Only one day after the IAAF London 2017 World Athletics Championships had drawn to a close, the Herne Hill Harriers athlete who had come closest to a Great Britain team berth before narrowly missing out was in action at a local club open meeting in Norman Park, Bromley. Katie Snowden’s excellent progress this year has seen her move to her current fourth ranking among UK female 1500m runners, but at Bromley she turned her attention to the 800m, an event in which she had enjoyed some success in her younger age group years, and to very good effect.
Snowden entered the fastest open race of the popular Monday evening meeting against an otherwise all male line up and her twelfth place finish in a fast race yielded a new Herne Hill women's club record 800m performance with a time of 2.00.92. This improved Snowden’s previous PB for the distance set in 2015 by almost a second and now sees her very close to the feted two minutes barrier for the distance and with a performance that would have not been out of place in the London Stadium women’s 800m heats and semi-final rounds a few days earlier.
Snowden’s time elevates her to sixth in the UK women’s 800m rankings for the year and represents another very good step forward to consolidate her place among the fastest female middle distance athletes in the country and stands her in good stead in her bid to challenge the current British team members at either or both 800m and 1500m in the coming months and years.
With the London 2017 Championship dominating the athletics attention over the previous ten days there were few other local events taking place and indeed the next most notable racing performance from a Harriers athlete came from runner and triathlete Suzanne Swaine, who placed fifth woman in the Cotswolds Classic middle distance triathlon done in an excellent finishing time of 4 hours 43 minutes.
At the Perseverance Wimbledon Dash 5K road race Julia Wedmore placed eleventh among the women with her time of 19.42, while in parkrun action Herne Hill athletes had dominated the Aarhus parkrun event in Denmark on consecutive Saturdays as Tony Macdowall claimed a victory that was then repeated in the same club colours as Simon Coombes took the win a week later, while both athletes were staying there to win their respective medals in the European Masters Athletics Championship. Locally Robin Jones made steps towards full racing again in placing sixth in the Wimbledon parkrun, while Simon Messenger placed fifth at Tooting with James Ward placing twenty third and Craig Barney twenty eighth.
This week sees the club’s men’s team compete in the final of the Rosenheim League at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday, with a combined men and women’s team in Southern Athletics League action at Perivale on Saturday and then Harriers’ men’s British League team will be seeking promotion at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Sunday, which would be secured if a top two finish in the final fixture can be achieved.