Hercules Wimbledon AC round-up: Jervis posts PB at Vitality London 10K with McDowell high over-40 finisher at Westminster Mile

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Four runners from Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club were among the many thousands taking part in the Vitality London 10 kilometres road race through the streets of Central London, writes Tom Pollak.

While much attention was focused on Sir Mo Farah’s return to racing and his surprise defeat by Aldershot’s relatively unknown Ellis Cross, Hercules’ Tom Jervis also enjoyed some exposure on TV screens as he ran alongside and overtook Scottish Olympic runner Eilish McColgan. She was attempting to beat her mother Liz’s Scottish record for the distance and Paula Radcliffe’s British mark.

In the end she achieved the former and came tantalisingly close to the latter, while Jervis rounded off his impressive road racing season with yet another PB in finishing 23rd out of 7,218 runners in the men’s race (30 :57). His time was a big improvement on his 31:26 set in winning the Birmingham Great 10km road race in May 2015 when he was a student in the city’s university.

Finn Johnson, who also had his moment on screen at the finish, was 70th in 33:04, while club newcomer Matilde Lomba was 29th out of 6,317 runners in the women’s race and sixth woman veteran over the line in a PB of 37:08.

It was also a big improvement on her previous PB of 38:07 set in Battersea Park in November 2018. Andy Greenleaf was 29th in 31:17.

The previous day Richard McDowell was one of several runners from the club in action in the Vitality Westminster Mile – a mere snip of a race for the top veteran, given his appetite for tackling distances up to 100 miles. He was top over-40 finisher and 12th overall in 4:32.

Bettina Urlbauer, a new addition to the women’s team, was third in the women’s race, and 76th overall, in 5:31.

Felix Allen was 10th in the over-45 category and 59th overall in the men’s race in 5:23, with Tom Cheetham 12th M55 in 115th – both have been notching up marathons recently with Cheetham planning to complete his 100th race over the gruelling 26.2 miles distance later this year. He finished in 6:10 with over-50 Gary Forde clocking the same time, one place behind and eighth in his category.

Anna Garnier was first woman veteran over-65 and 23rd in the women’s race in 6:24, while the club’s distance coach Tony Austin was sixth over-65 veteran and 144th in the men’s race, in 6:53.

Fastest of the club’s parkrun runners was over-50 Justin Reid, who was sixth of the 1,181 finishers in 17:16, his fastest time in 108 appearances in Bushy Park since the end of July last year. Ross Franks was 15th in 17:42.

Hercules Wimbledon athletes will be out in force this weekend in the Surrey tracks and field championships at Kingsmeadow Stadium on Saturday and Sunday as well as the Night of 10,000 metres races at Parliament Hill, Highgate, on Saturday evening.

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