Phoebe Anderson returns with Herne Hill 5000m record

One of Herne Hill Harriers talented young female distance runners Phoebe Anderson shrugged off missing her USA collegiate indoor track season through injury with a stunning comeback, opening her outdoor campaign with a new club senior women’s 5000m record.

Racing at the Raleigh Relays track meet in North Carolina on Friday, Anderson clocked a fast 15:44.97 to place sixth in a high quality race. Having set the previous club standard at a BMC Grand Prix at Watford last June, Anderson this time lowered her PB by more than five seconds to bring the record below 15:50.

This is a very exciting early start to the outdoor season as there are two or three Harriers women capable of revising this and other middle distance track records in the coming months. These of course include Anderson herself who will be looking to perform well in NCAA and other events across the pond before returning to London in mid summer.

More locally on Sunday at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre the indoor season came to a close for two of Herne Hill’s high ranking veteran athletes.

Simon Coombes claimed three M50 gold medals in the Eastern Masters AC Indoor Championship. Coombes won his age group titles at 3000m with 9:11.12, 1500m clocking 4:20.79 and 800m in 2:12.18 for a busy day of high quality racing. 

Both the 3000m and 1500m times are new Harriers M50 club records, with the 3000m being reclaimed from Ben Paviour who had recently leapfrogged Coombes on the club all time list for this age. It looks very likely that these records could be traded between the two super vets this summer.

Nikki Sturzaker was equally busy and equally successful in terms of her gold medal haul in the Veterans AC Indoor Championship, also at Lee Valley in conjunction with the EMAC events.
Sturzaker was the winner of the W45 3000m in 11:03.73, 1500m in 5:09.09 and 800m with 2:32.89 as she continued her exceptional form in this age group.

In the 2000m walk VAC silver medals were won by Club President Glen Keegan in 13:48.80 for second M55 and Penelope Cummings timed at 12:04.12 in the W45 category.

Also on Sunday Sam Bramwell was seventh in the Fleet Half Marathon in 68:38, a PB by almost 2 minutes.

Gaby Reynolds continued her impressive marathon build up at the Thames Riverside 20 miles race finishing first female and first W40 in a time of 2:14.30.

In a less usual event, The Speed Project, a 340-mile relay race that stretches from the Santa Monica Pier on the California coast through the Mojave Desert to the the Las Vegas Strip, Jennifer Clancy was a member of Team No ID Crew who clocked 35 hours 25 minutes. This is a European record for a team who placed seventh overall in one of the worlds most gruelling running events. 

Geoff Jerwood