Last track hurrah at the HHH Hallowe’en Meeting in Battersea Park

Georgie Grgec in full flight approaching the bell
What time is it Andrzej?
Cunningham waiting to pounce

Herne Hill Harriers squeezed in one final open track meeting before the new government restrictions come into force to stop grassroots sport for the time being with their Hallowe’en Endurance Meeting in Battersea Park on Saturday 31st October.

More than 200 athletes competed across 24 separate track races, 10 were 800m, 7 were 1500m and 7 were 3000m and many of the participants expressed their thanks and appreciation to the organisers and officials despite a wet and windy afternoon of racing.

A big highlight in the 3000m races was Georgie Grgec’s sixth place in the fastest race in 9:21.7, only just outside her recent PB, which represented an excellent performance in the conditions and saw her record the quickest female time of the day.

Mike Cummings placed fourth in the same race ahead of Grgec in 9:00.6, while Jeff Cunningham was a close second in the next race in 9:29.3. The third race saw fine runs from Andrzej Fanner-Brzezina third in a PB 9:49.8, M55 Gary Ironmonger fifth in a season’s best 10:02.9 and Max Rose sixth in a PB 10:04.0. 

Under 15 girl Abbey Jeffcoat was fourth in a later 3000m race with a good PB of 11:03.2, while other Harriers youngsters recorded PBs in the shorter races. 

These included U17M David Aisa Miller (2:17.4), U13B Josh Maguire (2:23.5) and U15G Izzy Perry (2:34.3) in the early 800m races. More PBs came courtesy of U15 girls Imogen Weller (2:43.0) and Justine Chambers (2:46.5), U13G Orla Carroll (2:42.2) and U11 girls Sophie Wright (2:45.2) and Florence Mills (2:55.0). 

In the 1500m races U15B Diego Lister ran a PB 4:55.3 and U13B Jack McLennan 5:00.4, followed later by U13G Orla Wright (5:19.8), U11B Edward Cunliffe (5:32.7), U13B Oliver Berry (5:38.9) and U13B Felix Marsh (5:45.9).

Off the track there were also a couple of notable performances on Saturday as Martha Reynolds was first woman in the 5km at the RunThrough Lee Valley VeloPark Races with 19:20 on an undulating road race course and Simon Coombes placed 34th in the ATW Cross Country Series Race in Hertfordshire.

With only “elite” sport now allowed to continue until at least 3rd December and club training activities suspended during this period these athletes made the most of their opportunities regardless of the inclement weather.

Geoff Jerwood