Super Nikki smashes 5km best for England in Masters International

The Mid Cheshire 5km road race in Chester onFriday evening saw one of Herne Hill Harriers top veteran athletes represent the England W45 team in a Masters Home International race incorporated into the main event.

Having recently turned 50, Nikki Sturzaker is in the form of her life. She illustrated this perfectly by smashing her lifetime PB by 22 seconds as her excellent 17:42 was her first ever sub 18 minutes run. Sturzaker claimed a victory in the W45-55 international age group. 

As well as being the first W50 overall, she was also the first female over 45 finisher in all categories. Sturzaker ran the fastest time by a UK W50 athlete this year by 13 seconds with a very impressive performance.

Younger athletes from the club competed in the England Athletics U15/U17 Championships in Birmingham over the weekend with some strong results.

The highest placed was Lily-Rose Brown, who was fifth in the Under 17 Women’s 300m final with 41.02 on Sunday after qualifying from her heat in second place in 40.81 the day before. 

The other Harriers finalist was sprinter Rikaion Smith who was an excellent sixth in the Under 17 Men’s 100m final in 11.04 on Saturday. Both Brown and Smith have already represented the Herne Hill senior teams in both the National and Southern Athletics League teams this summer.

Ella Rennie made it through to the Under 15 Women’s 100m semi final on Saturday where she finished seventh with 12.71 and followed this up the next day with fifth 200m heat with 26.76.

Others who raced in the heats in Birmingham were Caspian Holmes, seventh in the Under 15 Boys 1500m qualifying with 4:23.83, just ahead of Thomas Clerkin tenth in 4:25.81 and Lucy Wright who was tenth in her Under 17 Women’s 800m heat with 2:24.40.

Midweek action included the Watford Harriers Open Meeting on Wednesday where M35 Mike Cummings placed second in his 1500m race in a season’s best time of 3:58.13.

At the Dulwich parkrun a sizeable Harriers contingent was led by leadin distance runner Georgie Grgec. The New Zealand born athlete made a welcome return after injury, finishing fourth overall and first female with 16:25. This time was good enough to rank her as the second fastest female in all UK parkruns on Saturday morning.

Geoff Jerwood