Hercules Wimbledon AC round-up: Torrential rain makes Wimbledon Common race a major test

BY TOM POLLAK

Runners from Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club faced some of the worst conditions of their lives when they raced through torrential rain in the Sport Systems Surrey cross country league on Wimbledon Common on Saturday.

The senior men suffered the worst of the weather as they raced through a heavy downpour.

The first Hercules Wimbledon finisher was Jonny Cornish who led a phalanx of five yellow-and-red-sashed runners over the line.

He was 10th of the 279 runners covering the 8.5km course in 27:38 –  followed by Fred Slemeck (11th in 27:43), Finn Johnson (12th in 27:45), Charlie Eastaugh (14th in 27:49) and Alex Milne (15th in 27:50).

Completing the team were Will Woodcock (25th in 28:10), Joe Toomey (35th in 28:42), Joe Clark (49th in 29:15), Rhys Boorman (62nd in 29:37) and newcomer Xavier Gruot (68th in 29:45).

Hercules Wimbledon were second in the team battle behind Kent AC.

Georgie Clarke, Hercules Wimbledon’s under 17 winner on Mitchum Common

Earlier in the day, the club’s women and girls were in action on Mitcham Common. Teenager Georgie Clarke took advantage of the absence of Ellen Weir, who won the opening race of the season at Reigate, to race to victory in the U17 4.1km race in 14:24, winning by 11 seconds.

Lulu Weisz was second U15 finisher in 14:54.

Other members of the U17 team which finished second were Miamh Thomson (eighth in 16:04), Alix Baccardax (15th in 17:21) and Selma Hegvold (18th in 17:49). Millie Thorpe (eighth in 15:14), Bailey O’Leary (18th in 16:24) and Anya Montgomerie (24th in 16:58) were in  the U15 team which finished fourth.

Sophie Thorpe (11th in 12:03) led the U13 team to third place.

Sophia Anderson (17th in 12:30), Miona Ivanovic (18th in 12:32) and Grace Emission (22nd run 12:49) completed the team.

Georgina Clarke (454) and Lulu Weisz (451) head the teenage girls race on Mitchum Common

Jessica Prior was the top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the senior women’s 5.6km race – 21st of the 241 runners in 22:47, one second ahead of veteran Claire Grima.

Gina Galbraith was 38th in 23:36, Alice McCormack 70th in 24:46 with supervet Lisa Thomas completing the team finishing 71st in 24:47.

Benny Street led Hercules Wimbledon to fourth in the boys U13 3.2km race on Wimbledon Common finishing sixth of 73 runners in 10:34. Oliver Warbey was 15th in 11:16 and Ibrahim Achchi 24th in 11:26.

Hercules Wimbledon runners are competing in the London Cross Country Championships tomorrow this weekend with some of the club’s youngsters in action for their boroughs in the London Youth Games at Parliament Hill Fields, North London, on Saturday.

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