Written by DB
With both teams operating in a higher division after last winter?s campaigns,there was much enthusiasm before the fixtures. The women were off first on the Windmilers/VAC course and the large joint Div 1/Div 2 field of 240 were soon strung out,with Rachel Burbridge holding a top twenty placing after the first of the 2 laps.
Sadly,Nicki Murphy had to pull up with a calf strain and,with Charlie Donkin unavailable,the team struggled at this higher level. Rachel maintained excellent form to finish 26th - 24.07,and the 5-strong scoring squad was completed by Avelline Deighton 69th 27.12,Nicky Atkins 79th 27.47,team secretary Debbie Raymond(back after 2 children) 87th 28.13 & Liz Richardson 125th 30.51. Johanna Gibbons 136th 32.12 completed our contingent of the 158 Div One finishers.Interestingly,summer SWL member,Rachel Disley,(Thames H&H) now turned 40,,ran another blinder in 7th(22.11),and in the Stragglers turnout were K&P mums,Sandra Blenkinsop(44th) and Gail Caruana(138th), plus former member,Lynda Chase(100th).Teamwise,we are down the field,in 14th place with 386 points and will need full complements in the remaining matches,the next of which is our own joint M&W fixture on November 27th in Richmond Park(Kingston Gate).In the Under 15 race,held jointly with the Under 13s,Harriet Owens took 11th 12.50 & Isobel Penney 14th 13.09,resulting in 7th team place with 119 pts.In the younger race,Kirsten Owens was 19th in 14.06 and the team place was 11th with 145 pts.There were 37 in the U15 & 32 in the U13. We had no runners in the U20/U17 race,which had only 13 contestants.Full results can be found at - www.windmilers.org.uk
Meanwhile,as they say,just across the golf course,the Men were in action on the Hercules Wimbledon course.though later in the afternoon.In the YA race,Dina Kalonji was 13th 17.42 & Sam Turner 16th 18.18 in the jointly-scored U17/U15 event,resulting in 4th team place(109pts) and Jan-Dominik Vogel took 3rd(17.21) in the U13 section,which gave K&P 3rd in the team(also 109pts). Thereafter,the Seniors,though missing two or three scorers from our potential best 10,set about their business forcefully and four were well up coming past ?the bell?,despite an exceptionally fast opening lap with at least three sub 3.55.0 1500 runners in the vanguard. Confirming his substantial improvement over 800 recently and his winning the Club 5 miles last week,Jamie McCullagh,who will be concentrating on the indoor circuit this winter,led the team home in 4th place in 28.23,one behind summer BAL member,Paul Haywood,this time favouring the Boxhill plumage. Close up were Mark Reed 8th 28.56,Mike Maranzano 10th 29.27,Ant Budarkiewicz 13th(and 1st Vet) 29.44 & Andy Arbour 22nd in 30.15. Completing the 10-man requirement,next came Andy Lawrence 42nd 31.45,Humphrey Waddington a fine 51st and 1st U20 32.09,Ray Allen(a welcome returnee) 54th 32.15,Michael Huntley(held back for sure by a virus) 85th 34.25 & Graeme Horstead(hellbent for the London Marathon) 86th 34.26. Teamwise,the sidelined Bob McDonough will be only too pleased to tell you,we was splendid! Croydon won with 360 points,with K&P just a mere 3 points adrift(363) and with fellow-promoted Walton a further 9 behind(372).After that it was West4 405,Boxhill 436,Stragglers 468,Hercules Wimb 505,BA 578 & Windmilers 608. Fine start but the fairly high totals and closeness suggests one athlete missing here - or another one available there - may well make all the difference come the end of the season. Completing the 17-strong turnout - again a heartening one - were Graham Huntley 95th 37.25,Mike Elliot 104th 39.17,David Barrington 108th 41.07,Geoff Reed 111th 43.19,Mike May 112th 43.31,welcome newcomer Matthew Hyett 113th 43.41 & Cashel Riordan 115th 46.06.Other finishers included David Bell(WW 36th),K&P VP & 3k Steeple record-holder John Barnard(W4H 38th) & ex-member Chris Hogg(Boxhill 60th).Next match,to repeat,is on November 27th on our home course in Richmond Park(Kingston Gate). Full results can be found at - www.herculeswimbledonac.org.uk
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