Tough GB senior debut for Snowden in France & British Masters medals in Birmingham

The weekend of 23/24 June saw the club’s newest Great Britain senior international athlete, Katie Snowden, make her debut at this level as she represented her country in the big televised European Athletics Team Championship in Lille.

It proved to be something of a baptism of fire, not because of the sort of fierce pace often seen in the Diamond League races (Snowden will surely be racing in those meetings soon enough), rather the opposite, as a field full of sub two minute 800m runners opted to stroll the first lap, which presents a very different and much more tactical problem. Snowden coped very well given she was ranked towards the lower end of the start list in terms of their PB times and her ninth place run in 2.05.19 will have provided her with very important big meeting experience and race practice ahead of this coming weekend’s British World Championship Team Trials meeting in Birmingham, where she will contest the 1500m.

All of Herne Hill Harriers are proud of Katie’s achievements to date and will be behind her with our support in her bid to make the GB team for London 2017.

There was very strong Herne Hill representation at the BMC races at Eltham on Wednesday 21 June with a standout run from Chloe Tighe, who won the prestigious BMC City Mile women’s prize for the second consecutive year with a tremendous finishing burst in the final 250m to record a PB of 4.42.23. At the same meeting there was also a superb second place run in the BMC Women’s 800m Challenge race for Under 20 athlete Mollie O’Sullivan who clocked an excellent PB of 2.08.31. Next month O’Sullivan will race at the English Schools Championship and will then represent an England South Under 20 team in the Welsh Athletics International meeting in Cardiff.

Harriers athletes were also in evidence at the BMC Grand Prix at Watford on Saturday. Lascelles Hussey was within a whisker of his recent 1500m PB in clocking a good 3.48.01. Hussey will next be racing in the men’s 1500m at the British Trials meeting in Birmingham on Saturday on what will be his twentieth birthday. Mike Cummings was baulked in his 1500m race during the final lap, but this didn’t prevent a season’s best run of 3.55.42. Another good season’s best performance came was in one of the women’s 800m races, with second claim member Fiona de Mauny sticking with a fast first lap and then hanging on to run 2.11.76, with sub a 2.10 time now looking a very realistic target for her.

The week’s race action was rounded off at Sunday’s British Masters Championship at Birmingham where Herne Hill athletes won national medals. Gary Ironmonger led boldly from the front to win the M55 800m, covering his first 400m in 64-65 seconds and he then made his strength tell on the second lap when the others fell off his pace at a faster rate. Ironmonger’s gold medal time was 2.14.49, his fastest in 2017 so far and almost as fast as his quickest time for the whole of last year.

Stuart Thurgood won M40 gold medals in both the hammer with 50.24m and the 15.88Kg weight throw with 15.44m and also placed fourth in the shot put. Allan Long, claimed gold in the M70 triple jump, silver in the long jump and placed fifth in the 100m, while Tony Macdowall won a silver medal in the M35 3000m steeplechase in 10.37.23, which is the fastest he has run for seven years and less than ten seconds outside his PB as he continues to round into good form.

Further medals were won by Giuseppe Minetti, bronze in the M45 100m and Mike Mann, also third in the M65 5000m. Our Herne Hill veteran athletes seem to improve with age.

Geoff Jerwood