Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club teenager Henry Silverstein raced his way into the history books when he beat a 362-strong field to win the Wimbledon Common 5km parkrun for the first time on Saturday, smashing his personal best in the process, reports Tom Pollak.
Determination finally paid off for young Silverstein who posted his first parkrun win at his 28th attempt. He first raced in the Wimbledon Common event in August 2014 and he had never before finished in the top three as his previous best placing was taking fourth five times. The last time was a fortnight earlier.
However, at 15 years and two months, Silverstein became the youngest-ever winner of the Wimbledon Common event since it was launched almost 10 years ago. His winning time of 17 minutes 38 seconds was also a big lifetime best improving on his previous best mark of 17:59 set in September last year when he was fourth.
“Henry was really thrilled to win”, said his mum, Elizabeth. “He had had a really disappointing season on the track and it’s given him a big boost. He was really delighted.”
His coach at Hercules Wimbledon, Mark Livingstone, was also delighted with Silverstein’s victory. “Henry is a true grafter and all his hard work in training is paying off. A tremendous result by young Henry. This young man will undoubtably go from strength to strength.”
Since taking up running with Hercules Wimbledon in the summer of June 2014, Silverstein has only posted five wins in almost 100 races on the track, road and cross country, according to his performance profile. This is his first victory in a senior field as his previous successes came against runners of his own age.
He won the Wimbledon Common event by 10 seconds and headed home 12 Hercules Wimbledon runners. Club mate Gina Galbraith was top woman finisher in a personal best of 19:29 to make it a Hercules Wimbledon double. Although she took 19 seconds off her previous best set more than two-and-a-half years earlier in March 2014 she failed by just one second to equal the Hercules Wimbledon women’s veteran over 40 5km record set by Emmas Henderson in the fast and flat Bishop’s Park, Fulham, parkrun course in November 2013.
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