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The Common Runner

Week 39, 2014


Herne Hill Harriers’ M50 squad struck gold at the South of England road relay championships, while the Tooting-based club’s U13G and U13B teams finished in creditable fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Expectations were high for a strong Herne Hill M50 quartet pre-race, but Victor Maughn, Keith Newton, Mike Boyle and Gary Ironmonger lived up to their billing, finishing 35 seconds ahead of nearest challenger Barnet and District AC.

Their victory was a triumph for consistency, with only 40 seconds separating Harriers’ fastest and slowest leg runners. After Newton ran the team into the lead on leg two, it was the responsibility of Ironmonger on the final leg to secure victory. The foursome ran four of the top-14 fastest individual legs, with Boyle highest place in sixth overall. Remarkably, Tom Conlon, racing for Herne Hill in an incomplete B team, finished his leg just a second shy of Boyle.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Herne Hill’s U13 squads finished just outside the medals at Aldershot. Clarissa Nicholls, Lulu King and Lily Newton ended their challenge in the U13G event an agonising eight seconds behind the bronze medal position. The U13B team of Mohammed Ali, Toby Reynolds, Jacob Alley and Oscar Millard were fifth, despite Millard running the third fastest individual time in his age category.

Millard’s sister, Saskia, was another fast contender, with her individual time placing her sixth overall, while her U15G team was eighth, with a B team in 12th. There was also an eight place finish for Harriers’ U17B squad.

Harriers’ senior men’s squad was stronger than a previous outing in the Surrey road relays, with participation awarded by a 15th place finish of 72 teams, a position one below Blackheath and Bromley Harriers who had Scott Overall in their ranks. Chris Busaileh and Dave Mulvee were Herne Hill’s fastest individual runners, with the pair separated by just a second. Herne Hill’s senior women’s squad were 33rd, with Cathy Ansell the standout performer, clocking a time only 23 seconds slower than Jess Judd.

On Saturday, Harriers host the annual Streatham Common six-mile cross country. And one-mile fun run. Entries are available on the day, with the main race starting at 11.15am.

Jonny Muir


Winter Fixture List



Herne Hill triumph in South of England Road Relay Championships

This Sunday afternoon Herne Hill’s M50 men’s veterans team won the prestigious South of England AA road relay championships at Aldershot’ Rushmoor Arena for the first time.

Blustery conditions prevailed as first leg runner Vic Maughn (21m 40s) set a fine pace to close his stage of four in third place to put the Herne Hill team into serious contention. Non-scoring club member Tom Conlon (21m 1s) confounded team selection to be one of the two M50 veterans home ahead of him. The race at the front showed the real contenders for team medals on the second stage where the Hill’s Keith Newton (21m 2s) took the head of the race on the first lap of two and subsequently held off the fast approaching Barnet athlete in second place to hand over a 9 second lead to Mike Boyle. Home team Aldershot had now slipped to third place. Front running holds no fear to Boyle, a previous holder of the veteran athlete of the year title, who tore the heart out of the Barnet challenge extending the gap between the two clubs to 73 seconds whilst posting the team’s best time of exactly 21 minutes for his undulating 6 kilometre stage. Aldershot and the remaining teams were now out of contention as Herne Hill’s Gary Ironmonger (21m 28s) was, as predicted, being chased down by the fastest Barnet athlete Richard McCormick for the prestigious gold medals. Halfway through the final leg the gap was reduced by 18 second, so mathematically sound pace judgement was enough to win it for Herne Hill. Gary did not disappoint, he held his nerve and gave his victory salute to win by 35 seconds!

Fastest M50 veteran of the day, Jon James (19m 55s) stormed through the final stage for Wells City to take the bronze medals to complete the medal positions.

This Herne Hill M50 squad now looks to more serious efforts to take medals over the coming road and country season.

1st Herne Hill Harriers 85min 10secs, 2nd Barnet and District 85min 45secs, 3rd Wells City Harriers 87mins 36secs.

Valdis Pauzers

M50 Gold; A team member’s perspective

Rushmoor Arena has become a mecca for top level distance running alongside Sutton Park which hosts the national road relays.  If you have not run there (and that probably applies to an increasing % of our senior athletes), get there whilst you’re still running and enjoy the experience of racing over tarmac that many of our greats have mastered.  All races over the weekend of 20/21 September featured UK lead athletes, and there were a good number of athletes running for their clubs who have contested the Olympics and other major World and European championships.  

Whilst the achievements of our own vets team are modest compared to many who grace the circuit, it was great to reassemble some of our guys who had graced Rushmoor and other stages as V40s in the red and black, considerably strengthened by HHH's former teenage and senior star Tom Conlon and the 800/1500 firebrand Gary Ironmonger.  It is difficult to dispute that the Herne Hill V40 team, who won seven consecutive V40 titles at Aldershot, two national 8 stage, national 5km, cross country, cross country relay and other southern titles, is the most successful distance squad in the Club’s rich history.  Can we now extend this success into the V50s?

Sunday was a great start.  We knew Barnet  were very strong, and that we would have to run a fast time to win the race.  So it proved.  Our 85.10 winning time in blustery conditions, was the quickest for almost ten years (84.49 in 2005).  All four in the A team delivered, and whilst others had two runners who were quicker than our fastest, the classic relay format demonstrated the essence of great team running, where everyone fights for eachother.  We had superb back up, with Tom Conlon running an excellent 21.01 to split Mike Boyle and myself.  It has been said that form is temporary but class is permanent, and this statement must apply to Tom (still the club S/C record holder) more than any of our team members.  Interestingly, our four fastest cumulative times would have placed us fourth on the all time 26 year rankings (84.31) a time that was last beaten in the last century, 1999!  In the end though, team success comes from guys running for eachother and also pushing eachother in training, and through competition for places.  Thanks Vic, Mike and Gary for making it a great day, but also Tom and Tony, such longstanding and loyal club members, plus Waldy for his team management.  It is great to be winning again.  

Keith Newton


Phil's Challenge Weymouth Iron Distance Triathlon Race Report


Upcoming Events

Three upcoming HHH club events for your diaries, one per month to keep things nice and simple, are briefly detailed below.

The first two are races which the club is promoting and at which we would very much like support from our members either in competing in these events - it would be good to see plenty of HHH entrants and red and black vests on the courses - or if you are unable to take part then we please also need as much organisational help from among our number as possible on the relevant race days. 

So please free up these dates if you can and either race or help us to put these races on to the best possible standard. Please contact me, email if you can help at either or both races or enter the races and run.


Saturday 27th September - Streatham Common 6 Mile XC Champs & Anthony Gold 1 Mile Fun Run

The main race starts at 11.15am and is run over an undulating 6 mile route of laps of Streatham Common. This is the sixth running of a great early season cross country which will introduce new runners to this form of racing and provide a good challenge to more established runners. Macmillan Cancer Support is our chosen charity for 2014. ENTRY ON THE DAY AVAILABLE - but entries in advance are encouraged via this link:-


Sunday 26th October - Emer Casey Memorial London 10k road race, Brockwell Park

If you have been inspired by another summer of marvellous sport, why not take up the challenge presented by the Emer Casey London 10K in Brockwell Park on Sunday 26 October 2014 at the new start time of 9.30 am. Now in its sixth year, the race is organised by the Emer Casey Foundation in conjucntion with Herne Hill Harriers and the race continues grow year on year.

Entries are now open. The entry fee is £12 for club runners and £14 for runners without a UKA competition licence. Entries will be accepted on the day with an entry fee of £16 provided that the entry limit of 300 has not been reached. To enter online: go to  - there is no surcharge for this. Race instructions will be emailed to all entrants and we will be able to post race numbers to everybody who registers online before 19th October 2014, so please do make sure you enter in advance - it will save you time on the day.

Changing and baggage storage facilities will be available. Prizes will be awarded to the first 3 men, the first 3 women, the first man over the age of 40 outside of the top 3 and the first woman over the age of 35 outside the top 3. Spot prizes will also be presented. Every finisher will receive a medal.

The course consists of three and half laps of Brockwell Park. For a map of the course, click here. For photos, click the link on the left hand side.


Herne Hill Harriers125th Anniversary Dinner – Saturday 29th November 2014 The BedfordBalham.

HHH’s 125th Anniversary Dinner will take place on Saturday 29th November 2014 at The Bedford in Balham. Please come and join HHH club members and friends young and old for an unmissable opportunity to celebrate this auspicious milestone in our long and glorious history - £35 per person, three course dinner and dancing. 

ALL ARE WELCOME, please buy your tickets by contacting Sarah Allen, email 





Throws Fest - Sunday 27th September TIMETABLE

The Streatham Common 6M XC is also the club championships so there are trophies for 1st HHH male and female. Furthermore, if you cannot race then please come down and marshall then join us for post-race drinks - please contact Phil for further information.

Enter Here:






Reigate Half-Marathon

Brockwell Parkrun Crystal Palace Parkrun Dulwich Parkrun  Wimbledon Common Parkrun 





Upcoming Sessions


Mark's Group:

This week begins the new training programme, the start of the training cycle following the end of the transitional period since the end of the previous training cycle. It is a progressive schedule with a gradual increasing training load in terms of volume first and then intensity. 


On Tuesdays, I am re-introducing the combination of tempo running and intervals that worked so well earlier on this year. The intervals will be based on Horwill's multi-pace system of 3K, 5K  and 10K paces, using short recoveries. Every fourth week however, we will do vVO2max intervals to improve running economy and stay in touch with speed. Pace judgement will be important and to help you I will provide pacing guides. 


On Thursdays, we will continue with hill training to build strength which is so important for running economy. Linked to that I wish to introduce circuit training and will consult on the best way to do so. On Saturdays this autumn, when there isn't a cross country, there will be a tempo run, much longer than what you will do on Tuesdays. Tempo runs work so well because you spend such long periods where lactate levels are simmering at the threshold point.


And Sundays, of course, are the time for the long run, which is so important for building endurance and developing the aerobic system.





Tuesday, Tooting Bec Track, 7:15pm.


All groups: 2400m tempo run

Groups 1 & 2: 3 x 1200m @ 10K pace, 45s rec

Group 3: 3 x 1000m @ 10K pace, 45s rec

Functional strength


Thursday, Streatham Common, 7:30pm.


6-8 x 75s grass hill

Functional strength

(This is a longer hill than before.)

Meet at the Rookery Cafe at the top of the Common, not the path where we met before.

Friday, Balham Bowls Club, 7pm.

Social gathering - a chance to relax and chat and get to know everyone better.


Saturday, Streatham Common 6 Mile XC Champs, 11:15am.

First cross country of the season. Strongly recommended for everyone. Cross country is a great way to help build strength and stamina. You can enter online here: or on the day.


Sunday, Long Run from the Track, 10:30am.

Thames Tow Path, 10-16 miles depending on how far you want to go.




Geoff & Keith's Group:

On Tuesday we shall train on our old favourite path circuit on Tooting Common by the car park opposite the track that we used for much of last winter. We shall start again with a tempo run of 8 mins duration and then after 4 mins rest we then run 4 reps of 3 mins each with a minute rest between each. Our now customary practice of alternating directions of our reps will apply to add to the fun and keep the group together. Meet at 7.15pm ready to jog a lap of the loop to remind us of where we shall run (and to give me a bit of much needed jogging).

On Thursday I am unable to attend our hills on Streatham Common for this week, so a suggested solution is that after I covered for Mark last week and invited his group to join in with us our runners could this week join in with Mark's runners for their hill reps. And then guess what, Mark is probably not around the following Thursday and if so his guys will be with us again! How it can and should work between training groups with no petty jealousies and territoriality that can so often be seen among coaches. On Thursday we shall revert back to the traditional Streatham Common hills start time of 7.30pm, Please meet half way down the hill where the path bisects the hill, close to where Group GJ/KN have been starting our reps. Hope this makes sense and works OK for all...


Then on Saturday there is the Streatham Common XC race incorporating our club 6 miles champs where if you do not plan to race your help would be very much welcomed by Phillip, our race organiser. Main race starts at 11.15am, but ideally helpers could be there an hour earlier for the children's fun run too.

Upcoming Races:

  • Sat 4th, National 6-stage Road Relays (Men) & 4-stage Road Relays (Women), Sutton Coldfield, Brimingham
  • Sat 11th, Surrey XC League (Men), Coulsdon
  • Sat 11th, Surrey XC League (Women), Kingston Gate, Richmond Park
  • Sat 18th, SEAA XC Relays (All age groups), Wormwood Scrubs
  • Sun 19th, Cabbage Patch 10 (Club 10M road race championship), Twickenham
  • Sat 25th East Surrey League XC (Men & Women), Lloyd Park, Croydon
  • Sun 26th Emer Casey 10k 9:30am, Brockwell Park

  • Sat 1st, English XC Relays (All Age Groups), Mansfield
  • Sat 1st, Reigate Priory XC Relays 
  • Sat 8th, Surrey League XC (Men & Women) 1:30pm, Reigate Priory Park
  • Sat 15th, London XC Championships (All Age Groups), Parliament Hill
  • Sat 22nd, South of Thames 5M XC Championships (Men & Women), Wimbledon Common
  • Sun 30th Gordon Pirie 10M XC (Club 10M XC Championships) 2pm, Coulsdon

  • Sat 6th, Surrey XC League (Women), Nonsuch Park
  • Sat 13th, SCVAC XC Championships & Inter Counties, Horspath, Oxford
  • Sat 20th, South of Thames 7.5M XC Championships (Men & Women), Coulsdon
  • Sat/Sun 20th/21st, SEAA Indoor Combined Events Championships (All Age Groups), Lee Valley
  • Sun 21st, Herne HIll Harriers 3x2M Christmas Relays, Tooting Bec

  • Sat 3rd Surrey XC Championships (All Age Groups), Lloyd Park, Croydon
  • Sat 10th, Surrey XC League (Men), Streatham Common
  • Sat 10th, Surrey League XC (Women), Wimbledon Common
  • Sat/Sun 17th/18th SEAA U20/Senior Indoor Championships, Lee Valley
  • Sat 24th, SEAA XC Championships (All Age Groups), Brighton
  • Sat 31st, East Surrey League XC Relays (Men & Women), Wimbledon Common

  • Sat 7th, Surrey XC League (Men), Richmond Park
  • Sat 7th, Surrey XC League (Women), Coulsdon
  • Sat 21st, English National XC Championships (All Age Groups), Parliament Hill

  • Sun 1st, Frank Harmer 10k, Brockwell Park
  • Sat 7th, Inter Counties XC Championships (All Age Groups), Parliament Hill
  • Sat 14th BMAF XC Championships (Men & Women), Ruthin, Wales
  • Sat 21st, HHH Club 1Hr Championships, Tooting Bec
  • Sun 29th, South of England 12-stage Road Relays (Men) & 6-stage Road Relays (Women), Milton Keynes

  • Thu 9th, East Surrey League Road Race (Men & Women), Ewell Court
  • Sat 11th, National 12-stage Road Relays (Men) & 6-stage Road Relays (Women), Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
  • Sun 26th Virgin Money London Marathon

For further details on XC, road, league & championship races, contact Geoff
Upcoming Social Events:

  • Sat 29th, 125th Anniversary Ball, The Bedford, Balham, £35 per person.

For more details please contact Sarah



The Common Runner Editor: Eriç Dol,

General Secretary & Young Athletes Rep: Steve Bosley,

Men's XC & Road Race Captain, Men's Road Race Secretary: Geoff Gerwood,

Men's XC Secretary: Andy Lea-Gerrard,

Men's Veterans' Secretary: Valdis

Women's Vets Team Manager: Barbara Macanas

Women's Road, XC, Vets Secretary: Sarah Allen

Women's XC Captain: Karen Ellison,

Social Secretary: Sarah Allen

Triathlon Chairman: Phillip Henwood,

Copyright © 2014 Herne Hill Harriers, All rights reserved.

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