Surrey County Women’s 4-Stage Road Relay, Wimbledon Park, Saturday 2nd September.
With many taking a break after a long track season and others away on holiday or with other commitments, and also the date was earlier than usual so it was encouraging to get a team out for the first of a series of road and cross country relays this Autumn.
Wimbledon Park was bathed in brilliant warm sunshine and together with the long early hill opposite the All England Tennis Club, the course was even more challenging than usual. Recent recruit Mhairi Hall took the early scramble on leg one very sensibly being careful too with a troublesome calf. She handed over to Claire Stokes, very keen to run in her last race before moving to work in San Francisco. Although perhaps going off a little too sharply, Claire was pleased with her run over a distance far exceeding her usual 800m.
Saron Haileselase has had a torrid summer, injured in both her only two track races and then returning very cautiously in training over the last few weeks. Here, she started cautiously concerned about the uphill section, but then passed runner after runner both male and female finishing in easily the team’s fastest time and not even appearing to be out of breath on the last lap around the track. An excellent confidence booster.
We were very grateful to Rose O’Brien who answered a very late emergency call to complete the team. After a summer training for 400m, Rose was somewhat lacking endurance, but she always seems to be able to turn out km’s in round about 4 minutes and never lets the team down, bringing the Belles home in 7th place Senior team.
Results; 1. SLH 1;08.32, 2. HHH 1;11.42, 3. G & G 1;12.32, 7. Belgrave Harriers 1;18.07
Fastest Legs; 1. J Tomczak SLH 15.42, 2. S McCall SLH 16.20, 3. C Tighe HHH 16.15
With no complete Belgrave Men’s team, Paskar Owor easily won the first stage in a time of 14.21 which ended up the second fastest of the day.
Above: Saron Running in the Relays
L:R Charlie Dickinson, Rose O Brien, Saron Haileselase, Claire Stokes, Mhairi Hall & Paskar Owor
Cardiff 10km, Sunday 3rd September – “BREAKTHROUGH FOR SOPHIE”
In her first ever 10km road race in Cardiff Bay, Sophie Harris finished in a magnificent 3rd place in a time of 34;38.
After the heartbreak of a winter stress fracture resulting in 6 weeks on crutches, Sophie slowly returned to training in the late Spring, increased the intensity over the summer months and produced some outstanding results over 3000m and 5000m in her first season racing on the track. She won her most recent 3000m at Southampton in 9.38 with 9 minutes not out of the question next year.
Starting off sensibly at about 3.30 per km in Cardiff, Sophie passed half way in 17.28, then pushed on in the second half of the race in which she ran in 17.10, incredible to manage a negative split on an undulating course in windy conditions. In fact, the winner, Lily Partridge who has previously won both the South of England Cross country Championship, and the National, only finished a minute in front of Sophie and has run sun 33 minutes on easier courses.
In the same race, Matt Welsh finished in 26th place in the men’s race in a big pb time of 32.54. This too was an excellent result considering Matt was training mainly to race the 1500m this summer.
L:R: Sophie Harris, Rebecca Hilland, Lily Partridge
Women’s Results; 1. L Partridge (AFD) 33.38, 2. R Hilland (Bath), 3. S. Harris (Belgrave) 34.38