A QUARTET of Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s cross country runners are travelling to the Midlands this weekend to compete in the England cross country relay championships at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield today (November 6).

It will be the first time since 2013 that Hercules Wimbledon is competing in the event but after an impressive performance in the English six-stage road relay championship at Sutton Park, Birmingham, last month, team manager Keith Schofield decided to give the Mansfield event a try.

Only one member of the quartet in action this weekend was a member of the last Hercules Wimbledon team to contest the event eight years ago. He is Fred Slemeck, the team captain, who in 2013 ran the opening 5km leg to hand over in 51st place. He was also the fastest member of the quartet covering the 5km in 16 minutes 55 seconds.

Hercules Wimbledon finished 75th out of the 157 teams the last time the club contested the event and Schofield is hopeful to do better than that this time, particularly after the club finished 10th out of 74 teams in the English road relay championship at the beginning of October. Other members of the quartet in action in Mansfield are brothers Ed and George Mallett and Oli Carrington, who were members of the club team which finished 10th in Birmingham.

Almost 30 Hercules Wimbledon runners were in action in various Parkrun events across the country last Saturday. Eight of the 29 runners in 12 different 5km Parkrun events competed on Wimbledon Common with teenager Ellen Weir and supervet Lisa Thomas top two women finishers.

Weir, who made her international debut finishing 12th for Britain in the 5,000 metres at the European junior championships in Tallinn, Estonia, in July, won the women’s event in 18:17, 32 seconds slower than her best time set at the beginning of September. She was third overall out of the 252 runners.

She was well clear of her Hercules Wimbledon clubmate, Lisa Thomas, who was second more than two minutes behind in 21:05, but who posted the day's top age-graded performance. Top Hercules Wimbledon finisher was Surrey Under-15 1,500 metres finalist Jack Hobden who was eighth in a personal best of 19:02, a big improvement on his previous best of 20:58 set more than two years ago in July 2019.

Elsewhere, Hercules Wimbledon’s Robbie Hynes made a winning debut in the Rutland Water event in the Midlands. He was 16 seconds clear of his nearest rival as he headed home the 207-strong field in 17:10. Alex Milne was second of 199 runners in Partshanger, Hertford, in 16:46, eight seconds behind the winner.

Hercules Wimbledon runners filled three of the top four places in Sunday’s Wimbledon Park junior 2km Parkrun. Iona Alexander headed home the field in 8:35 with 11-year-old Cyrus Sheikh seven seconds behind and Poppy Guest, fourth in 8:55.