Hercules Wimbledon AC round-up: Successful weekend as runners in action outside of South London

BY TOM POLLAK

Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s athletes enjoyed another successful weekend with runners in action at Watford, Chichester and Chelmsford.

Leading the raft of top performances was Jonny Cornish, who headed home a 1,357-strong field to win the Watford half-marathon on a tough course in Hertfordshire.

He crossed the finishing line in one hour seven minutes 29 seconds to beat the runner-up by almost three minutes. He was just half-a-minute outside his lifetime best for the distance.

Peter Lee was 125th and 10th veteran over-50 in 1:28:16, Stewart Bond was 142nd and 15th veteran over-50 in 1:29:06 and over-40 veteran Jim Carrington was 203rd in 1:32:24, improving by eight seconds on his previous best set in Amsterdam in October 2018.

Cornish and club-mate Charlie Eastaugh posted lifetime bests with superb 3,000m indoor efforts at Lee Valley, north London. Cornish was just beaten to the line finishing three-tenths of a second behind the winner. His time of 8:22.30 improved on his previous best of 8:24.00 set in Birmingham last August.

Eastaugh posted his second improvement in 10 days as he smashed his PB of 8:28:44, set in Cardiff. He clocked 8:23.40 in finishing third behind Cornish.

Alex Milne clocked a lifetime best in the Chichester 10km road race. He was 10th out of 1,529 runners in 30:02 improving on his previous best set in the same event last year, when he also finished 10th, by 15 seconds.

Joe Clark also posted a lifetime best in finishing 70th in 33:17.  He took more than a minute off his previous best of 34:27 set in the London Vitality 10km event in 2017.

Gina Galbraith was third veteran over-40 in finishing 20th in the women’s race in a PB of 37:44.

Peter Giles was top veteran over-75 finisher in 43:51.

A quartet of Hercules Wimbledon youngsters were in action for Surrey in the South East Schools inter-county cross country match at Writtle University College, Chelmsford on Saturday. County champion Ellen Weir helped Surrey to silver team medals in the intermediate girls race where she finished fourth out of 87 runners in 14:58, just 23 seconds behind the race winner. Lulu Weisz was fifth Surrey finisher taking 17th place in 15:24. Millie Thorpe was eighth Surrey finisher in 30th place (15:45).

Teenager Rosie Speed showed a big improvement on her 17th place in the county schools championship a fortnight earlier when she finished 22nd out of 90 runners in the junior girls race in 13:54, the fifth member of bronze medal-winning Surrey team.

Hercules Wimbledon runners filled three of the top six places in the Bushy Park 5km parkrun on Saturday. Ed Mallett was second of the 1,474 runners in 16:04, with Fred Slemeck third in 16:17 and Justin Reid sixth in 17:10.

Teenager Ronan McCardle was the best of 14 Hercules Wimbledon runners in the Wimbledon Common event finishing eighth in a PB of 19:42.

Alex Binley was fourth in the women’s race in 22:47, five seconds ahead of club-mate Lisa Thomas.

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