PRESS RELEASES for Hercules Wimbledon AC  

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017




28-02-17 28-03-17
24-01-17 21-02-17 21-03-17
17-01-17 14-02-17 14-03-17
10-01-17 7-02-17 7-03-17






Despite fielding a weakened team, Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s road runners comfortably qualified for next month’s English National 12-stage road relay championship with a solid performance in the South of England championship at the Cyclopark, Gravesend, last Saturday, writes Tom Pollak.
Several of the club’s top runners were missing from the line-up but the reserves rose to the challenge and Hercules Wimbledon repeated the 14th place they achieved when competing at Gravesend in 2016. The team made a strong start with Alex Robinson handing over in 10th place after covering the initial 7.2km long leg in 20 minutes 21 seconds, the fastest long leg performance by a Hercules Wimbledon runner.

Finn Johnson (14:36) slipped to 15th on the second stage over 4.8km with Connor Bindler (22:34) losing further ground   in dropping to 18th. Then, Andrew Penney, in his first race of the year, ran a storming fourth leg in 13:34 to lift the team to 15th place posting Hercules Wimbledon’s fastest short leg of the day. Jonny Cornish (20:32) moved up to 12th place on the fifth stage before Neil Fraser (14:44) handed over in 13th place at the half-way point. Ben Toomer (20:35) gained a place on the seventh leg with Justin Reid (14:41) slipping to 13th on leg eight. Joe Toomey (21:55) held 13th with supervet Pete Clarke (15:22) slipping to 14th, a position held by Joe Clark (21:56) and Rob Tuer (14:43) on the final two stages.

Hercules Wimbledon’s Adam Harwood posted a lifetime best of 17:36 when he won the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday, headed home a 419-strong field which included 25 Hercules Wimbledon runners. It was Harwood’s third victory in 141 appearances in the event since making his debut in June 2009. His previous wins came in February 2015 and June last year and his time took six seconds off his previous best set last October. He finished 14 seconds clear of the runner-up.

Hercules Wimbledon’s David Scrimshaw also improved on his previous best time for the course in finishing third in 18:36, six seconds faster than his time in August 2015. Over 50 veteran Peter Lee posted the day’s top age-graded performance in finishing fifth in 18:48. Gina Galbraith was second woman finisher in 20:32

Hercules Wimbledon’s James Davis also won the parkrun at Pegwell Bay, Kent, in 17:41 while the club provided both the boys and girls winners in the Wimbledon Park junior 2km event on Sunday through Samuel Masters (7:34) and Emily Dunipace (9:23).

Continuing their preparations for the Virgin Money London Marathon next month, husband and wife David and Claire Grima were second in the men’s and women’s events Bushy Park, while Chris Ore was fifth in Burgess Park, Southwark and Khaled Diaw ninth in Bishop’s Park, Fulham.

Hercules Wimbledon’s Richard McDowell also continued his preparations for London in finishing third out of more than 300 runners in the Orion 15 miles cross country race in Epping Forest despite going off course. McDowell explained: “At about three miles a group of us, who were leading, took a slightly poorly marked and un-marshalled right turn and were puzzled no one was following us. By the time we managed re-join the field we were about 30 places lower down among runners who had accidentally taken a short cut. I managed to claw my way back to third in 1:34:06. However, it was a beautiful day on a rather brutal muddy and undulating course.”

Adam Harwood completed a busy weekend by finishing third out of 862 runners in the Lidl Kingston Breakfast 8.2 miles run on Sunday in 48:17.

Hercules Wimbledon’s Ellen Weir helped Surrey make a clean sweep of the four team titles in the South East Schools Inter-Counties cross country meeting at Priory Park, Reigate, when she finished 10th in the junior girls race.

Hercules Wimbledon youngsters will be in action in the South London Athletics Network Development Meeting last the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton, on Sunday, starting at 12noon.

Some of the Hercules Wimbledon runners at Gravesend (L-R): Justin Reid, Fred Green (team manager), Ben Toomer, Joe Clark, Connor Bindler, Neil Fraser, Joe Toomey, Rob Tuer, Peter Clarke



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club runners warmed up for this Saturday’s South of England road relay championships with a series of solid performances last weekend. They once again dominated the Wimbledon Common parkrun and also provided the winner at Bushy Park as well as producing some strong runs in half-marathons, writes Tom Pollak.
Best of these was Richard McDowell who headed home a 339-strong field to post a course record-breaking win in the Surrey Badger half-marathon at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, on Sunday. McDowell, 37, who made a last minute decision to compete at over the testing, undulating multi-terrain course, finished almost a minute ahead of the second runner as he continued his preparations for next month’s Virgin Money London marathon.
He crossed the line in  one hour 18 minutes 32 seconds and said afterwards: “I made a last minute decision to run as weekend plans changed, but had I planned to run earlier I wouldn't have tried to kill myself on a 30km training run on Friday evening!
“The legs were just about recovered by Sunday morning, and a little social group of four of us paced it nice and steadily until I wound it up a bit with 5km to go. It seemed gentle pacing was the way to go as 1:18:32 was good enough for a new course record. Might not sound very quick, but it's mainly trail with over 300m of climbing, so not too unhappy.”
McDowell added: “It was the third successive week of 100km of training, so things are looking good for London at the moment.” McDowell has another testing race this weekend when he competes in the Orion 15 miles cross country event in Epping Forest.
Hercules Wimbledon runners filled three of the top four places in Saturday’s Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun. Ben Toomer headed the 392-strong field home in 16:20, posting the top age-graded performance of the day, 22 seconds ahead of club mate Joe Toomey with teenager Henry Silverstein fourth in 18:09. Gina Galbraith was second woman finisher in 20:36.
Meanwhile over at Bushy Park, Hercules Wimbledon’s Jonny Cornish gained his second win in two appearances there this year as he headed home 1127 runners in 15:41, to win by over half-a-minute. Club mate Justin Reid was ninth in  17:13.
Cornish, Toomey and Toomer were in action again on Sunday. Cornish was third out of 2646 runners in the Fleet half-marathon in 1:09:43 with Toomey 16th in 1:14:34 and Rob Tuer 33rd in 1:16:33. Stuart Fraser was second veteran over 50 in 1:18:32.
Toomer was the best of a dozen Hercules Wimbledon runners in the Vitality Reading half-marathon on Sunday finishing 56th out of 9720 runners in 1:11:56 with Will Russell 72nd in 1:13:39 and Dominic Kiralyfi 92nd in 1:14:46.Claire Grima,who will be running in the London with husband Dave was second woman veteran over 35 in 1:20:32 two minutes behind Dave who clocked 1:18:15.
Elsewhere, Kieran White was fourth veteran over 40 finisher in the Eastleigh 10km road race, Tor-Ivor Guttulsrod was third veteran over 50 in the Richmond half-marathon and Jonny Earl was third out of 517 runners in the Norwich 5km parkrun in 16:49 with Felix Allen sixth on Roundshaw Downs.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Ellen Weir beat the entire field of 144 boys and girls to win the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun, for the second consecutive time, on Sunday in 7:32 with Joseph Willis third in 8:12.
Joe Toomey, runner-up in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun
  Bushy Park 5km parkrun winner Jonny Cornish who was also third in the Fleet half-marathon
Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun winner Ben Toomer


Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club teenager Rebekah Riches ended her cross country season on a high when she lifted the individual under 15 girls trophy in the final Downs cross country league meeting on Epsom Downs on Sunday, writes Tom Pollak.
At the other end of the age range all six Hercules Wimbledon oldies in action in the British Masters indoor championships at Lee Valley, North London, came away with medals.
Riches lifted the individual Downs League trophy by finishing third in the last of the four matches in 12minutes 31 seconds. She also helped the Hercules Wimbledon team to third place. Other members of the team were Alexander Abrahams, seventh in the boys race in 11:29, Fred Jimack (12th in 12:17), Hector Revill (13th in 12:32) and Gabriel Durand (16th in 12:55). Best of the eight Hercules Wimbledon youngsters in the under 13 race was Lulu Weisz who was seventh out of 41 runners in 13:02.
Other Hercules Wimbledon youngsters were also in form in Wimbledon Park and at Eltham. Georgina Clarke was sixth out of 75 runners in the girls under 13 event at the London Schools cross country championships at Eltham. Teenager Ellen Weir broke the girls course record when she headed home the entire field of 127 boys and girls in the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday. Weir, 13, crossed the finishing line in 7:23 to shave just one second off the girls course record which has stood since May 2014. Her Hercules Wimbledon clubmate Valerie Parocki was second girl to finish 8:56.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Harris Mier was runner-up in the boys under 15 race in the UK Inter-Counties championships at Loughborough on Saturday while Jonny Cornish, representing Oxfordshire, was 102nd out of 283 runners in the senior men’s championship.
One of Hercules Wimbledon’s oldest athletes, Peter Giles, led the gold rush at the British Masters Indoor Championships at Lee Valley with a hat-trick of wins in the over 70 category. Giles, 72, retained his 1500m title in 5:25.51, almost seven seconds faster than his winning time last year, regained the 3000m crown he failed to defend in 2016 after winning the title the previous year, clocking 11:30.22 and then went one better than his runners-up spot 12 months ago to win the 800m on Sunday in 2:52.79. He currently tops the British rankings this year for his age group in all three events.
Dominic Bokor-Ingram gained a double triumph winning the men’s over 40 200 and 400m titles in 24.56 and 53.24, completing a hat-trick of 400m victories. His wife, Emilie, picked up two medals when she finished second and third in the women’s over 35 400 and 200m in 62.74 and 28.58. Mark White took the men’s over 50 200m title in 25.13, was second in the 400m in 57.01 and was third in the 60m in 7.88. Anna Garner also picked up a brace of medals taking gold in the women’s over 60 1500m and silver in the 800m. Completing the medal haul was Simon Rayner who took bronze in the over 50 3000m.
Three days before celebrating his 71st birthday, Hercules Wimbledon treasure Fred Green was the top veteran over 70 finisher in the Bushy Park 5km parkrun on Saturday.  Also in Bushy Park, Justin Reid was the top veteran over 55 in 17:39. Alex Binley was the first woman finisher in the Wimbledon Common event in 20:45. Best of the 17 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action was Adam Harwood who was fourth out of more than 400 runners in 18:17. Elsewhere, Russell Price was sixth out of 394 runners in Bishops Park, just ahead of Alexi Calvert-Ansar, who was competing in his first parkrun for almost two years and Richard McDowell was sixth pout of 471 runners on Tooting Bec Common where Megan De Silva was top woman finisher in a personal best of 18:26.

Hercules Wimbledon's under 13 Downs League team

Hercules Wimbledon's under 15 Downs League team



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s Theo Etienne made an impressive senior international debut when he reached the final of the 60m at the European indoor championships in Belgrade on Sunday, writes Tom Pollak.
Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon runners dominated the weekly Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun providing both the men’s and women’s winners as well as the individual winners of the Tooting Common and Wimbledon Park junior 2km events, while the club’s youngsters also dominated an inter-club cross country event in Richmond Park coming away with the team honours. Hercules Wimbledon’s golden oldies gained a hat-trick of wins in the England Masters indoor inter-area match at Lee Valley, North London. Across the pond, a Hercules Wimbledon runner was the top supervet finisher in a road race in Huston, Texas.
Etiene, who at 20 was one of the youngest competitors in Belgrade, made a solid start on his senior international debut as he stormed to victory on Saturday morning in his 60m heat in 6.62 seconds, the second fastest of the 16 qualifiers for the semi-finals. He commented: “I’m as confident as I ever have been, but I just have to treat the rounds like any other race – we’re all here for a reason, and I just want to perform and show everyone that I deserve to be here. Obviously the semi-final this evening will be a lot harder, so I’m going to keep my head down and rest up a little before then.”
Etienne took his semi-final like a seasoned international and raced to victory in a faster 6.59, again the second fastest time of the round to put him in line for a medal. However, he failed by just four-hundredths of a second to make the podium finishing fifth in the final in 6.67 in his third race of the day. Etienne’s concentration was no doubt affected by the eight finalists twice being ordered to stand up while in the set position as officials weren’t satisfied with one of the athletes. There was further disruption when his fellow Brit, Andrew Robertson, was disqualified for a false start.
However, the UK Athletics website reported positively on Etienne stating: “Theo Etienne did much to impress on his senior team debut with the 20-year-old coming home in 6.67 for fifth in the final.”
Hercules Wimbledon runners dominated the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun with Ben Toomer (16:54) and Joe Toomey (17:10) heading home the 352-strong field. Gina Galbraith also won the women’s event in 20:53 with 17 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action. Over at Tooting Bec, Fred Slemeck gained a runaway win in a personal best time of 16:10, more than two minutes ahead of the second runner. Slemeck managed to shave eight seconds off his previous best for the course set on his debut in February last year. Clubmate Megan De Silva was top woman finisher also in a personal best of 18:38. Russell Price was runner-up in the Richmond Park event.
Ellen Weir, 13, posted the top age-graded female performance when she finished runner-up in the Bishop’s Park event in 19:45, more than a minute faster than on her debut last November. She completed an impressive weekend by beating the entire field of boys and girls to win the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday in 7:45. Emily Dunipace and Ophelia Lanfranchi were second and third girls over the line.
Twenty-six Hercules Wimbledon youngsters were in action in an inter-club match in Richmond Park. Alexander Abrahams was top under 15 finisher while Henry Silverstein was second under 17 and Lloyd Hodgson second under 13. Georgina Clarke and Lula Weisz, both under 13, were first and second girls to finish. Scoring 10-a-side Hercules Wimbledon (109) comfortably took the team honours ahead of Ranelagh (165) and Stragglers (191). Peter Lee was top over 50 finisher in the senior race with Fran Clarke and Lisa Thomas top women’s over 40 and over 50 finishers.
A trio of Hercules Wimbledon veterans posted wins in the England Masters inter-area match at Lee Valley. Pete Giles, 72, took the over 70 1500m, Anna Garner the over 60 women’s 800m and Mark White the over 50 400m. White also finished third in the 200m.
Elsewhere, Hercules Wimbledon’s Stuart Fraser was top veteran over 50 finisher in the Conoco Phillips Rodeo 19km road race in Huston finishing 10th out of more than 3400 runners.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon’s youngsters are in action in the final Downs League meeting of the season on Epsom Downs on Sunday, while the club’s older athletes are competing in the British Masters indoor championships at Lee Valley on both Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the 26 Herules Wimbledon youngsters in Richmond Park



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s teenage sprinter Jaleel Roper posted two superb gold medal-winning performances at the England Athletics indoor championships in Sheffield, last weekend, to lift his first national titles, and live up to his status as Britain’s top under 15 sprinter, writes Tom Pollak.
Roper, who is just 14, first took the boys under 15 60m title on Saturday. He won his heat in 7.28 seconds, easily the fastest of the 37 competitors in the event before going on to win his semi-final in a faster 7.13 and then storming to victory in the final winning by nine-hundredths of a second in 7.09, just four-hundredths of a second outside the British record.
He was in action again on Sunday in the 200m. Roper improved on his lifetime best three times as he first won his heat in 23.48, easily the fastest of the 16 runners in the four heats, then speeded up to win his semi-final in 23.12 before lifting his second national title of the weekend in 22.62, winning by eight-tenths of a second - almost 10 metres. He took almost a second off his previous best time before the championships of 23.5 and his winning time puts him fourth on the British all-time ranking list for the event.
England Athletic’s website reported on Roper’s stunning double: “Superb sprinting was the order of the day as the 200m carried on where the 60m left off yesterday with a string of sensational performances. Leading the way was Jaleel Roper who added the under 15 200m gold to the 60m one already in his kit bag. It was the fourth fastest of all-time and concluded a brilliant weekend for the powerful-looking sprinter who won by 0.8 seconds, a huge margin at this level.”
Another Hercules Wimbledon young gun in action was Zipporah Golding who just missed out on a medal in the girls under 15 60m. She finished fourth in a blanket finish in which the third, fourth and fifth runners all clocked 7.90 with less than the thickness of a vest covering all three! Zipporah won her heat in 7.97 before racing to second place in her semi-final in 7.90. She took a massive one-tenth of a second off her best before the championships. On Sunday, she was also in action in the 200m qualifying for the semi-finals by finishing third in her heat in a personal best of 26.11, almost a second faster than her previous fastest for the even. She was third in her semi-final in 26.27. Her performances rank her in the UK top 10 in both events this year.
Paul Miller, who coaches both athletes, and is a former Surrey 100m champion, said: “I was very impressed with their running and very pleased with how the weekend went. Zipporah is the top first year under 15 sprinter. All the girls that beat her are in their second year and older. She likes 200m more than 60m and I think she will be an outstanding 200m runner.”
Miller is planning to look for a further race for Roper where he can attack the British record which he was so close to in Sheffield. “He is a very confident young man who trains very hard and the two golds are a just reward for his work in training. Despite his age he is very professional and applied in his attitude.”
Miller added: “ I will try and see whether I can get him a race in the next few weeks where he can beat the British 60m record but we also have to prepare for the summer season. Both Jaleel and Zipporah had a tough weekend with six and five races, respectively. But, they are both in good shape for the summer outdoor season. I think Jaleel can break the outdoor boys under 15 200m British record this summer.”
 A record 37 Hercules Wimbledon’s cross country runners were in action in the English National championships in a muddy Wollaston Park, Nottingham, on Saturday. Ben Toomer was top finisher in the senior men’s 12km event taking 118th place out of 1762 runners with Fred Slemeck 122nd, Jonny Cornish 136th, Belal Ahmed 185th and Matt Sharp 191st. Hercules Wimbledon were 16th in the team event.
Claire Grima led the Hercules Wimbledon senior women’s team home finishing 64th out of 788 runners. The team posted their second best-ever national placing. Hercules Wimbledon competed in a record number of  eight championship races.Zac Purnell led the under 17 team to 22nd place, their highest placing since 1983. Ellen Weir’s 53rd place in the girls under 13 race was Hercules Wimbledon’s highest placing in the event since Olivia Hines finished fourth in 1997. She also led the team to their highest placing since Hercules Wimbledon won the title at Havant 20 years ago.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Alex Robinson headed home a 305-strong field in the Exeter 5km parkrun on Saturday, the day after finishing runner-u[p in the Last Friday of the month 5km event in Hyde Park. Also on Saturday, Joe Toomey was runnr-up out of 467 runners in the Tooting Bec 5km parkrun. Cate Coverley and Vaerie Parocki were second and third girls to finish in the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday.  

Jaleel Roper racing to victory in the 200m at Sheffield

Hercules Wimbledon's senior cross country runners in Nottingham

Claire Grima who was Hercules Wimbledon's top woman finisher 
Hercules Wimbledon's girls under 13 team which achieved their highest placing for 20 years
A trio of Hercules Wimbledon girls under 15 runners in Nottingham



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s teenage sprinter Jaleel Roper underlined his status as Britain’s top under 15-year-old sprinter this winter by smashing the championship record in winning the Surrey indoor title at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton, on Saturday.
Roper, 13, raced home a comfortable winner of the gold medal in 7.14 seconds to slice four-hundredths of a second off the championship record set last year when he was unable to take part due to injury. Roper was using the event to warm up for this weekend’s England age-group championships in Sheffield where he is the hot favourite to lift the national title. He tops the UK rankings with his 7.12 victory in the South of England championships at Lee Valley last month.
Paul Miller, his coach, who is himself a former Surrey sprint champion, winning the senior men’s 100m title three times, said: “Jaleel had a difficult time last year because of the injury he suffered in the opening months. But he seems to have fully recovered and is now showing his best form. He heads a sizeable Hercules Wimbledon contingent in the national championships in Sheffield where we are confident he can underline his top ranked status.”
Roper reached the Surrey final by dominating the early rounds of his event. He won his heat in 7.59 and his semi-final in 7.46. It was a Hercules Wimbledon one-two as his clubmate Miles Ayoola took the silver medal in a personal best of 7.56 to underline the improvement he has made this winter dipping inside eight seconds for 60m for the first time. He bettered his 7.58 seconds performance in last month’s South of England championships. He reached the final by winning his heat in 8.00 and then his semi-final in 7.62. A third Hercules Wimbledon sprinter to reached the final was Jeremy Miller-Annor who clocked lifetime best of 7.69 to finish fifth.
Making it a hat-trick of Hercules Wimbledon medal-winning performances, another of Miller’s training group, Nkasi Onyejekwe took silver in the girls under 13 60m championship in 8.30 after winning her heat in a slower 8.38.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Dominic Kiralyfi beat a near 4000-strong field to win the Hampton Court half-marathon on Sunday in 1:12:54 - and then followed in the footsteps of Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins by relaxing on the Hampton Court throne.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Jonny Cornish warmed-up for this weekend’s English National cross country championships in Nottingham by breaking the club 5km road running record in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He clocked 14:36 in finishing 38th out of 171 runners in the Brooks international event to improve on the mark set by Liam White of 14:51 also in the Armagh race in February 2011. It was only the second time Cornish had raced over 5km on the road. His debut appearance was in Battersea Park in 2015 when he clocked 15:50.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Ben Toomer also warmed-up for Nottingham by beating a 400-strong field to post a runaway win in the Wimbledon Common parkrun on  Saturday in 16:15. He finished more than a minute ahead of the runner-up in posting the day’s top age-graded performance. Adam Harwood was sixth in 18:25 and Charles Hampden-Smith top over 55 veteran in 21:00. Lisa Thomas was third woman in 21:40.
Elsewhere, Gina Galbraith was second woman finisher at the Southsea parkrun in 19:28 and Georgina Clarke broke her own Hercules Wimbledon girls under 13 club record in finishing third in the women’s section in Fulham’s Bishop’s Park in 19:28. Her previous mark of 19:53 was set last October.
Although there were only two Hercules Wimbledon athletes in action in the Veterans AC indoor championships at Lee Valley, they came away with five medals between them. Pete Giles, 72, gained a hat-trick of wins taking the over 70 800, 1500 and 3000m titles while Mark White won the over 50 200 and 400m gold medals.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon are sending teams to the English national cross country championships at Wollaston park, Nottingham and a contingent of athletes to the England indoor age group championships in Sheffield.

Hercules Wimbledon's Dominic Kiralyfi relaxes on the winner's shown after winning the Hampton Court half-marathon


Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club enjoyed the most successful day in its 50 year history on Saturday. Sprinter Theo Etienne raced his way into next month’s European Indoor Championships with a stunning silver in the British trials in Sheffield while Hercules Wimbledon’s senior men’s cross country team stormed to victory in the final 2XU Surrey League meeting on Wimbledon Common.
In addition, Alison Murray broke the British veteran women’s over 50 pole vault record and Hercules Wimbledon’s top women’s cross country runner, Claire Grima, equalled her best-ever 2XU Surrey Ladies League placing by finishing third in the Division One match at Happy Valley, Coulsdon.
Stand out performance on an amazing day for Hercules Wimbledon was the 60m silver medal-winning run by young Etienne in Sheffield. After winning his heat in 6.72 seconds and his semi-final in 6.65, he speeded up to clock 6.59 in the final to miss out on the gold medal by just two-hundredths of a second. However, more importantly, his time was just one-hundredths of a second inside the British Athletics 60m qualifying standard for the European indoor championship so he will be on the plane to the Euro championships in Belgrade next month.
It was Etienne’s fastest 60m in the UK improving on the 6.60 he posted when finishing fourth in last year’s British Indoor Championships but it was shy of his personal best of 6.56 set in the Jablonec Indoor Gala Meeting in the Czech Republic last March. “I am very happy with my performance. I always try to make it to the highest point I can in competition and my aim was to reach the final and make the top three,” said Etienne. “I knew I had to concentrate on my own race and ignore the other competitors.” Although it was his first senior national medal he added: “There’s still a lot of work to do in the next few weeks to prepare for Belgrade and then move onto the summer.”
Etienne had little time to celebrate his success. After staying in Sheffield on Saturday night he returned to London on Sunday and spent the two-and-a-half hour train journey revising for exams he was sitting on Monday for the business studies course he is doing.
While Etienne was racing to his silver medal in Sheffield, Hercules Wimbledon’s senior men’s cross country runners were racing to their best performance of the season in the final 2XU Surrey Men’s League meeting on Wimbledon Common. Underlining their status as Surrey champions and the top Surrey and South London team in the South of England championships they packed solidly to comfortably take the honours.
The team was led in by Jonny Cornish who was fourth out of 185 runners in 26:27 with Fred Slemeck sixth inn26:45, Ben Toomer seventh in 26:46 and Matt Sharp 15th in 27:31. There was a slight gap before Belal Ahmed crossed the line in 23rd place (27:42) with Joe Clark (32nd in 27:54), Kieran White (33rd in 27:56), Richard McDowell (34th in 28:00), Alex Robinson (35th in 28:01) and Chris Wright (36th in 28:02) completed the scoring team of 10. Connor Bindler (40th in 28:14) was the top under 20 finisher. A total of 32 Hercules Wimbledon runners took part in the senior race. The team repeated their achievement of the previous season by finishing runners-up overall out of the nine clubs.
Zac Purnell, who the previous week had won the Wandsworth mini-marathon trial, ran strongly to finish fourth out of 51 runners in the under 17 young athletes race leading the team to second place, while William Belton was the top Hercules Wimbledon finisher in the under 13 race in ninth.
Meanwhile, Claire Grima was racing through snow to a fine third place out of 180 runners in the 2XU Surrey Ladies League Division One event on Farthing Downs to equal her best-ever league placing achieved in February 2014. It was the first leg of the busy weekend for the Grima duo. On Sunday, Claire was third woman in the Wokingham half-marathon finishing 82nd out of 1818 runners in 1:19:09 just behind husband Dave who was 79th in 1:18:55. The previous day he was 76th on Wimbledon Common.
Alison Murray broke the British women’s over 50 pole vault record with a fine 3.02m clearance in the Vault Brian Indoor open meeting at Sutton while Tor-Ivar Guttelsrod finished sixth in the London 10km road walking championship at Loughton.
Elsewhere, Alex Binley was top woman finisher in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun with sister Chloe third. Adam Harwood was the best of 15 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action taking runners-up spot. Cate Cleverly was first girl in the Wimbledon Park 2km Junior parkrun on Sunday with Lara Stimpson third girl.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon athletes are in action in the Surrey indoor championships at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton on Saturday and Sunday while the younger athletes compete in the third Downs League match on Epsom Downs.

Hercules Wimbledon;s triumphant Surrey League senior men's team



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club runners dominated the weekly Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday with the top two men and two women to cross the finishing line.
Fresh from helping the senior men’s team to its best performance since 1974 in the South of England cross country championships at Parliament Hill Fields the previous weekend, Fred Slemeck just pipped his Hercules Wimbledon club mate Ben Toomer to win his first parkrun of the year. They shared the winning time of  16 minutes 45 seconds which was just six seconds slower than Slemeck’s best for the course set when winning last September. He kept up an impressive record in posting his fifth win in six appearances. The only time he failed to triumph was on his debut in October 2015.
Toomer continued to prove he is returning to full fitness after recovering from injury although he was blocked from posting a hat-trick after winning the parkrun on the previous two Saturdays. Both Slemeck and Toomer will be in action on Wimbledon Common again this weekend when they head the Hercules Wimbledon challenge in the final 2XU Surrey Men’s Cross Country League Division One match of the season.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Alex Binley was top woman finisher taking 17th place out of the 327 runners in 20:13 with over 40 veteran Gina Galbraith second woman in 20:59.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Jonathan Cornish, who led the team to its best South of England performance for 43 years, underlined his rating as the club’s top runner this winter with an impressive weekend double. On Saturday morning he headed home the 1012-strong field in the Bushy Park 5km parkrun in 15:33 and then, 24 hours later, on Sunday morning, he beat 1640 runners to win the Watford half-marathon over a hilly course in Cassiobury Park in a personal best of 1:08:40. It was a 10 second improvement on his previous best set in finishing runner-up in Fleet last March. Hercules Wimbledon’s Kieran White was top veteran over 40 finishing eighth in 1:13:39.
Teenager Zac Purnell was the best of a dozen Hercules Wimbledon runners in action in the annual London Schools cross country championships on Wormwood Scrubs. He was fifth out of 66 runners in the intermediate boys race to clinch his place in the London team for the English Schools Championships being held in Norwich in March. Rebekah Riches and Georgina Clarke were ninth and 10th in the junior girls race.
Hercules Wimbledon runners filled the top three girls places in the weekly Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday morning. Eloise Davies was first girl in 9:34 ahead of Amelia Cheeseman (9:42) and Lara Stimpson (10:00).
Hercules Wimbledon sprinter Theo Etienne warmed up for this weekend’s British Indoor Championships in Sheffield with an impressive start to his 2017 racing programme with strong runs at two indoor meetings. He was not far off his lifetime best of 6.56 which ranked him fifth UK under 23 runner last year. He won his two 60m races at the Newham Open at Plaistow in 6.64 and 6.67 and three days later was second in both his 60m races at the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley in 6.64 and 6.63 which ranks him second British under 23 60m runner this year.
The Lee Valley meeting saw the first competitive appearance in this country since 2014 of Hercules Wimbledon’s former English schools 100m silver medallist Max Mondelli. Back from studying in the USA, he was fourth and third in his 60m races in 6.96 and 6.98. Teenager Chad Miller equalled his lifetime best of 6.95 in winning his first under 20m race. He clocked a slightly slower 6.97 in winning his second round 60m.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon host the final 2XU Surrey Men’s Cross Country League fixture of the season on Wimbledon Common. The young athletes 2.5 miles race starts at 2.30pm followed by the seniors over five miles at 3pm. Races start and finish near the Thatched Cottage within walking distance of North Side. The women are competing in the final 2XU Surrey Ladies League meeting on Farthing Down, Coulsdon, with the first race for seniors off at 12noon.

Georgina Clarke chasing Rebekah Riches in Sunday's Wandsworth mini-marathon in Battersea Park


Hercules Wimbledon’s senior men’s cross country runners underlined their status as the champions of Surrey when they produced their best team effort for a generation in the South of England cross country championships at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday.
Not only were Hercules Wimbledon the leading Surrey and South London club but in finishing a superb seventh they posted their best performance since 1974 when their runners took the bronze team medals and Hercules Wimbledon provided the individual winner in Frank Briscoe. None of Saturday’s scoring team was born in 1974.
Remarkably, the best team performance for 43 years was achieved without the club’s top cross country runner Ben Toomer, who, returning to fitness after injury, decided not to risk running over the 15km of testing, rolling hills at Parliament Hill Fields and instead turned out in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun over a relatively flat course where he posted his second successive win.
Saturday’s history makers were led in by Oxfordshire silver medallist Jonny Cornish who finished 29th of the 1068 runners in 51 minutes 41 seconds, the best Hercules Wimbledon placing in the event since Dereje Kebede was 13th in 2004. Just over a minute behind was his Hercules Wimbledon club mate Fred Slemeck, 32nd in 52:53 with Joe Clark (73rd in 54:08), Joe Toomey (88th in 54:30), Matthew Sharp (90th in 54:34) and Richard McDowell (159th in 56:21) the other scorers. A record 19 Hercules Wimbledon runners took part in the race.
Team manager Fred Green said: “It was a briliant result particularly as we were without Ben Toomer. With him in the team as well as Belal Aly and Hussein Ahmed who finished 66th and has re-joined us, we could be in the medals next year.” Hercules Wimbledon have won the South of England championship only once, in 1970 when the team included international twins Bob and Dave Holt. The club took the silver medals in 1969, the year after finishing third. The club’s current chairman, Dave Clarke, who won the English cross country title three times, was the last Hercules Wimbledon runner to medal in the event finishing third at Parliament Hill Fiels in 1979.
Marathon runner Claire Grima proved her fitness after a heavy cold forced her to miss the Surrey championships by finishing a fine 33rd in the senior women’s 8km championship in 32:09, the best Hercules Wimbledon individual performance in the event since Estle Viljoen finished 32nd in 2000.
It was a day of fine performances for Hercules Wimbledon with the under 13 girls team’s 23rd position the club’s best since finishing 18th in 1983. Ellen Weir, who led the team home finishing 48th out of 283 runners, posted the best individual Hercules Wimbledon placing since Shanique Ferguson was 44th in 1997.
Zac Purnell, who was 76th out of 183 runners in the men’s under 17 6km race led the team to 13th position, the best Hercules Wimbledon perfroamce in the event since the club’s 12th place in 2004. Hercules Wimbledon, bronze medallists in the county championship, were the only Surrey club to finish a team.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Ben Toomer gained his second successive win when he headed home a 378-strong field in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday in 16:26. Charles Hampden-Smith was the first veteran over 55 finishing 25th in 21:02. Over 50 veteran Lisa Thomas posted the top age-graded performance when she finished second in the women’s event on her debut appearance in the Melton Mowbray 5km parkrun in 21:21. Chris Ore was 10th out of 257 runners in Dulwich Park and Chris Coles 16th of 511 finishers in Nonsuch Park. Thomas Beare was second of 123 runners in the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday.
Under 13 Girls (L-R) Ellen Weir, Georgina Clake and Anna Barker           
Under 17 men's team (L-R) Eitan Ornstein, Henry Silverstein, Zac Purnell and James Forde


Hercules Wimbledon's trio on the Thames - Rebekah Riches (cox) and Christoper and Peter Riches

A quartet of  Hercules Wimbledon athletes took to the water with some success when they won the men’s race in a rowing competition for the Franckeiss Cup on the River Thames at Teddington.
Father and son Christopher and Peter Riches were the rowers and daughter Rebekah the cox to make up the winning trio which saw off challenges from the Surbiton-based 26.2 Road Runners Club  and Thames Hare & Hounds. Christopher and Peter then linked up with Vikki Filsell to finish runners-up in the mixed final in a tight finish.
The Franckeiss Cup dates back to 1929 and was traditionally a race between the oldest cross country clubs in the country. It is a reminder that the first cross country running club, Thames Hare & Hounds, was started by a group of rowers from Thames Rowing Club, who decided to use running to keep fit.
Hercules Wimbledon teenager Jaleel Roper confirmed his rating as Britain’s fastest under 15 sprinter this year when he equalled his lifetime best of 7.12 seconds in winning his boys under 15 second round 60m race at the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley on Sunday. He was a fraction slower with a 7.14 first round win. He completed the double by taking the 200m in 23.5.
Zipporah Golding also gave a good showing in winning her second round girls under 15 60m race in a personal best of 8.0. She also finished fourth in the 200m in 27.26. Several other of the 15 Hercules Wimbledon athletes in action showed impressive form.
Jeremy Miller-Annor won both his boys under 15 60m races in a personal best of 7.74, and Tianna Gayle also won her second round under 15 girls 60m race in a personal best 8.41 with Tara Bartlett clocking a best of 8.45 in winning her second round 60m race.
Best of the girls under 13 sprinters was Nkasi Onyejekwe who won her two 60m races in personal bests of 8.21, a three-tenths of a second improvement on her previous best.
Two other Hercules Wimbledon youngsters in form were Harris Mier, winner of the under 15 boys title in the Cornwall Schools Championships at Newquay and Tomer Tarragano, who was second in the Sussex Schools intermediate boys cross country championship at Brighton.
Best of the Hercules Wimbledon youngsters in action in the Surrey Schools cross country championships at Reigate Priory on Saturday was Ellen Weir who finished 10th in the junior girls race less than a minute behind the winner, representing Merton.
Sam Masters headed home a 137-strong field to win the Wimbledon Park junior 2km parkrun on Sunday in 7:55, finishing almost a minute clear of the second runner.
At the other end of the age range, Martin Miller showed winning form in the Sussex Masters Championships at Lancing where he took the men’s over 70 title while Richard McDowell won the Veterans AC championship on Wimbledon Common with Peter Giles lifting the men’s over 70 title. Liz Stavreski took the women’s over 40 title and Vikki Filsell was third in the women’s over 45 championship.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Ben Toomer returned from injury to gain an impressive win in the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun on Saturday in 16:05, finishing more than a minute ahead of the second runner while Gina Galbraith was first woman. Hercules Wimbledon’s Rob Tuer was another parkrun winner heading home a 301-strong field at Taunton in 17:04. Jonny Cornish was runner-up out of 1291 runners in Bushy Park in a swift 15:36. Jonny Earl was third of almost 600 runners in the Norwich parkrun.
Chris Coles was the best of 18 Hercules Wimbledon runners in action in an inter-club 4.9 miles match in Richmond Park finishing 10th of the 72 runners in 29:49 with club mates Richard Evans 13th and Stewart Bond 16th. Fran Clarke was runner-up in the women’s category.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon are in action in the South of England cross country championships which are being staged at parliament Hill Fields, North London, on Saturday. The senior men will be out to confirm their rating as th Surrey champion club.

The Hercules Wimbledon contingent in the inter-club cross country race in Richmond Park


Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s top women’s cross country runner, Claire Grima, made an impressive return to racing, after missing the previous weekend’s Surrey Championships, when she ran strongly in the third 2XU Surrey Ladies League meeting of the season at a snow-covered Lloyd Park, Croydon, on Saturday.
Grima was forced to give the county championships a miss because of a heavy cold but seemed fully recovered to finish eighth out of more than 200 runners in the Division One race. “I had a really heavy, chesty cough and had lost my voice so I thought it was best not to run in the Surreys,” said Claire. “It was clearly better for the longer term because there are some big races in the next few weeks.”
She added:”I was quite pleased with my race on Saturday as I didn’t know how well I would do but I seem to be back to full fitness now.” Claire covered the undulating 6km course in 30 minutes 50 seconds . Second Hercules Wimbledon finisher was Victoria Johnston, who was making her debut for the club, finishing 36th in 34:08 with walking international Estle Viljoen 45th in 35:45. Fran Clarke (73rd in 35:16) and Lisa Thomas (77th in 36:29), who was still recovering from turning her ankle on ice 10 days earlier, completed the team.
Hercules Wimbledon’s youngsters produced the club’s best team performance of the day in finishing runners-up in the under 13 race. They were led in by Ellen Weir who finished fifth in 11:26 to record her highest-ever placing in a Surrey League race.
Georgina Clarke was just two seconds behind in sixth place with Millie Doyle 19th in 12:31 and Lauren Armitage (23rd in 12:44) completing the scoring team.
Teenager Rebekah Riches also achieved her best league placing of the winter when she finished eighth in the under 15 race.
After leading the Hercules Wimbledon team to the gold medals in the Surrey championships the previous weekend, Fred Slemeck was again to the fore heading home the 17-strong club contingent in the senior race in the third of this season’s 2XU Surrey Men’s League Division One meetings on Mitcham Common. He finished ninth out of more than 200 runners in 28:43 with Jonathan Cornish, who was runner-up in the Oxfordshire championship, just two seconds behind in 10th place. Three other members of the Surrey Championship-winning team, Dimos Evangelidis (24th in 29:31), Matt Sharp (33rd in 30:06) and Joe Clark (39th in 30:19) were the next Hercules Wimbledon runners to finish.
Finn Johnson (56th in 31:01), Richard McDowell (59th in 31:06), Rob Tuer (76th in 31:38), Neil Fraser (88th in 31:58) and David Grima (94th in 32:13) completed the scoring team of 10. Henry Silverstein led the Hercules Wimbledon team home in the joint under 15/under 17 young athletes race finishing 11th in 17:20, while Lloyd Hodgson (13th in 19:25) and Will Belton (18th in 19:51) were the top Hercules Wimbledon finishers in the under 13 race.
Twenty Hercules Wimbledon athletes competed in the South London Athletic Network’s indoor meeting at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton. Best of the sprinters was Antonio Douglas who was second in his third round 60m race in 7.11. Darcey O’Shea won her second 60m race in a personal best of 8.81 and also won the girls under 13 high jump with 1.45m. Another Hercules Wimbledon winner was former Scottish Commonwealth Games representative Alison Murray who took the women’s pole vault with a 3m clearance.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon are competing in an inter-club match over 4.9 miles in Richmond Park starting from close to Roehampton Gate at 2.30pm. Some of the club’s youngsters will be in action in the Surrey Schools Championships at Reigate Priory while others will be competing in the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley.

The second placed Hercules Wimbledon under 13 girls team.

Hercules Wimbledon's Claire Grima (1400)_in action at Croydon



Despite missing two of last year’s championship-winning team, Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross country runners proved their considerable depth in strength to retain their senior men’s team title at Lloyd Park, Croydon, on Saturday.
Hercules Wimbledon went into the 12km championship without Ben Toomer, who led the team to gold medals in 2016, out with a foot injury, and Richard McDowell, the sixth scorer 12 months ago in 23rd place. But the two replacements Joe Toomey and Matt Sharp proved able reserves and Hercules Wimbledon swept  home comfortably to take the gold medals for a second successive year.
Fred Slemeck, second team scorer in 2016, ran a solid race over the undulating three lap course to finish 11th  of the 209 runners in the senior race in 41 minutes 44 seconds, an identical finishing position to the one he managed at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, in 2016. He was followed by Dimos Evangelides(12th in 42:15), Matt Sharp (18th in 42:50), Kieran White (19th in 42:59), Joe Toomey (22nd in 43:07) with Joe Clark (24th in 43:27) completing the gold medal-winning team.
Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon’s young gun Jaleel Roper, made a flying start to 2017 with a championship record-breaking victory in the South of England indoor championships at Lee Valley on Saturday. Roper, 13, raced to victory in the boys under 15 60m in 7.12, smashing his lifetime best. His previous best was 7.22 set when winning the gold medal in the same event last year. He also smashed the championship record of 7.17 set in 2011. His time would also have topped the UK rankings in 2016. Roper speeded up through the rounds as he won his heat in 7.33 and his semi-final in 7.26.
He completed a title-winning double on Sunday by taking the 200m gold medal in 23.71 after cruising through to the final by winning his heat in 24.24, the fastest of the five qualifiers. Also at Lee Valley, Zipporah Golding narrowly missed out on a medal in finishing a close fourth in the girls under 15 200m final in 27.43 after clocking a faster 26.99 in finishing second in her semi-final, a time which would have secured the bronze medal in the final. Although she just failed to make Saturday’s 60m final, Golding posted a lifetime best of 8.14 in winning her 60m heat.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Jonathan Cornish qualified for the Oxfordshire team to compete in the UK Inter-Counties cross country championships at Loughborough in March in finishing runner-up in the Oxfordshire senior men’s 11km championship at Stowe School in 37:19.
Hercules Wimbledon’s men’s under 17 team also won medals at Lloyd Park. Zac Purnell led the quartet to bronze finishing 12th in the 6km race in 20:13 with Henry Silverstein 19th in 21:16, Sam Barker 23rd in 21:27 and James Forde 39th in 24:04. It was Hercules Wimbledon’s best team placing in this age group since 2009.
Hercules Wimbledon’s top women’s runner Claire Grima was missing from the senior women’s team due to a heavy cold and in her absence the team finished down the field in eighth place led in by veteran Gina Galbraith who was 31st of the 129 finishers in 34:46. The girls under 15 team finished one place outside the medals with Georgina Clarke leading in the scoring quartet finishing 11th of the 80 runners in 11:14, Hercules Wimbledon’s best individual placing in this age group since 2009.Ellen Weir also ran strongly to finish 13th in 11:21 with Albane Fery 27th in 11:47 and Millie Doyle 41st in 12:25.
Elsewhere, Hercules Wimbledon’s Max Kiralfyi beat a 450-strong field to win the Bishop’s Park 5km parkrun on Saturday in 16:58, half-a-minute faster than he managed in winning the event on Christmas Day. Adam Harwood had a busy weekend finishing third out of 494 runners in the Wimbledon Common event on Saturday in 18:14, the best of 13 runners in action, and then ion Sunday taking third place in the Nice Work 10km road race in Richmond Park in 37:17, just 21 seconds behind the winner.
This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon are in  league action with the men competing in the 2XU Surrey Men’s League on Mitcham Common where the youngsters’ race over 2.5 miles is at 2.30pm with the seniors five miles battle due off at 3pm. The fairer sex runners are return to Lloyd Park, Croydon for their third 2XU Surrey Ladies League meeting with the seniors off at 12noon.

Hercules Wimbledon's winning Surrey senior men's cross country team:-

L-R Dimos Evangelidis, Joie Toomey, Fred Slemeck, Matt Sharp, Kieran White, Joe Clark.

More photos here...



Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross country runners showed impressive form over the festive season in the run-up to the defence of their Surrey senior men’s cross country team title at  Lloyd Park, Croydon, on Saturday, January 7th.
Ben Toomer and Fred Slemeck, who led the team to the gold medals at Dorking 12 months ago, won parkrun events on Christmas Eve.
Slemeck led a Hercules Wimbledon clean sweep when he headed home a 395-strong field to win the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun in 17 minutes 4 seconds. He finished ahead clubmates David Grima (17:30) and teenager Zac Purnell, who clocked a personal best of 17:31 to post a big improvement on the 18:16 he clocked on the same course in August. A total of 27 Hercules Wimbledon runners took part in the event with over 50 veteran Lisa Thomas second woman to finish.
Meanwhile, Toomer was beating almost 450 runners to win the Chipping Sodbury event in 16:11. Club mate Eileen Brandley was sixth in the women’s race in 23:31.
Slemeck confirmed his good firm as he ended the old year equalling his personal best for the distance in finishing sixth in the Last Friday of the Month 5km event in Hyde Park on December 30th. He clocked 15:44 to match the time he set in Battersea Park in June 2013. Joe Clark, another member of last year’s winning Surrey team also showed he is in form as he finished 19th of the 176 runners in a personal best of 16:32. He sliced just one second off his previous best set at Battersea Park in July 2013.
Young Purnell, who competes in the men’s under 17 championship in Lloyd Park, showed even better form when he posted his first senior parkrun win in Arrow Valley, Redditch, on New Year’s Eve in 17:23, to better his Christmas Eve time on Wimbledon Common by eight seconds. He posted the top male age-graded performance.
Over in Dulwich Park, another member of Hercules Wimbledon’s gold medal-winning senior team 12 months ago,  Kieran White, headed home a 199-strong field to win the parkrun there in 16:33, posting the top age-graded performance in the process.
Joe Toomey, who is also running in Croydon this weekend, was another parkrun winner on New Year’s Eve, taking the event in Chantry Park Ipswich, in 17:34. He won by more than a minute in heading home a 258-strong field.
Hercules Wimbledon’s Matthew Sharp also warmed up for the Surrey cross country championships with a strong parkrun performance. He was runner-up out of more than 200 runners in Dulwich Park on Christmas Day in 16:15, his best parkrun time of the year. Over in Bishop’s Park, Fulham, Hercules Wimbledon’s Max Kiralyfi, in his first race for almost four years, beat the 166-strong field, also on Christmas Day, in 17:28.
Competing in his first parkrun event for more than two years, second-claim member Olly Laws headed home a 503-strong field in Nonsuch Park on New Year’s Eve to win by 23 seconds in 17:46. Ellen Weir gained another win when she took the women’s event in the Newport, Isle of Wight parkrun on New Year’s Eve in 21:15.
Hercules Wimbledon’s faces a busy weekend, In addition to competing in the Surrey cross country championships in Croydon, some of the club’s track and field athletes will contest the South London Athletics Network Indoor Open meeting at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton, on Sunday, The meeting starts at 12noon.

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April 2018
Results of 9 April 2017