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					                                               Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club
                                               Newsletter – January 2006
                                               New Series – No 3

                                               Editor: Pete Mulholland

                                               www.herculeswimbledonac.org.uk

 Have a competitive fix in 2006
                                                       QUADRUPLE RANKING FOR AMELIA
               BACK ON TRACK                           Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club's teenager
After many weeks of frustration it was certainly       Amelia Richards enjoyed a successful year in
good news for the club to witness the re-opening       which she won two Welsh and two Surrey track
of the Wimbledon Park track.                           and field titles, Tom Pollak reports.
Most of us take the track for granted but it           One of the results of her series of outstanding
wasn’t until its forced closure that it was realised   performances is that she has been highly ranked
what a vital cog it is to HW especially as a focal     in four events in the initial UK under-13 girl’s
point. News of forthcoming events can be               lists for 2005.
provided and ‘team spirit’ engendered.                 Richards, who was 13 in October, won the girl’s
It also plays a key role in attracting new             under 13 100m and long jump titles at the Surrey
members as proved by the almost drying up of           championships at Kingsmeadow Stadium in May
recruitment during its closure.                        with 13.47 seconds and 4.38 metres,
However, all credit to Merton Council for their        respectively. She completed a hat-trick of medal-
work in refurbishing the track with its new lane       winning performances by taking silver in the
markings and resurfaced sections of the track          200m in 28.20.
affected by tree roots, plus new runways for the       A month later, she stormed to victory in the
jumps. Also, take a look at the state-of-the art       girl’s under 13 100m at the Welsh
throwing cage. It looks formidable enough to           championships in Cardiff in a lifetime best of
contain the likes of King Kong!                        13.39 which has given her a UK ranking of 17th
                                                       place. She also won the Welsh girl’s under 13
    HW RUNNING VESTS GOING FAST                        long jump with 4.69 metres, a 21 centimetre
The new HW running vests are proving popular           improvement on her previous best, to place her
and Pat Yeates says, “They are going fast.”            12th equal in the UK for her age group in 2005.
Manufactured by Fastrax, the vests certainly           Her 200m silver medal-winning performance at
look the part with the HW badge and Fastrax            the Surrey championships ranked her 21st.
logo on the front and on the reverse the club          Her highest ranking is in the 70m hurdles where
name in full and they only cost £13.00.                her 11.85 clocking at an open meeting at Woking
There are sizes right across the board, ranging        in September puts her 11th in the country.
from those to fit chunky shot putters to will-o’-
the wisp distance runners.                                       FIRST WITH THE NEWS
The main stock is held by Pat who frequently has       According to the size of the file, I can often e-
them available on training evenings at the track.      mail these Newsletters or, if too large, flag up
Pete Mulholland also has a few men’s sizes in          interested parties when it is available to
his possession. However, it must be emphasised         download from the HW website. The November
that payment must be made at time of purchase.         issue was sent to some 115 recipients, not all
Also, if you would like a tracksuit, these can be      HW members, so if there is anyone reading a
obtained in sizes ranging from small up to xxx         printed version and would like quicker access to
large at £40 with a delivery time of 6-8 weeks.        the Newsletter – and in colour - please send me
To meet this price however, orders from the club       an e-mail (petehwac@aol.com) requesting this
to the supplier must be for a minimum of four.         service. Be first – or equal first - with the news.
                                                                                                        1
          OLD PETE’S ALMANAC                                  A BLAST FROM THE PAST
Your Editor forecasts events that are likely to
occur during the year 2006

JANUARY: In an effort to popularise the Surrey
Cross Country Championships, they are now
based on ‘I’m a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here.’
The U15 boy’s winner is disqualified for only
eating two worms during the race.
FEBRUARY: Confusion reigns at the Surrey
Schools Championships when a maths’ master
adds up the team scores incorrectly.
MARCH: An athlete misreads the instructions
for the Sward trophy and takes up fencing
lessons.
APRIL: After taking two days to complete the
Flora London Marathon, the last man home
receives a congestion charge notice in the post.
MAY: There is consternation at the Surrey
County Championships when one of the officials       (l-r): Jon Hancock, Steve Badgery and Steve
is discovered to be less than 50-years-old.          Webb, tackling a hilly section of the 1987 HW
JUNE: An unknown contractor asphalts a large         Club 5. (Photo by Ray O’Donoghue)
part of the countryside in the vicinity of
Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-                    BRING ON THE SUBS
Avon. Apparently, he didn’t realise that the         Among the lists of New Year resolutions that
Olympic car park was required for Stratford, east    HW members have made, among the usual ones
London.                                              of: get fit, train hard, train regular, wash kit etc,
JULY: A Southern League steeplechaser at             hopefully added to them is - pay club
Wimbledon Park, wearing the latest high-tech         subscriptions.
shoes – batteries included – electrocutes himself    Yes, it’s that time of the year again – January 1 –
at the first water jump.                             when the deed has to be done.
AUGUST: In order to maximise their income            The annual cost for membership - among the
from traffic offences, Merton Council designate      cheapest of any UK athletic club - is £15.00 for
lanes 1-3 at the Wimbledon Park track as a bus       those age 19 or over (£10.00 for second claim)
lane. The HW team find they have more points         and £10.00 for those under 19 and for anyone in
on their driving licences than they ever gained in   full-time education (£5.00 for second claim)
a League match.                                      Subs should be sent to the HW Membership
SEPTEMBER: A new study reveals the benefits          Secretary Simon Ingall at 57 Rayleigh Road,
of drinking coffee: its findings being confirmed     SW19 3RE or they can be handed to Pat Yeates
by a team representing the Wimbledon branch of       at the track on training nights. (Cheques payable
Starbucks winning the Surrey Road Relays.            to Hercules Wimbledon AC)
OCTOBER: The Wimbledon 10 is won in                  For those athletes making regular use of
54:08. “It must be a short course,” exclaim the      Lauriston Cottage, payment (cheques preferred)
statisticians, “no one runs that fast.”              can be given to Pete Mulholland.
NOVEMBER: A Sweatshop Surrey League                  There are still some members, competing ones at
race held on Epsom Downs is declared ‘null and       that, who have yet to pay their subs for 2005 and
void’ after the 150-strong field become              a minority go even further back than that.
entangled in the starting stalls.                    Remember that your subscription entitles you to
DECEMBER: After a visit from Health and              free competition during the year, over road,
Safety personnel, the use of Christmas Crackers      country and track. Just think if you pay, say
for the annual HW festive relay is forbidden         £5.00 for each event contested, your charges
under the ‘Explosives Act’.                          would total at least £100 (and that’s being
                                                     generous) during the year.
                                                                                                        2
                                                      RUNNING HELPS TO JOG THE MEMORY
                BRONZE BEN                            According to a recent report in the Daily
Congratulations to Ben Saxby after his medal          Telegraph, some scientists have stated, “Jogging
winning performance in the South of England           can improve your concentration and boost visual
Inter-Counties cross-country championships at         memory.”
RAF Barnham, Suffolk                                  A group of 30 people were given the task of
Competing in the under-23 event, 19-year-old          jogging twice a week for 30 minutes and were
Ben found that he was the fourth scoring              then asked to take numerous tests.
member of the bronze medal-winning Surrey             The researchers at the University of Ulm,
team. Despite being three years younger than          Germany, found that the joggers’ ability to recall
some of the other runners, Ben admitted               images showed a dramatic improvement.
enjoying the experience as he finished 34th in the    (Ed: This certainly goes against the grain
10-kilometres race in 42:18.                          regarding my findings regarding athletes. Many
A County vest and a South of England medal.           of them forget to pay their club subscriptions and
Not a bad day’s work.                                 also, in spite of extensive publicity, they are
                                                      often unaware of details of forthcoming races.)
               JONATHAN’S JOY
Young Jonathan Burgess has been mixing it with
the best the country can offer in the UK Cross
Challenge series of meetings.
Celebrating his 13th birthday on November 11,
almost a week previously to then, Jonathan had
travelled to a muddy and cold Senneleys Park,
Birmingham.
Starting cautiously, Jonathan was down in eighth
place during the early stages of the race but he
moved steadily through and went into the final
kilometre in fourth spot. He then fought hard to
get a podium position and, in a thrilling chase for
the line, held off two other runners to snatch the
bronze medal by just one second.
Next stop was Liverpool where the course
proved to be flat and fast and after being third at
the half-way point he had to settle for fourth
after a desperate dash to the finish line to be
edged out in a three-way battle for third.
Jonathan, a pupil at St Cecilia's School,
Southfields, was one of the farthest travelling
runners taking part in the race as most of the
competitors came from the Merseyside area.
Jonathan’s dad, David, was delighted with his         Not sure who this smooth looking guy is but
run. "The distance was only 2.81 kilometres and       hopefully he will charm you into attending what
Jono's preference is to run further in mud and        should be a great evening.
over hills - the steeper the better! His time was
10:04 which is a lot quicker than he has ever                  HW TRAINING SESSIONS
covered that distance on the track."                  Hercules Wimbledon training sessions take place
Jonathan is now setting his sights on producing       for all ages at Wimbledon Park track every
another good performance when he competes in          Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 onwards. For
his third UK Cross Challenge meeting at Cardiff       the younger athletes there are also sessions on
on January 22.                                        Sunday mornings starting at 10:30. All standards
                                                      welcome – beginners or experienced.
                                                      Organised pack runs are held from Lauriston
                                                      Cottage, Southside Wimbledon Common, on
                                                      Wednesday evening, leaving at 7pm sharp.
                                                                                                     3
 MORE NEWS OF NATIONAL RANKINGS
In addition to news of Amelia Richards
achievements as shown on page one, Tom Pollak
also reports on HW teenagers Emily Martin, Ike
Mba and Jonathan Burgess who are all highly
ranked in the provisional UK lists for 2005.
Emily, who now goes to Coombe Sixth Form
College, Kingston, is placed sixth equal in the
women's long jump with a leap of 5.71 metres,                                                THE TALE
achieved in winning the final Lily B League                                                  OF A TREE
meeting of the season at Kingsmeadow Stadium
in September. She also gained a double win in
the Surrey championships in May winning the
women's under 17 200m and long jump and,
earlier in the year, she gained a hat-trick in the
Surrey indoor championships winning the under
17 60m, long and triple jump titles.                 Above is a landmark that is familiar with
Emily also won the bronze medal in the South of      decades of Hercules Wimbledon cross-country
England indoor long jump championship at             runners: the old oak tree that is the basis of the
Bedford back in January and in the outdoor           starting line for the Bank of England races in
championships at Portsmouth, she took the            Richmond Park. What a sorry state it is now
bronze medal. She just missed out winning a          compared to the mighty specimen that gave pre-
medal at the AAA Championships at                    race shelter and protected spare clothing on a
Birmingham in August where she finished              rainy day.
fourth. She also competed in the triple jump         Hugh Saxby, who as well as being one of
championship at Birmingham where her wind-           Surrey’s leading M50 runners is also an
assisted leap of 11.33 metres ranked her 17th in     authority on trees, believes that the species
the country.                                         is Quercus robur, the so-called English oak.
Ike, now 18, is ranked fifth in the junior men's     As for the longevity of this particular trees, Hugh
long jump with his championship record-              says, “As we can't count the tree rings, its age
breaking leap of 7.18 metres set when winning        can be roughly calculated using a tape measure
the Surrey junior men's indoor title at Sutton in    and a rule of thumb. Every 2.5cm of girth
March. He was just pipped for the gold medal in      corresponds to approximately one year's growth.
the outdoor championships at Kingsmeadow             So a tree with a girth of 100cm will be about 40
where he took silver with 6.66 metres jumping        years old (100 divided by 2.5). Whilst oaks
into a stiff headwind. Ike’s best individual         increase their size at a uniform rate, it's still very
performance of the summer was taking the silver      hard to be precise about age. This one could be
medals in the senior boy’s championship at the       approaching 200 years old.”
English Schools Meeting at Birmingham in July        In the interests of research, your Editor measured
where he leapt 6.92 metres.                          the tree (passers by thought he was hugging it!)
At the Surrey championships in May, Ike also         and came away with a measurement of 13-feet.
posted a personal best 100m time of 11.05 to         Armed with this information the tree is estimated
reach the junior men's final. His best long jump     to be at least 160 years old.
effort of the summer was a leap of 6.96 metres at    But as Hugh advises, “There are lots of other
Kingsmeadow in June.                                 factors in calculating its age such as the history
Jonathan, now 13, is ranked seventh in the boys      of the site, its openness, soil conditions and
under 13 1500m with a personal best time of          moisture availability.
4:43.18 he achieved at a National Young              “There are also historical references to the trees
Athletes Meeting at Kingsmeadow Stadium in           in Richmond park which was created in the 17th
July.                                                Century when King Charles I enclosed the area
Earlier in the summer Jonathan took the silver       as a royal hunting ground.”
medal in the boys under 13 1500m event at the        Recently, a tree estimated as being 500 years old
Surrey championships.                                was destroyed by the actions of picnickers who
                                                     left their portable barbecue within its trunk!
                                                                                                          4
                                                       This now puts the club in fourth place overall at
                                                       the halfway stage but breathing down the neck of
October 29: Bank of England AC Inter Club              The Stragglers and Dulwich who together with
4.9 miles, Richmond Park, Roehampton                   Ranelagh - looking ‘home and dry’ in first place
1 Paul Haywood (K&P) 24:58. HW: 6 Richard              - fill those vital three promotion spots.
Xerri 27:20; 9 Jamie Helmer 27:53; 10 Hugh             In the U15/U17 race, Luke’s first place was
Saxby 28:18; 16 John Querstret 30:29; 21 Claire        supported by the ever improving Sean Crummy
Cann (1st woman) 30:44; 26 Dave Betts 32:06;           in third as they led HW to a conclusive victory
37 Alan Turner 35:17                                   and the team now find themselves in second
TEAMS (6-to-score): 1 Thames Hare & Hounds             place, just two points adrift of Epsom and Ewell.
47; 2 Kingston & Polytechnic 77; 3 Hercules            The U13s had to settle for second, 16 points
Wimbledon 88                                           behind Ranelagh and now need to close them
                                                       down by some 28 points in order to retain their
November 12: South of Thames CCA 5-mile
                                                       league title.
Team Race, Lloyd Park, Croydon
                                                       Senior: 1 Ian Horrocks (HW) 27:19; 2 Phil
South of Thames President Tom Pollak was
                                                       Rillingley (Ranelagh) 27:29. HW: 6 Alex Bodin
more than pleased to present the bronze medal to
                                                       28:19; 11 Richard Xerri 28:48; 16 Jamie Helmer
Ian Horrocks on the runner’s first official
                                                       29:17; 21 Gary Blesson 29:46; 23 Neil Fraser
championship event for HW.
                                                       29:55; 31 Phil Glynn 30:18; 41 Leo Cox 30:54;
A much improved turnout for the club for this
                                                       49 Hugh Saxby 31:04; 54 Peter Lee 31:15; 73
event which saw them close in two teams and
                                                       Dan Bodin 32:02; 85 Jonty Summers 32:35; 89
also finish a creditable fourth in the eight-to-
                                                       Martin O’Halloran 32:43; 91 John Querstret
score competition.
                                                       32:49; 99 Eric Blackmore 33:20; 100 Barry
1 Jermaine Mays (Kent AC) 28:25; 2 James
                                                       White 33:30; 104 Martin Miller 33:36; 106
Connor (Kent AC) 28:33; 3 Ian Horrocks (HW)
                                                       Maurice Sharp 33:40; 120 Steve Hadley 34:30;
28:47. Other HW: 41 Neil Fraser 31:48; 51
                                                       125 Dave Betts 35:01; 133 Tim Bartley 35:35;
Hugh Saxby 32:31; 54 Peter Lee 32:32; 68 Phil
                                                       138 Mike Forward 36:05; 141 Barry King 36:20;
Glynn 33:23; 99 Steve Sinnott 34:50; 105 John
                                                       160 Richard Vanderpuijie 40:35
Querstret 35:13; 121 Tom Morris 36:36; 156
                                                       TEAMS: 1 Ranelagh H 194; 2 Hercules
Fred Green 39:07; 210 Rowena Hornshaw 46:20
                                                       Wimbledon 252; 3 Dulwich R 391
TEAMS (4-to-score): 1 Kent AC 22…8
                                                       After two matches: 1 Ranelagh H 364; 2
Hercules Wimbledon 149…21 Hercules
                                                       Stragglers 732; 2 Dulwich R 765; 4 Hercules
Wimbledon ‘B’ 370
                                                       Wimbledon 775
TEAMS (8-to-score): 1 Kent AC 151…4
                                                       U17/U15: 1 Luke Jones (HW) 14:24; 2 Alex
Hercules Wimbledon 519
                                                       Byrne (Epsom & Ewell) 14:41; 3 Sean Crummy
November 19: Sweatshop Surrey Men’s                    (HW) 15:22. Other HW: 7 Charlie Carrington
League, Richmond Park, Kingston                        15:59; 8 Deyan Knespl 16:06; 14 Levi Durant
What a day for HW with 24 runners in the senior        18:16; 16 Jake Bodin 22:38
race plus 13 young athletes in action. Also on a       TEAMS: 1 Hercules Wimbledon 33; 2 Epsom &
day that saw the first ever Surrey League race to      Ewell 80; 3 Ranelagh H 93
make use of chip timing, the club supplied all         After two matches: 1 Epsom & Ewell 105; 2
three individual winners. Take a bow Ian               Hercules Wimbledon 107; 3 Croydon H 151.5
Horrocks, Luke Jones and Jonathan Burgess.             U13: 1 Jonathan Burgess (HW) 15:16; 2 Taylor
The senior race was also notable for the return        Nunn (Ranelagh) 16:32. Other HW: 7 Oliver
after injury of Alex Bodin whose impressive            Horrocks 17:44; 10 Paul Stables 18:17; 13 Harry
sixth place made it another first for the club as he   Wignall 18:54; 16 Liam White 19:32; 17
took the U20 honours.                                  Matthew Burgess 19:33; 22 Joe Bodin 22:38
Making his debut for the club was Gary Blesson         TEAMS: 1 Ranelagh H 26; 2 Hercules
whose 21st placing as the fifth HW athlete home        Wimbledon 38; 3 Croydon H 119
augurs well for the club’s fortunes.                   After two matches: 1 Ranelagh H 75; 2
The team result saw HW place second to                 Hercules Wimbledon 102.5; 3 Epsom & Ewell
promotion favourites Ranelagh Harriers but well        189
clear of third place Dulwich Runners.

                                                                                                      5
                                                    half-a-point, in the girls under 15 section with
Alex Bodin racing                                   Rosemary in fourth place, leading the Hercules
back from injury                                    Wimbledon team to fifth position. Rosemary just
to finish as first                                  pipped her sister in the vertical jump but they
U20 in the                                          reversed positions in speed bounce. Jennifer was
Sweatshop Surrey                                    also second equal in the four lap race.
League in                                           Hercules Wimbledon's under-13 boy’s team was
Richmond Park                                       also fifth led in by newcomer Jose Costa.
                                                    Another Sportshall newcomer Jonathan Dwonga
                                                    was ninth in the boy’s under-15 competition
                                                    leading the Hercules Wimbledon team to seventh
                                                    place. Natasha Skeet was the leading member of
                                                    the girl’s under-13 team.

                                                    December 3: Ranelagh H Ellis Trophy 5.53
                                                    miles, Richmond Park, Petersham
November 19: Surrey Ladies League, Division         RICHARD ENDS THREE YEAR WINNING
2, Reigate                                          DROUGHT
Steph Robson repeated her victory of the            Hercules Wimbledon’s Richard Xerri gained a
opening league fixture to record HW’s fifth         dramatic victory in the annual Ellis Trophy race
individual honour of the day to add to the          in Richmond Park to post his first running
successes in the men’s corresponding fixture.       victory for several years, reports Tom Pollak.
Claire Cann continued her progress through the      Richard, one of the country's leading duathletes,
ranks of Surrey women to take third, improving      shot off like a hare and left the field some way
on her seventh place in the previous league race.   back over a damp and slippery course. He
Senior: 1 Steph Robson (HW) 19:20; 2 Elinor         gradually opened up a sizeable lead over the
Caborn (Sutt R) 19:28; 3 Claire Cann (HW)           chasing runners and by the half-way point had a
20:22                                               200 metre advantage.
TEAMS: 1 Sutton R 69…11 Hercules                    But then, danger struck, as Richard, who finished
Wimbledon 275                                       second in the open race at the European duathlon
After two matches: 1 Sutton R 161…11                championships in Belgium in the summer,
Hercules Wimbledon 570                              seemed to run out of steam and spent the rest of
U15: 1 Sophie Cowper (RSB) 11:30. HW: 7             the race desperately clinging onto his advantage.
Jennifer Fernando 12:05…15 Rosemary                 The chasing group slowly pulled him back but,
Fernando 12:55                                      in the end, they ran out of time as Richard
TEAMS: 1 Guildford & G 34…7 Hercules                sneaked home by less than 30m in 31:08
Wimbledon 113                                       seconds. "I've stopped cycling and am spending
After two matches: 1 Guildford & G 66…7             more time running," he said, recalling the last
Hercules Wimbledon 207                              time he won a race was three years ago when he
U13: 1 Megan Evans (Belgrave) 11:32…19              took the Towpath 10 at Chiswick.
Michaela Knespl (HW) 12:56                          1 Richard Xerri (HW) 31:08; 2 Graham Brook
TEAMS: 1 Guildford & G 41…12 Hercules               (Stragglers) 31:13. Other HW: 12 Gary Blesson
Wimbledon 199                                       33:29; 13 Leo Cox 33:33; 23 Mike Treadwell
After two matches: 1 Guildford & G 84…13            34:18; 25 Steve Sinnott 34:45; 40 John Querstret
Hercules Wimbledon 415                              36:04; 49 Sean Crummy 36:48; 57 Tom Morris
                                                    37:25; 59 Martin Miller 37:28; 60 Maurice Sharp
November 27: Surrey County Sportshall, The          37:51; 66 Tim Bartley 36:18; 68 Dave Betts
Spectrum, Guildford                                 38:23; 73 Mike Forward 38:51; 76 Fred Green
No results to hand but Tom Pollak’s report notes    39:15; 78 Mark Larche 39:29; 79 Barry King
some good performances by the HW youngsters.        39:55; 81 Dave Thorne 40:06; 92 Liam White
‘Hercules Wimbledon twins Jennifer and              41:18; 114 Kevin Burnett 59:36
Rosemary Fernando were in good form in the          TEAMS: 1 Stragglers 149; 2 Ranelagh H 239; 3
opening Surrey Sportshall meeting of the winter     Serpentine RC 270; 4 Hercules Wimbledon 272
at Guildford. Jennifer was second, beaten by just
                                                                                                   6
December 3: Ranelagh H Dysart Cup 4.11              Tim Bartley; 10 Mike Forward; 11 Keith Drake;
miles, Richmond Park, Petersham                     12 Graham Bradbury; 13 Fred Green
Hercules Wimbledon closed in a team in the          Women: 1 Steph Robson
women's four miles Dysart Cup for the first time    Lauriston RC Championship: 1 Neil Fraser; 2
as Claire Cann led them into third place as she     Hugh Saxby; 3 Eric Blackmore; 4 Maurice Sharp
finished seventh.
Making her club debut, Katy Luufingham proved
to be that vital fifth HW scorer.
1 Clare Gutch (Ranelagh) 26:02. HW: 7 Claire                                       Neil Fraser – seen
Cann 27:34; 15 Melanie Jones 28:56; 21 Serena                                      here in League
Brotherton 30:29; 24 Amandine King 30:35; 50                                       action – captures
Katy Luffingham 37:38                                                              both the HW and
TEAMS: 1 Stragglers 28; 2 Ranelagh H 50; 3                                         Lauriston titles.
Serpentine 63; 4 Hercules Wimbledon 69

December 10: Veterans AC Inter Club 5.5
miles, Wimbledon Common
A change from the usual pre-Christmas home
fixture saw the club accept an invitation from      December 13: Christmas Cracker Relay,
Veterans AC to compete in a well organised race     Wimbledon Park Track
over an admittedly tougher three-lap course than    A record number of 50 competitors braved the
that used by HW.                                    artic conditions, a number that almost caught Pat
Led home by the youngest HW competitor on           Yeates napping regarding the total of ‘goody
show, 18-year-old Neil Fraser, and aided by Leo     bags’ that were required.
Cox, Phil Glynn and Hugh Saxby all making           It was a close run affair throughout the race,
top-ten places, the club managed to just shade      proving that the Personal Entry Track Evaluator
the hosts with a below strength Thames’ outfit in   (P.E.T.E) computer programme got the team
third.                                              selections just about right.
Steph Robson, whose plans to compete for            1 Fraser’s Follies: Neil Fraser, Caroline Hicks,
Surrey in an inter-county match fell through        Flo King, Charlie Carrington, Camille Duval
because of work commitments, proved first           2 Jacob’s Angels: Jacob Archibald, Jennifer
woman home as she placed a highly creditable        Fernando, Barry King, Emily Martin, Gabby
12th.                                               Heaney
1 Dave Symons (THH) 31:34. HW: 5 Neil               3 Mark’s Marauders: Mark Giraud, K.C. To,
Fraser 33:15; 6 Leo Cox 33:47; 7 Phil Glynn         Eleanor Smith-Hahn, Ayesha Hoyle, Jonathan
34:24; 9 Hugh Saxby 34:39; 12 Steph Robson          Burgess
(1st woman) 36:00; 13 John Querstret 36:07; 15      4 Walcott’s Warriors: Geoff Walcott, Laure
Eric Blackmore 37:06; 19 Martin O’Halloran          Caussemelle, Tom Brandon, Rosemary
37:43; 20 Peter Giles* (THH) 37:47; 21 Maurice      Fernando, Marcus Noble
Sharp 37:50; 22 Tim Bartley 38:58; 23 Mike          5 Canned Heat: Claire Cann, Jose Costa, Ryan
Forward 38:59; 25 Keith Drake* (VAC/Wimb            Watson, Dwayne Dowding, Lucy England
W) 39:27; 31 Graham Bradbury* (VAC/SLH)             6 Raisa Sharp Runners: Raisa Lemersva,
40:15; 32 Fred Green 40:24 (* HW 2nd claim)         Derek Frempong, Ross Savill, Liam White,
TEAMS (9-to-score): 1 Hercules Wimbledon            Mary Brandon
104; 2 Veterans AC 111; 3 Thames Hare &             7 Hogan’s Heroes: Aiden Hogan, Gina
Hounds 163                                          Andrews, Sean Crummy, Maylene De Luce,
TEAMS (Veterans only – 5-to-score): 1               Megan Brown
Veteran AC 17; 2 Hercules Wimbledon 43; 3           8 Amandine’s Army: Amandine King, Sophie
Thames Hare & Hounds 59                             Greenwood, Martin O’Halloran, Kamil Shah,
HW Championships – Men (Borough News                Praful Nargund
Cup): 1 Neil Fraser; 2 Leo Cox; 3 Phillip Glynn;    9 Bodin’s Brigands: Jake Bodin, Harry Wignall,
4 Hugh Saxby; 5 John Querstret; 6 Eric              Luis Costa, Joanna Osafo, Thomas Archie
Blackmore; 7 Peter Giles; 8 Maurice Sharp; 9        10 Paxton’s Pirates: Ed Paxton, Jade Brooks,
                                                    Jay Burden, Yamini, Lauren Jacques
                                                                                                     7
December 17: South of the Thames CCA                Standing on the sidelines was former Herne Hill
Championships (7.5 miles), Wimbledon                Harrier great, Mike Gowan who way back in
Common                                              1967 covered 19,505 metres within the hour.
Two weeks after achieving his first race win for    That is not too far short of two 30 minute
three years, Richard Xerri continued his roller-    10,000m races back-to-back.! Just think, if that
coaster running career when he dropped out at       was today he could have won this event twice
the end of the second lap with a calf problem       over…and on his own!
after heading the Hercules Wimbledon                Special mention to Steve and Sonia Rowland of
contingent in the initial stages of the race, Tom   Ranelagh Harriers who less than two hours
Pollak reports.                                     previously had competed in the Bushy Park 5km.
With Xerri dropping out, it was Jamie Helmer        1 Alex Bodin (HW)/Andy Robinson (THH)
who led the Hercules Wimbledon team home            5miles:1420yards; 2 Dave Symons (THH)/T
finishing 35th in 44:36.                            McIntyre (Sutt R) 5:1290; 3 Kieran White
There was a gap before the next Hercules            (HW)/Steve Rowland (Rane) 5:1037…5 Dan
Wimbledon and Gary Blesson, Adam                    Bodin (HW)/Dave Beaver (unatt) 5:805; 6
Przedrzymirski and Leo Cox crossed the line in      Gervaise King (HW)/Mike Kortenray (RRC)
quick succession in 65th, 69th and 73rd places in   5:736; 7 Richard Xerri (HW)/Sonia Rowland
46:56, 47:05 and 47:26. Phil Glynn, 81st in         5:638; 8 Dave Huck (WSEH)/Fred Green (HW)
48:15 and Peter Lee, 99th in 49:28, completed       5:580; 9 Martin Miller (HW)/Kate Symons
the scoring team                                    (THH) 5:501; 10 Keith Hylands (HW)/Jake
Also competing in the event was Claire Cann -       Bodin (HW) 5:296; 11 Marco Ciglia (HW)/Don
over arguably the longest ever distance (7.5        Anderson (Belg) 5:231; 12 A Przedrzymirski
miles) contested in a women’s cross-country         (HW)/Mike May (K&P) 5:203; 13 Dave Betts
Championship race.                                  (HW)/Keith Drake (Wimb W) 5:72
Placing seventh, Claire also made a little bit of
HW history by being the first ever female from      December 31: Lauriston/HW 7-mile Road
the club to compete in these championships.         Race, Wimbledon Common
Men: 1 John McFarlane (Thames H&H) 40:30.           Newcomer to the local
HW: 35 Jamie Helmer 44:36; 65 Gary Blesson          racing scene Tom
46:56; 69 Adam Przedrzymirski 47:05; 73 Leo         Kingsnorth (right*)
Cox 47:26; 81 Phil Glynn 48:15; 99 Peter Lee        proved an easy winner,
49:28; 103 Hugh Saxby 49:48; 109 John               collecting an Arthur
Querstret 50:23; 113 Ben Saxby 50:36; 154 Fred      Whitehead Memorial
Green 56:12                                         Medal in the process.
TEAMS (6-to score): 1 Herne Hill H 76…9             The race also attracted
Hercules Wimbledon 422                              an excellent total of
Women: 1 Jo Ronaldson (Ranelagh) 48:05…7            some 17 HW runners
Claire Cann (HW) 52:04                              with Jamie Helmer
                                                    leading them home.
December 25: 52nd Lauriston RC 30-minute            Richard Xerri put aside his defeat by training
Paarlauf, Wimbledon Common                          partner Gary Blesson to take the Lauriston title
Good as it was to see 17-year-old Alex Bodin        ahead of Neil Fraser and Steve Sinnott
become the youngest ever athlete to be part of a    1 Tom Kingsnorth (Bristol & West/Thames
winning team, it was the appearance of some         H&H) 36:58. HW: 4 Jamie Helmer 39:41; 5
HW men of yesterday that created much of the        Gary Blesson 39:59; 7 Richard Xerri 41:07; 8
interest.                                           Adam Przedrzymirski 41:12; 9 Neil Fraser
Gervaise King, Dave Beaver, Mike Kortenray          42:12; 11 Leo Cox 42:35; 12 Steve Sinnott
and Keith Hylands brought some memories             43:10; 14 Hugh Saxby 43:17; 19 Martin Miller
flooding back as they made an all-too-rare          44:50; 20 Tom Morris 45:20; 21 Dennis
competitive outing.                                 Williams 46:39; 22 Marco Ciglia 47:25; 23 Mike
“Mike Kortenray and Dave Beaver,” John              Forward 48:33; 25 Fred Green 49:27; 28 Mike
Phelan e-mailed, adding, “the ghosts of             Fuller 51:06; 29 Paul Roche 52:11
Christmas past.”                                    *Photo by Ray O’Donoghue

                                                                                                  8
Tips to help make the Race Director’s Day!             time you finished and they wouldn't be daft
1. Ensure that your entry form is completed as         enough to note you down again, would they?
illegibly as possible. This means that the Race        7. Of course, if you don’t want the souvenir
Director and/or the results guy can have a good        you’ve paid for, just duck out under the funnel
laugh on the morning of the race, trying to            tape between the finish line and the number
decipher your scrawl when they’ve nothing              recorders. That way, you’ll avoid the silly
better to do.                                          woman with the medals and it’s a real hoot
Also, if you belong to one club of several in a        watching the faces in the results room when they
town, just mark the town name for the club. The        try to work out where all the extra times have
organiser is bound to know which club you’re in!       come from.
2. Don’t mark your sex/age/date of birth on the        8. So that you can get away quickly, find out
form. Reason? See 1 above. It adds a bit of            where the results are being compiled. The chap
interest to an otherwise mundane job as you try        in there won’t mind a bit of a rest for a few
to calculate an age category or to remember            minutes from typing in all those numbers. He’ll
whether Frances and Lesley are male or female.         happily stop to chat with you and let you know
Or just put an initial for your first name and         where you came and what your time was. He’ll
don’t tell us your sex. We can work this out from      also enjoy a lengthy discussion about whether
your handwriting.                                      your time was recorded correctly. In fact, it
3. Turn up with one minute to go before the            would be an ideal opportunity to tell him that
“off” and insist on holding everyone up while          you actually finished several places ahead of
you run to the start line, then run back to            where your number is on the sheet, because you
registration to get some pins, then find someone       stopped to have a chat or a stretch after the line.
to put your number on. No one minds a                  If you can’t get to the results, the timekeepers
latecomer, especially if the rain is horizontal.       usually don’t mind being interrogated while you
After all, you’re paying a premium for being a         stand over their shoulders or in front of them or
latecomer (maybe it should be £5 extra in the last     whatever.
10 minutes....)                                        9. At the prize-giving, it helps if you can wait
4. Wear your number on your back, inside your          until all the prizes have been distributed before
shorts, on your other jumper, on the tracksuit you     you point out that your age category is wrong or
left with your wife at the start. You spoil all the    that you ran in your wife’s number and she had
fun if you just pin it on the front of your vest! Or   yours. But that should have been obvious to the
wear it upside down, for a bit of variety. This is     marshals at the finish, shouldn’t it? It’s always
especially good with numbers like 966, 161, 66         easy to get prizes back.
and so on. Some organisers spoil things, though,       10. Don’t forget to forget the SAE requested -
by printing stuff on the number in an effort to get    nothing we like better than addressing and
you to wear it the right way up! But then, you         making up our own envelopes and paying for
could always fold up or cut off the silly printed      postage out of the tight race budget! Oh, and
bits and still get your number upside down...          don’t forget that you don’t really have to sign
5. After crossing the finish line, ignore those        that cheque you're sending.
pointless chaps shouting at you to stay in line        11. Back to the SAE - if it’s self adhesive, make
and keep moving. What do they know? You’ve             sure you fold it back on itself so that it’s well
just run a race, for goodness sake. They’ve just       and truly stuck together and it has to be ripped
been idly standing around all morning. As soon         apart to use it. “Stamp?” – that’s the S in
as you’ve crossed the line, stand around and           SAE! And writing your name and address on the
have a good chat with your mates over the              envelope just takes all the fun out if it!
barrier. The results can easily be re-compiled         12. Just so nothing gets lost, remember to staple
after you’ve pointed out where everyone else           EVERYTHING together when you send in your
came in behind you. Better still, just duck out of     entry! Staple the cheque to the entry form; staple
the funnel (see tip 7).                                the entry form to the SAE (if you've remembered
6. Don’t just get your race souvenir and wander        to enclose it) and then staple the flap down on
off for your hotpot. Why not jog back out to           your envelope so it goes right through the lot.
meet your friends who still have to finish and         There’s nothing better than unpicking staples in
then run back in with them. After all, the             front of a roaring log fire on a winter's evening.
timekeepers will recognise you from the first          Thanks to John Schofield of www.ukresults.net
                                                                                                          9
                                                      January 14: Surrey Ladies League, Merrow
                                                      Downs, near Guildford
                                                      Seniors: 12:30pm U17/U20: 1:15. U13/U15 1:45
January 7: Surrey County AA Cross Country             Public transport is probably a no-goer here but
Championships, Lloyd Park, Croydon                    the venue is easily accessible via the A3 – follow
U13B: 11am U13G: 11:03. U15B: 11:25. U15G:            the signs to Merrow and then the Merrow Golf
11:30. U17W/U20: 12:00. U17M: 12:30. U20M:            Club.
1:05. SW: 1.15. SM: 2:10                              Team Manager Amy Fraser will be contacting
Changing accommodation, results, refreshments         possible competitors with fuller details of the
and presentations will be at Archbishop Tenison       venue but it would make life easier if you could
School, Selborne Road which is a short jog from       contact her on (020) 8947 1532 to advise of your
the course. Numbers will available at the start.      intentions.
Parking at meters is in limited supply near to the
school plus – if available – a free car park is       January 21: East Surrey League XC Relays,
sited just within the Park entrance nearby.           Wimbledon Common
There is also a free car park – with a three hour     U13: 2:00pm U15/U17/Seniors: 2:30
limit – next to the Lloyd Park tram stop which is     Moved from the traditional October date, this
very close to the race start.                         event over a two-mile lap, is being hosted by
An easy option is to take the tram from               HW so if not competing please be prepared to
Wimbledon, change at East Croydon, to the             assist.
Lloyd Park stop.                                      Use of Lauriston Cottage will be made available
Reminder: Club vests must be worn                     and please attempt to arrive early so that teams
                                                      and running orders can be sorted.
January 8: Surrey County Sportshall Young             Remember, that this is also the day of the HW
Athletes Meeting, The Spectrum, Guildford             social so perhaps some of the members can
A popular means of maintaining athletic fitness       arrive in Wimbledon early and become involved
and enthusiasm during the cold winter months.         in the event.
Details are available at the Track from either
Ann or Phillip Martin. The coordinator for the        January 28: South of England AA Cross
HW teams, John Dennis, will no doubt be               Country Championships, Exeter
making contact with possible competitors. Or,         HW teams have been entered in this event so
you can always give John a call on 8946 9989          please contact Pete Mulholland for full details.
                                                      It will obviously involve much travelling but this
January 12: Merton School’s Championships,            event is always a great occasion and a good
Cannon Hill Fields                                    preparation for the National Championships.
There are normally an abundance of HW
members competing in this event. However,             February 4: Sweatshop Surrey League,
make sure that your school’s sports master is         Richmond Park, Petersham
aware of the race as you need to run in order to      Young Athletes 2:30 Seniors 3:00
qualify for the Surrey School’s Championships.        Could this be the one that sees HW gain
                                                      promotion to the heady heights of Division 1?
January 14: Sweatshop Surrey Men’s League,            Let us hope so: but we need everyone out.
Lloyd Park, Croydon                                   Most HW members are familiar with the venue
Young Athletes 2:00pm         Seniors 2:30pm          based at the Ranelagh Harriers club house with
(Note: earlier start times)                           the start being close to Pembroke Lodge just
The race will be organised from the Clubhouse         within the Richmond gate entrance to the Park.
adjacent to the Lloyd Park tram stop. Free
parking, with a three hour limit, is available here   February 4: Surrey Ladies League, Richmond
or you can make use of local side roads opposite.     Park, Petersham
As for the previous week’s Surrey                     Seniors: 12:30pm U17/U20: 1:15. U13/U15 1:45
Championships, travel by tram is recommended.         Venue details as above. Try and give Amy a
We need a good attendance to continue the push        final league flourish even if it is only to show
for promotion. Don’t waste our earlier efforts        your appreciation of all her hard work during the
brilliantly enacted in November.                      season.
                                                                                                     10
February 5: Surrey County Sportshall Young            March 4: Ranelagh Harriers Inter-Club 3.8
Athletes Meeting, The Spectrum, Guildford             miles, Richmond Park, Petersham 3pm
The third and final meeting in the series of          The final cross-country race of the season with a
events where the club has had some promising          nice and easy short course to sign off with.
results this season                                   As with all inter-club fixtures both men and
Details are available at the Track from either        women are invited.
Ann or Phillip Martin. The coordinator for the        No need to give travel details as everyone must
HW teams, John Dennis, will no doubt be               now be on automatic pilot for this venue.
making contact with possible competitors. Or,
you can always give John a call on 8946 9989          March 5: Merton Borough Mini Marathon
                                                      Trials, Wimbledon Common (Camp Road)
February 11: Kingston & Polytechnic 9-miles           Entry forms are available at the Track for an
Inter-Club, Richmond Park, Sheen 2.00pm               event that members of HW usually tend to
The distance may deter some HW members but            dominate.
there’s no reason why the race cannot be used as      Organised by the HW, the race is based at The
a good training run. Have your long weekend run       Study School, Camp Road and run over a very
today and take it easy on the Sunday.                 flat two miles
As with the five-miler that opened the season,
the race starts next to the cross-roads close to      March 19: Kingston & Polytechnic Open
Sheen Gate.                                           Meeting, Kingsmeadow Stadium, Kingston
                                                      Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the
February 12: Wandsworth Borough Mini                  track beckons.
Marathon Trials, Battersea Park                       This is an ideal opportunity to test your level of
Forms are available at the Track so make sure         fitness for the forthcoming track season and to
you young Wandsworth residents enter so as to         evaluate whether those hard winter sessions at
gain selection for the ‘big’ race in London on        Wimbledon Park have been beneficial.
April 23 and have a day to remember.
                                                      March 29: HW Annual General Meeting and
February 18: Bank of England Inter-Club,              Presentation Evening, Wimbledon Park Golf
Richmond Park, Roehampton 2:30pm                      Club, Home Park Road, SW19 – 7pm
Our second ‘Bank’ fixture of the season – we are      Not a competitive fixture as such but a very
being spoilt.                                         important meeting in which all HW athletes
The race starts just inside the Park near to          should make an effort to attend
Roehampton Gate and changing accommodation
                                                                   ADVANCE NOTICE
is in the Bank’s luxurious facilities, which is
                                                      Sunday April 9: 25th HW Young Athletes
accessed off Bank Lane, off Priory Lane, SW15.
                                                      Meeting, Crystal Palace.
February 25: National Cross Country                   Probably the biggest day in the HW calendar so
Championships, Parliament Hill Fields                 it is one to put in your diary. It is hoped that
U15B: 11:05. U17W/U20W: 11:30. U13G:                  many of the club’s youngsters will take
12:00. U17M: 12:20. U15G: 12:50. U20M: 1:15.          advantage of a free entry and enjoy the
U13B: 2:00. SW: 2:15. SM: 3:00                        excitement of competing in a world famous
If you only run one cross-country race in you         stadium.
lifetime, make it this one! At a venue that many      Also, the club need as much assistance as
consider to be the spiritual home of the sport the    possible on the day of the meeting to ensure its
charge up the first hill will live on in your         usual smooth running. If you can help, contact
memory whether running or watching.                   Meeting Organiser Nick Getting on 01737
Gone are the days when HW took gold in the            360375
U13 Girl’s team race and both silver and bronze
in the Senior Men’s team race but finishing
                                                                  WELCOME
teams throughout the age scales is still a priority   Hercules Wimbledon AC wishes to give a hearty
for the club.                                         welcome to the following new members.
                                                      Gary Blesson, Deon Coetzee, Ka Chuen To, Anna
Once every three years the ‘National’ makes a
                                                      Berry, Alexandra Borthwick, Philip Glynn, Michael
return to the South so take what is practically       Adjei-Tabirade, Frans Havinga
‘home’ advantage.
                                                                                                     11
   Railways on Wimbledon Common
A horse-drawn tramway was installed on
Wimbledon Common in 1864 by the National
Rifle Association. It ran from the Pound at
Wimbledon Village to the Windmill along the
rear of the firing points.
The cars were long side cars in which the
passengers sat back to back with sufficient room
for the fare-collecting conductor to pass between
the passengers. The installation cost no more                                Claire Cann, seen here
than £404 and proved to be very profitable over                              ‘flying’ in Rosenheim
the years. It was only a temporary construction                              League track action, has
and was taken up after the annual NRA events                                 certainly hit the ground
each year.                                                                   running during her first
It was 1877 before the Association experimented                              ever cross-country season.
with a steam engine and, the experiment proving                              Picture: Ray O’Donoghue
successful, the Council purchased it in 1878.
In 1845, another railway which was built on the
Common was Prosser's experimental railway.             If God invented marathons to keep people from
This ran from Thatched Cottage to the Windmill,        doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must
with a large turning circle beyond, of which the       have taken Him completely by surprise. ~P.Z.
outline is still reflected in some of the footpaths.   Pearce
The train ran on wooden rails using wheels
without flanges. The wheels were located on the
rails and given directional stability by smaller
"guide wheels" running against the inside faces
of the track.
The      Commons         narrowly    escaped     the
encroachment of a public railway when plans
were drawn up in 1881 to link Kingston and
London, via Putney.
By 1880 the District Line had reached Putney
Bridge, on the north bank of the Thames and was
poised to extend further south. The London and
South Western Railway was also interested in
expanding in this area. In 1881 a Bill was
submitted for the formation of the Guildford,          The HW youngster’s team come well prepared,
Kingston and London Railway with a route               with plenty of water, for the Surrey County
which would cross the Thames at Putney,                Cross Country Championships
proceed up Putney Hill to Tibbet's Corner and
then cut across Wimbledon Common to                    The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym
Kingston, Surbiton, Cobham and Guildford.              instructors got together and said: “If we're going
The Act, which was passed later in 1881,               to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping
provided for a line extending only as far as           up and down.” Rita Rudner.
Kingston, to be used jointly by the LSWR and           From the Editor:
the District Railway. Work began on the new            It is hoped that the next Newsletter – now
line but the District Railway soon ran into            intended as a tri-monthly - will be published for
financial difficulties and eventually settled for a    April 1 (No comment!). If any HW member has
new route from Putney, through Southfields and         a tale to tell or an event to report on – and with
Wimbledon Park to Wimbledon.                           (hopefully) 12 pages to fill - the editor would be
The above was extracted from website:                  appreciative of all contributions.
http://www.wpcc.org.uk/HISTORICALINFORM                Also, many thanks to ace photographer Ray
ATIONhistory.htm There is a link on the HW site        O’Donoghue for permission to use his pictures.

                                                                                                      12

				
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