Charlotte Alexander again made her mark among the best U20 crosscountry women in the UK as the Herne Hill Harrier placed a superb sixth on Saturday at the CAU Inter Counties and GB Trials for the World Cross Country Championship, writes Geoff Jerwood.
Still actually in the U17 age group, Alexander opted to contest the older race at a very windy Prestwold Hall in Loughborough and has been selected for the GB team which will compete at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Norway at the end of this month.
With six team places available, but only the first three finishers guaranteed selection, Alexander faced a nervy wait before the team was announced.
It was another top-level performance from an athlete who placed ninth in the 3,000m at the European U18 Championship last summer. On Saturday the Wayne Vinton-trained athlete led her Surrey to team silver medals.
These championships also saw a good run for Harriers club members racing for other county teams.
Stacey Ormerod finished an excellent 26th in a strong senior women’s race for Hertfordshire, Richard Henderson was a very decent 107th in the senior men’s race for Bedfordshire and Andrew Warburton placed 209th for Nottinghamshire.
Herne Hill won third place national team medals in the M35-44 age group at the British Masters Cross Country championship in Belfast on Saturday with fine running from Jeff Cunningham, Matt Munro, Alan Barnes, James Ward, Rob Nagorski and club President Waldy Pauzers.
On an equally windy Sunday morning Nick Bester ran superbly as a BBC TV star as he spent almost all of the Big Half London half-marathon race from Tower Bridge to Greenwich in close company with the leading ladies.
When their lead changed hands, Bester chased the faster of the two and finished just eight seconds behind the winning female runner come the finish line. His time of 70:46 was a very good PB given the weather and was one of a number of breakthrough runs by Herne Hill athletes.
Andrew Grigg took three minutes off his PB with his superb 72:44, followed in by Bryn Reynolds in around 75:30. Jack Dickenson, 21, ran 76:04, a fine effort for one so young and was followed in by the older, but the ever-impressive Jonathan Ratcliffe, whose 77:00 placed him third of all of the over-50s on the day and was a PB.
Mohammed Ismail ran 78:11, Duane Matthews smashed his best with 79:00, ahead of the first Harriers lady Jordan Foster who also recorded a big PB of 81:31.
More runners streamed in wearing the Dennis the Menace-coloured Herne Hill vests.
Next through the finish line were John Foxall 80:43, John Appleton 81:54, Eriç Dol 83:32, Olivia Zeltner shattering her PB with 84:23, Sam Knight ran 84:24, Craig Barney 85:29, Gen Huss a PB 87:46, Patrik Ewe 89:01, Ruth Chalmers 92:06, Ed Sayce 97:43, Mateusz Krzemien 1:42:28 and Nick Stewart 2:01:13.
Further north on Sunday at the Trafford 10km in Manchester, another young runner Lewis Laylee ran 33:17 to rewrite his PB and placing 74th overall in a stacked field.
Nikki Sturzaker brought home three national W45 gold medals and a silver at the British Masters Indoor Championships at Lee Valley. Sturzaker won the 1,500m in 5:08.43 on day one and then on Sunday won both the 800m in 2:28.78 and the 3,000m in 11:10.11. The latter two races were 40 minutes apart, during which time she also came second in the javelin.
Having recently been a multiple winner at the Southern Masters Indoor Championship, Sturzaker has an ever-growing collection of medals.