butler did a great job to see the team into second place at the halfway stage with a very fine 14:07 before a resurgent Andrew Warburton stayed right in the medals on third leg with 14:21 as he handed over to club stalwart Dave Mulvee. Mulvee ran a good 14:16 on a solo anchor leg to round things off in an excellent third place. Mulvee has been representing the Harriers teams for 15 years in his endeavours to finally win his first Southern medal, so it was fitting that he brought his team over the line and also after a torturous journey to the venue.

The men’s B team of Simon Coombes 12th in 14:26, Joe Elliott up to 10th 14:50, then Charlie Osborne 15:30 and Eoin Brady 15:13 held station for good runs all round as they formed the leading B team in the race and were in the top ten.

The best placed Herne Hill young athletes teams were the under 13 girls and boys. The U13 girls A and B teams placed fourth and tenth, the U13 boys were fifth and the U17 men finished 22nd in their respective age groups. The U13 girls were led out by Eva O’Hanlon handing over in 13th(8:08), Rosalie Laban then moved up to ninth (8:28) with a very fine final leg from Sophia Sahaifinishing off an excellent team performance in fourth place. Sahai’s time of 7:43 was the fifth fastest overall in her category.

The U13 boys placed fifth and were the fourth A team courtesy of Josh Lee Baum fourth on first leg (7:18), Fabien Whitelock handing over in fifth (7:29) and Oak Buchan retaining this overall position and crossing the line together with the fourth place finisher with 7:26. Lee Baum was seventh fastest of all U13 boys in the race.

The U17 men’s team of Jacob Alley, Sam Camenzuli and Dylan Sweet placed 22nd, while Maisie Collis and Harriet Alexander were part of an incomplete U17 women’s team as were Annabel Hobday and Jemima Hayward-Bhika in the U20 women’s event, but overall the club turnout was strong at these relays as in previous years.

The women’s A team played catch up after Nicole Montgomery’s first leg run (14:38) with Fiona de Mauny (12:47) and Helena Corbin (12:16) moving through to 13th, while the B team were a revelation with super runs from Sarah Grover (8th in 12:21), Julia Wedmore (up to 5th with 12:38) and Monika Gajek (13:05) crossing the line to finish in 7th.

On Sunday there were five marathon racers, three of whom ran PBs. Myles Preston took eight minutes off his previous best time in Abingdon as he produced a significant negative split to move up from 15th at halfway to finish 5th in 2:41:39. Henry Brown also paced himself very well in Amsterdam and he too ran a faster second half for an even bigger PB of 2:48:30.

Three masters’ marathon men were also in action as Jonathan Ratcliffe won a British Masters Championship M50 bronze medal with his 2:46:24 at the York Marathon where M40 Matt Munro recorded a good 2:55:37. One other PB marathon man over the weekend was M50 Trevor Chilton who ran 3:10:16 in Abingdon.

Matt Cartwright ran not one, but two PBs as he clocked 35:37 for 10km in Battersea Park on Saturday morning and then ran 58:53 in the Great South Run in Portsmouth on Sunday for a very good weekend’s work.

Josh Pewter clocked a PB in Amsterdam, but over the half marathon distance as he clocked 74:12, while back in Battersea M45 Robin Jones returned to his best form with his 10km time of 34:02 beingonly four seconds outside his lifetime fastest, while Bryn Reynolds also recorded 36:44 in this race.

Geoff Jerwood