Saturday 17 September saw the return of the Streatham Common Cross Country race organised by top local athletics club Herne Hill Harriers after a year’s absence in 2015. Run over challenging terrain, but early in the season when the ground under foot is invariably dry and benign, this event has always been an excellent starter for serious club runners, but at the same time a nice low key introduction to cross country racing for those who are new to the sport or who enjoy the occasional local run. The one mile fun run for schools runners before the senior race is a key feature of the morning’s activities, with good prizes for the winning school team kindly sponsored by local law firm Anthony Gold Solicitors, for whose regular support the club is very grateful.
This year’s adults race saw a one-two for the host club as local runners Alan Barnes and Richard Henderson led the Herne Hill charge, which was interrupted by third placed Jonathan Laybourn of Highgate Harriers, who travelled from north of the Thames to claim his “podium” position before three more Harriers completed the top six. Fourth placed Robin Jones was first over 40 veteran finisher, while at the other end of the age spectrum for these events under 17 Laurie Pope was a good fifth overall, followed by Jack Brotchie in sixth.
Finishing twenty-seventh of around sixty who completed the tough course was first woman Annes Stevens, who continues to improve with almost every race and who claimed the Herne Hill accolade of club women’s cross country champion, as did Barnes in winning the Harriers men’s club title for this season. Thanks as always go to all who took part and to those who helped to organise another popular and successful local community sporting event.