HHH clean up in Frank Harmer 10k and Young Athletes help Surrey teams to Sportshall podium placings

Having travelled up to Nottingham en masse for last week’s National Cross Country Championship races, Herne Hill Harriers athletes were competing locally a week later as the club hosted their annual HHH Frank Harmer Memorial 10k road race in Brockwell Park on Sunday. The usual smooth organisation in the park courtesy of Harriers’ officials and helpers was combined with both individual and team successes for the home club.

The overall race was won by Nick Bundle of Belgrave Harriers in 34:39, with Herne Hill’s Tony Macdowall placing second in 36:34. Macdowall led the home team to a clear men’s victory as he was very well backed up by two veteran club mates. Gary Ironmonger, who was fourth overall and was first finisher over forty at the age of fifty-five, and Jonathan Ratcliffe​ who placed fifth overall as he approaches his fiftieth birthday in the coming months ensured that won the men’s team prizes were won by the hosts.

The women’s team result was even more emphatic, as Harriers completed a ladies 1-2-3 to win with the perfect score, courtesy of winner Natasha Lodge​, Julia Wedmore​ in second and Abby Penlington placing third. Lodge emphasised her recent good racing form and found the road surface more to her liking than the mud of Nottingham a week earlier, which had caused her to lose both of her shoes during the National cross country race, a race which she had done very well to finish as Herne Hill’s second team scorer in the circumstances.

Others from the local club who were prominent in the first twenty finishers in Brockwell Park were Laurie Pope, who was the first under 17 runner in sixth place, another under 17 Thomas Rigard in ninth, Lee Riley​ thirteenth, Trevor Chilton​ seventeenth and Haile Mohammed nineteenth. Further north in Manchester there was a good performance from Herne Hill’s John Tayleur,​ who improved his PB time by over a minute clocking 33:36 at the Trafford 10k in a very strong field of runners.

On Saturday, competing indoors, eight of the club’s talented young athletes were selected for the Surrey county indoor Sportshall team competing in the regional qualifying match at Burgess Hill in Sussex.

The Surrey under 13 girls were convincing team winners with Jen’ae James winning the shot with a new PB of 10.95m. Niyah Costly was 2nd in the vertical jump and Natalia Webb won silver in the standing triple jump with 6.89m. All of the Herne Hill girls were in the winning Surrey 4 x 1 lap relay team. In the under 15 girls events Mallory Cluley was second girl overall on the day, winning the standing long jump in 2.42m and the two lap race. Michaela Pottinger won the four lap race and the vertical jump.

The Surrey under 15 girls team won and the under 13 boys team placed third on a good day of competition that can often help introduce the youngsters to athletics style competition prior to entering the standard track and field events.