Hercules Wimbledon’s senior men produced their best opening in the Start Fitness League since 1978 by finishing runners-up in the Division One cross-country match, writes Tom Pollak.
The men were just seven points behind the winners.
Jonathan Cornish (27:24), Fred Slemeck (28:04) and Ben Toomer (28:06) finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively out of the 196 runners covering the five miles.
Finn Johnson (21st in 29:04), Demons Evangelidis (26th in 29:30 and third over 40 veteran), Richard McDowell (31st in 29:41), Jonny Earl (47th in 30:22), Kieran White (49th in 30:29), Justin Reid (52nd in 30:43) and Neil Fraser (78th in 31:40) completed the scoring team of 10.
The senior women finished fourth of the 15 Division One teams, also their strongest opening match performance.
They were led in by newcomer Cheryl Nolan, making her debut in the gold and red Hercules Wimbledon vest, as she finished fifth of the 243 runners covering the six kilometres in 24:04.
Claire Grima (24:40) was eighth and top veteran over 40, followed by Eileen Brandley (29th in 26:30), Zoe Pike (45th in 27:18) and Anne Hegvold (51st in 27:30).16:53.
Hercules Wimbledon’s were third in the girls under-15 team race with Johanna Tofte leading the team home finishing sixth of the 54 runners in 16:33. Georgina Clarke was ninth in 16:53, Rebekah Riches 16th in 17:47 and Ellen Weir 22nd in 18:17. Best of the club’s under-13 runners was Lauren Ermitage (10th).
McDowell was continuing his return to racing after almost four months out with a foot injury. The previous weekend he raced in the Chester Marathon sporting an England vest. He was competing in the England over-35 age group championship for which he qualified in the Bournemouth marathon 12 months earlier. He finished 32nd of the 2,587 runners in 2:42:24.
Claire Grima completed a busy weekend by winning the women’s veterans over-40 category in the Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at Twickenham on Sunday in 1:01:34, her best time for the distance since 2014. She was also fourth in the women’s race. Toomer was fifth out of 1,558 runners in 54:02.
Matt Sharp was second British finisher in the Chicago Marathon, where there were more than 44,500 runners, in 2:29:19.
Alex Binley was top woman finisher in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun in 19:39, taking fifth overall out of 415 runners and leading 15 Hercules Wimbledon runners home. Teenager Ben Tatters was third out of 487 runners in the Richmond Park event. Georgina Carrington was top girl finisher in the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun.