Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s athletes enjoyed another successful weekend with runners in action at Watford, Chichester, Chelmsford with 50 runners completing in various parkruns, writes Tom Pollak.


Leading the raft of top performances was Jonny Cornish who headed home a 1357-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. He clocked 1:06:58 in the Virgin half-marathon in Hackney, East London, last May.

Surrey Comet:

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


Four days earlier, Cornish and his Hercules Wimbledon club mate Charlie Eastaugh, posted lifetime bests with superb 3000m 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 previous best time of 8:28:44 set in Cardiff. He clocked 8:23.40 in finishing third behind Cornish.


Over in Sussex, Hercules Wimbledon’s Alex Milne clocked a lifetime best in the Chichester 10km road race. He was 10th out of 1529 runners in 30:02 improving on his previous best set in the same event last year, when he also finished 10th, by 15 seconds. His Hercules Wimbledon club mate 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. A third Hercules Wimbledon runner in action was Gina Galbraith who was third veteran over 40 in finishing 20th in the women’s race in a personal best of 37:44, a big improvement on her previous best of 39:10 set in May 2018.


Hercules Wimbledon’s oldest runner 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. Club mate 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, making his debut in the event, was second of the 1474 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 eight of the 550 runners in a personal best of 19:42, improving by more than a minute on his previous best. Alex Binley was fourth in the women’s race in 22:47, five seconds ahead of clubmate Lisa Thomas.


This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon athletes are in action in the final series of Sport Systems Surrey cross country league races in Richmond Park and Lloyd Park, Croydon. The girls under 15 and under 17 race in Richmond Park starts at 12 noon with the under 13’s off at 12.30pm and the senior women’s Division One race at 1pm. First race in Lloyd Park is for under 13 boys at 2pm with the joint under 15 and under 17 race at 2.30pm and the senior men’s five miles race at 3pm.