HERCULES Wimbledon Athletic Club teenager Ellen Weir ran the best race of her young life when she helped Great Britain take the junior women’s bronze team medals in the European cross country championships on the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on Sunday.

Weir, 18, competing in her first international cross country race, ran steadily and gradually moved through the field to finish 14th of the 99 runners, covering the 4km course in 14 minutes two seconds, 21 seconds behind her British team-mate and race winner Megan Keith. She was the second member of the medal-winning team to cross the finish line.

In an impressive performance, the Wimbledon High School pupil started cautiously and approaching the one kilometre point on the undulating parkland course on a sunny morning, was 52nd, seven seconds down on the leader. At the end of the second lap she had moved through to 21st position just 10 seconds behind Keith who was leading. She improved again to move up to 14th spot on the final lap to crown an outstanding performance.

A delighted Ellen said: “It was a tough race with lots of mud and hills but I really enjoyed the experience and am really happy with my performance.”

Her proud dad, Andy, was at the race to watch Ellen’s outstanding run. He said: “Ellen had a great run. We thought top 20 was a remote possibility given her recent times but she surpassed that. She avoided the super fast start and getting blocked at the first tight left hander. As the mud and hills slowed the field down she moved through.”

A second Hercules Wimbledon member in action in Dublin was Stuart McCallum, like Weir also making his international cross country debut. He was the fifth British finisher in the senior men’s 9.8km race. He was 27th of the 85 runners in the race in 31:32, 77 seconds behind the winner. He helped Britain finish fifth in the team race.

Hercules Wimbledon’s oldest track athlete, Peter Giles, came away with two titles from the Veteran Athletic Club’s indoor championships at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre. He won the Over-75 800 and 3,000 metres gold medals in 3:12.69 and 6:09.80, respectively. His Hercules Wimbledon clubmate, Anna Garnier, won the women’s Over-65 1500 metres title in 5:50.32, her best time this year.

Thirteen Hercules Wimbledon sprinters who competed at the December Lee Valley Indoor open meeting posted 17 personal best performances. Kashane Gayle was fastest of the 60 metres sprinters winning his race in 7.40, his fastest time of the year.

Hercules Wimbledon had a pair of winners in Saturday’s parkruns. Twenty Hercules Wimbledon were in action in 12 different parkruns. Finn Johnson secured a runaway win when he headed home a 335-strong field in winning on his debut in the Delta parkrun in Johannesburg, South Africa in 19:31. He finished more than two minutes ahead of the second runner.

Nearer home, Robbie Hynes also won on his debut appearance in the Higginson parkrun in Marlow, Bucks. He headed home the 120-strong field in 17:41, winning by 71 seconds.