Women and youngsters fly the flag

HERCULES Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross country runners, young and old, were out in force in the London Cross Country Championships and London Youth Games which were both staged on an overcast and cloudy day at Parliament Hill Fields, North London, on Saturday.

Veteran London Marathon exponent Claire Grima led the Hercules Wimbledon runners home in the London women’s 6km championship in 24 minutes 14 seconds with Albane Fery 41st in 24:45, Niamh Thompson 62nd in 25:29 and Kiara Valkenburg 77th of the 289 finishers in 26:07. Hercules Wimbledon were 10th in the team contest.

Teenagers Edward Newton and Christopher Ellis were 126th and 270th out of 428 runners in the men’s 10km championship.

Almost 40 Hercules Wimbledon youngsters were in action, representing Merton and Wandsworth, in the eight London Youth Games races which were the curtain-raiser to the men’s and women’s London Championship races.

Ava McAndie ran strongly to finish eighth out of 205 runners in the girls Under-13 race helping Wandsworth win the team event. There were six Hercules Wimbledon runners in action. Also representing Wandsworth, Isabella Harrison finished 17th, Josie Hughes 25th, Iona Alexander 46th and Mae Losson 68th. Vivienne Jonczyk and Martha Eminson were 83rd and 107th for Merton.

Poppy Guest was fourth out of 154 runners in the Under-11 girls race while Theo Creed, Cyrus Sheikh and Alex Hughes were sixth, 15th and 30th out of 153 runners in the boys Under-11 race.

Harry Allen (41st) was the top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the Under-13 boys race with Sammy Hobden 47th, Sam Dyson 50th, Zach Elliot 51st, William Moret 93rd and Luca Grima 121st.

Twins Sophie and Charlotte Conway headed the Hercules Wimbledon contingent home in the girls Under-15 race finishing 45th and 49th of the 177 runners.

Other Hercules Wimbledon finishers were Ariana Shala (67th), Elena Hernandez (82nd), Sophia Anderson (85th), Charlotte Gurney (91st) and Elizabeth Thompson (112th).

Oliver Holden was the best of six Hercules Wimbledon runners in the Under-15 boys race finishing 23rd out of 180 runners. Also representing Wandsworth, Jack Hobden was 42nd, Matthew Young 53rd, Hugo Kelly 71st and Tom Davies 123rd. Michael Banks was 98th for Merton.

Representing Merton, Will Taylor was 14th out of 117 runners in the boys Under-17 race. Running for Wandsworth, Millie Thorpe was the top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the Under-17 girls race in 14th place with Georgia Winter and Charlotte Lam 31st and 50th out of 96 runners. Running for Merton, Emily Grey, Lulu Weisz and George Winter were 17th, 22nd and 26th.

Supervet Lisa Thomas once again performed strongly on her debut in the Bedford parkrun on Saturday finishing 18th out of 339 runners. She was runner-up in the women’s race in 20:46, posting the top age-graded performance of the race.

Over in Germany, Alex Binley was top woman finisher, taking ninth spot out of 99 runners in the Hasenheide event in Berlin in 19:51. Veteran Kieran White was third out of 408 runners in Dulwich in 17:04 and Robbie Hynes was third out of 391 runners in Rickmansworth in 17:23. A total of 21 Hercules Wimbledon runners competed in 14 different parkruns.

Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon had three of the top four finishers in the Wimbledon Park junior parkrun on Sunday. Sam Dyson headed the field home in 7:54 ahead of Iona Alexander (8:19) who was the first girl with Thomas Hennigan fourth out of 95 runners in a personal best of 8:49.

Surrey Comet | Kingston