August bank holiday Saturday saw Herne Hill Harriers host their final open meeting of the season at tooting, a fixture which traditionally incorporates the Herne Hill club and Surrey county 10,000m championship as well as the Harriers club championship for 800m. In the Midlands some older club athletes were competing in the British Masters BMAF Championship in Birmingham. The Tooting events saw the best long jump of the year by a UK under 13 boy, Dante Clarke of the host club while Birmingham witnessed a British M75 triple jump record set by Harriers’ Allan Long.
Clarke’s prodigious leap of 5.90m at Tooting is one of the longest ever by a UK under 13 boy and propelled him clear of others in his age group in the 2018 rankings. This jump was with a legal wind and represented a fine improvement on his previous PB of 5.55m in June, a superb finale to an excellent season.
Long claimed three M75 gold medals in Birmingham, in one sprint race and two jumps events. On Saturday he won 100m in 14.52 and the long jump in 3.97m. Then on Sunday the weather changed to wind and torrential rain, but having had to wait for the final event of the afternoon things suddenly calmed down and conditions were then ideal for triple jumping. Long took his opportunity to set a new British record of 8.44m which he been close to on several occasions throughout the summer and he now has both the indoor and outdoor M75 UK records.
Other Herne Hill athletes to claim British Masters medals in Birmingham were John Garber gold in the M75 400m (also fifth in the 1500m), Penelope Cummings gold in the W40 3000m walk, Giuseppe Minetti silver in M45 100m (also fourth in 200m) and Tony Macdowall silver in M35 3000m steeplechase.
Back at the Herne Hill open meeting Simon Messenger ran a good PB for 10,000m of 34.53.4 to become this year’s club champion in his last race before moving to Paris. Also in the 10,000m Robin Jones ran 35.28.0, Jonathan Ratcliffe 36.35.6 and James Ward 37.57.0.
Fiona de Mauny ran a PB 400m of 58.80 and then ran 800m in 2.14.67 shortly afterwards in preparation for next month’s World Master Championship in Malaga where Long will also compete. De Mauny then followed up with a 1500m race at Crawley on Sunday in 4.40.58.
The men’s 800m club championship was a very competitive affair as two of our fastest 400m men the club has ever had raced against two middle distance men, with all four recording times of sub 1.59. Andrew Clarke won a close race in 1.57.66 just ahead of Peter Phillips whose 1.57.71 got the better of his 400m specialist colleague, club one lap record holder Nicholas Atwell. The latter’s time of 1.58.28 saw him finish just ahead of Andrew Warburton’s 1.58.83 in a superb race.
Also in the 800m Lily-Rose Brown in her third race in two weeks showed tactical maturity for a 10 year old in sprinting to a good win in her race in 2.32.15. Another up and coming new young athlete, under 17 Harvey Kande clocked 4.38.49 in the 1500m to back up a couple of other good recent performances.
At the Wednesday evening Watford open meeting earlier in the week Sarah Grover ran another good PB of 4.32.38 in the 1500m races with a really well executed race. Simon Coombes is another who seems to gets better with every race. Coombes had a clear lead from the gun as he front ran to win his race by around five seconds in 4.09.81, a time which ranks him second in the UK M45 rankings going into the championships in Malaga.
Katie Snowden looked potentially on for a PB or a near PB until her final 300m, but found herself a little blocked on the last back straight when still looking strong. The up and down pace of her race and the previous Saturday’s Diamond League exertions took their toll as she lost a little ground in the home straight, but finished with a very solid 4.08.95, her fastest 1500m time since the Commonwealth Games in April.
Clarke and Warburton were both close to their PB 1500m times with 3.58.04 and 3.58.36 to back up their fine performances at the previous weekend’s Trafford BMC meeting and prior to their 800m runs at Tooting. In the 3000m races Jessica Craig ran a fast first kilometre and then held on well for 9.56.43. Travelling over from Northern Ireland, Craig enjoyed a good battle with two women who caught her after four of the seven and a half laps and she then beat them at the finish.
No Herne Hill teams were involved in the Rosenheim League final at Tooting last Wednesday, but there was a PB 3000m race win for Mike Cummings, running as a non-scorer with a tactical master class in 8.35.67 to follow up his PB 800m last Wednesday and near PB for 1500m on Saturday, another Harriers athlete in very good late season form.