For the second Surrey League race of the season HHH men recorded a score below 100 points for our 10 team counters on a flat, fast course by the river Thames at Ham Lands. We had the same team score as in the first race – 99. With a 150 point lead from the first race and our nearest rivals Thames HH scoring a similar tally as in the first race with 253, we now have a lead of 304 at the half way stage of the four league races. Quite healthy and we must turn our attentions to the bigger championship races, starting with the London Champs at Parliament Hill this Saturday where our strongest available team is needed to challenge for the title. Whilst also not neglecting our remaining league races, of course.
Our team on Saturday was led home by a super run by veteran Brian Wilder in 2nd place behind Ugandan Olympian Paskar Owor in what must surely be Brian’s best race in a HHH vest to date and as clearly the first M40 to maintain his lead at the head of this age group in the league season so far. Another member of the new sharp end training group based at Tooting track was our next man as Mike Cummings, “fresh” from his midweek win in the Civil Service cross champs at Parli Hill produced by far his best cross country race to place a great 4th. Ben Paviour continues to show good form in 5th, only 3 seconds behind Mike, while only 2 places and 2 seconds further back was the first under 20 in the race, Lewis Lloyd, contesting the longest race of his young life so far and producing a top run in 7th. Alan Barnes belied his recent missed training through injury to finish a very good 9th, while another to excel and cause his team manager to do a double take as he flew past was Simon Coombes, with his best league placing of 10th. Yet another to have run some recent Tooting group sessions, former World Masters track champion and Commonwealth Games marathon 4th placer Dave Taylor was 2nd veteran in 11th.
With 7 in the first 11 we hardly needed to worry about the remainder of our scorers, but worry was not on our agenda as John Kettle in 14th, 3rd veteran Keith Newton in 16th and Irishman Mark Dooley in 21st closed us in for another sub 100 score. Although a tally as low as 86 was once amassed by Boxhill Racers back in 1991, this is the first time a Division 1 team has scored less than 100 twice in the same season and twice in successive matches is of course also some sort of record.
Not to be outdone, our under 13 boys scored an equally emphatic team win with a near clean sweep in their category of the young athletes’ race. With Paul Burgess winning ahead of Sam Cohen and Callum Barker a good 3rd, these 3 were well backed up by Oscar Millard in 6th and Oliver Fox in 8th as this great young squad goes from strength to strength and augers well for the future of the club. Our combined under 17 and under 15 team placed 2nd behind Hercules Wimbledon led by Aaron Clarke in 5th, followed in by Fraser Cunningham 6th and John Tayleur 7th, with the team being closed by Shiloll Newell in 15th. A great day all round for the men and boys of HHH.
Results from Ham Lands at this link:.