Herne Hill success across the age groups in a busy weekend

For the third consecutive weekend Herne Hill Harriers’ Alex Brown showed her true star quality, this time at the UK inter counties cross country champs in Cofton Park in Birmingham. With an England Schools vest to wear next weekend in Scotland, Alex’s never say die spirit took her within a few yards of claiming a famous victory as she pushed the champion Kathleen Faes all the way to the finish in winning her third major under 15 girls championship silver medal of the winter.

The club enjoyed some other highly placed athletes representing their county teams, most notably the under 13 girls with Lulu King in sixth, Maisie Collis 13th and Rosie Hammond 18th leading Surrey to team gold medals, while Stacey Ward representing Essex again raced head to head with senior international women in placing a superb 15th in her race.

The club also boasted national and team gold medals at the British Masters Indoor and Cross Country Championships respectively. On the indoor track at Lee Valley Giuseppe Minetti won 200m gold, 60m silver and 400m bronze in the M45 group, Nikki Sturzaker took home W401500m gold and 800m silver and Gary Ironmonger’s superbly delivered tactical win secured his M50 800m gold medal, all in their respective veterans age groups.

More Masters national indoor medals were won by club members as Stuart Thurgood picked up three M35 golds in Shot, Hammer and Weight, while also in the “baby vets” M35 age group Mohammed Ismail claimed a silver medal in his 1500m final clocking 4.12.36. Lloyd Collier won a bronze in 1500m plus 4th in 400m. Barbara Macanas collected a superb haul of gold in the W60 Discus and Javelin, silver in Hammer and bronze in Shot Put and Weight. Our oldest national medallist of the weekend was M70 Allan Long winning gold in Long Jump and bronze in 60m.

In the BMAF Cross Country championship in Bath our Harriers’ M55 team claimed their gold medals courtesy of Mike Boyle 5th, Tom Conlon 10th and Tony Harran providing the sort of backup often needed to make these team wins possible.

More locally our runners won men’s and women’s team and individual awards at the Sidcup 10, a race which doubled as Harriers’ club 10 miles road race champs event. Natalie Zara and Sue Swaine placing 1st and 2nd ladies and Robin Jones and  Matt Munro 2nd and 3rd men led the team victories, with Robin and Natalie becoming our club champions at this distance.

Our very youngest athletes completed a clean sweep of age group wins in the Downs Cross Country League on Epsom Downs on Sunday morning winning the Under 11, Under 13 and U15 age groups for both boys and girls to successfully close their cross country season.