Herne Hill Harriers were among the first to arrive on Wimbledon Common on Saturday afternoon for the 2nd East Surrey League Cross Country Relays hosted by Hercules Wimbledon. We missed the 1st East Surrey League match as we were competing in the Surrey Cross Country League. The start of the afternoon was very sunny, which made a change.
The team walked the course to see how much water there was on the route. It was a very muddy course with a lot of puddles and some enormous lakes.
Luckily we were allowed to avoid the really deep puddles on the course.
There weren’t very many people and most of them were representing Herne Hill as was evident from the quantity of red and black vests around the course. Just before the races started, the sky turned grey and it started to rain which made everybody more nervous. However it didn’t take long for the blue sky to return and an amazing rainbow popped out.
The first race was at 2 o’clock and was a mixed under thirteen individual race. The course was 1.95 miles. There were 20 athletes at the start line raring to go. When the whistle went everybody charged off through a deep, boggy and massive puddle, throwing up lots of water. The race was mainly in the woods where most of the puddles lay. Thankfully we were guided around a puddle long enough to be a lake. We finished with three Herne Hills at the front who were Turkay Korkmaz, Oscar Millard (both with a time of 11:16 mins) and Clarissa Nicholls (12:13 mins) which meant that Herne Hill won the age group with only 6 points. The winners each received a big packet of Haribos, which are probably long gone by now! Hercules Wimbledon came second scoring a big difference of 43 points. Other clubs represented on the day were Croydon Harriers and Sutton and Dorking. The Herne Hill team was ably supported by great performances from Christo Chilton (only 8 years old!), Ellie Stratton, Amy Miller, Eva Holland, Lily Waldbeck-Evans, Alex Chilton, Bea Sheehan and Katya Millard.
The second race was under 15 together with under 17s with 31 runners and once again they were mainly Herne Hill. Their race was a relay in teams of three and each leg had to run 1.95 miles. Again, Herne Hill struck gold with the Herne Hill A team consisting of Ed Olsen, Billy Black and Paul Burgess coming joint 1st with the Herne Hill B team consisting of Abel Tadess, Feysel Nadew and Imran Nadew running the relay in a team time of 32:58 mins. Ed Olsen ran the fastest leg of all with a stonking 10:08 mins.
In 3rd place were Herne Hillers Malik Nehaili, Nathan Bekele and Mohamed Et-Tahari who ran the relay in 33:47 mins. In 4th place was the all girls team Maddy Shaw, Zoe Tompkins and Tatiana Cooke who ran in 37:56 mins and in 5th place was another Herne Hill Team with Paul Chalobah, Fraser McIntosh and Jasper Johnson in 38:50 mins. Teams from Sutton, Hercules Wimbledon and Croydon followed on behind the red and black warriors.
See more photos in the Gallery …