Phoebe claims a European Champs team medal in Dublin

Herne Hill athletes were again racing in different locations over the weekend, with athletes of all ages racing at the South of England events in Lloyd Park, Croydon on Saturday, a handful of our men at the Telford 10km on Sunday, while top billing goes to Harriers under 20 athlete in the Great Britain team at the SPAR European Cross Country in Dublin on Sunday as Phoebe Anderson brought a team bronze medal home with her from a major global championship.

Having returned home from her first term at Columbia University in New York City a few days earlier, Anderson travelled to Dublin after her fourth place in the GB U20 women’s trial race in Liverpool a couple of weeks ago secured her automatic selection for the team. 

After the usual manic start, she kept herself well placed for a top twenty finish throughout the race and held her form well in the equally frantic battle to the line in the closing stages. 
Anderson’s excellent 17th position saw her finish third of the six British in the Junior women’s race. With three scoring in the team she was the vital third counter who ensured team bronze medals. GB team mate Megan Keith from Inverness, the race winner and local friend and rival Ellen Weir of Hercules Wimbledon were the other two team scorers, as Weir in 14th place finished just one second ahead of Anderson after 4km of tough racing.

Lloyd Park on Saturday hosted the Southern Masters Cross Country Championship with more than twenty Herne Hill veterans competing in age groups from 40 years old upwards. Harriers won the team gold medals as area champions in the M40 category with three scoring team members who are all over the age of 45. Simon Coombes, Ben Paviour and John Kettle were also all prominently placed among the M45 individuals. Detailed results are awaited, but the Herne Hill M60’s team are believed to have placed second for silver medals.

The races at Croydon also incorporated the Southern Inter Counties Cross Country championship in which eleven young athletes and three senior women from the club were racing in Surrey county teams. A fantastic effort from 11 year old Caspian Holmes in the U13 Boys Race saw him claim an individual silver and a team gold for medal, while U15 Girl Orla Carroll was the third Surrey team finisher in that age group winning a team bronze.

In the senior women’s race Sarah Grover was the best of the Herne Hill Surrey representatives, placing 25th overall and sixth from Surrey, while 20 year old Grace Leyland had an excellent Surrey debut in 33rd overall and Julia Wedmore finished 42nd of the 63 representatives who finished the race for their county teams.

On Sunday morning five Harriers men raced at the very competitive Telford 10km road race, all aiming for PB times which were achieved by three of them. Second claim Chris Busaileh ran his fastest road 10km for a few years with a good 31:24, with Brandon Dewar under 32 minutes for the first time with his 31:45.

Dan Shaw thought he had also ducked under this barrier, but was given an official 32:00, still a PB. Andrew Warburton clocked 32:46 and Andrew Grigg ran 33:01 for the third of the PBs on a fast day of racing.

Geoff Jerwood