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The Common Runner

Week 25, 2014



Herne Hill Harriers' Katie Snowden shattered her own club record over 1500m in winning the BMC Best of British meeting.
Racing at Stretford, Snowden ran 4:18.71, breaking her own club senior women's record by over eight second and beating the inform CAU Inter Counties 1500m champion Rachael Bamford, who recently ran a Commonwealth Games qualifying time for 3000m steeplechase, into second place.
Snowden, who also holds the club's 800m mark, rises to 15th on the Surrey all-time 1500m list whilst still in the under-23 stage of her athletics career.
Snowden's club record is the third to fall in June, following Aisha Naibe-Wey's time of 58.56 in the 400m hurdles and Penel Cummings clocking of 16:44.7 in a 3000m walk race at Kingsmeadow.
Elsewhere, Harriers men's team rose to second in the Rosenheim League East Division after also finishing second at the latest meeting at Wimbledon.  The success was largely due to the efforts of two athletes, with Thomas Ashby winning the 110m hurdles, shot, javelin and long jump, and Byron Robinson clinching the 100m and 200m. Jonathan Stead raced the 1500m and 3000m double, finishing second and fifth respectively.
The women's team remained in fifth place, despite finishing third at Wimbledon. Steph Mitchell continued her progression, finishing second in the 400m, while under-17 athletes Genevieve Bartley and Danni Hind secured a one-two in the 100m.
Earlier in the week, Keith Newton was first M50 and 26th overall at the Self Transcendence 5k in Battersea Park, clocking 17.25. Jonny Muir was 11th in 16.35 and Tom Boswell 28th in 17.29.


Herne Hill Harriers athletes won a string of medals at the South of England and the London Schools championships over the weekend.
The Tooting-based club's hurdlers and sprinters took centre stage at the South of England event, where Marvin Popoola and Rushane Thomas would have run U20 club records had the wind not been over the legal limit.
Popoola won gold in the 200m, clocking 21.06 - which is faster than the club junior record but the wind speed of +3.4 m/s was significantly over the legal limit - on Saturday, before adding the 100m crown in 10.6 on Sunday. Popoola continues to chase the qualifying time of 21.00 over 200m for the World Junior Championship. It was the same story for Thomas who won gold in the 110m hurdles, running a would-be U20 record of 13.69, only to be thwarted by the wind gauge.
Jessie Knight, meanwhile, clinched medals in the 200m and 400m, winning the former event in 24.36 ahead of Jade Phillips on what was Knight's 20th birthday, and racing to silver in the 400m with 54.43. There was also gold for Peter Philips in the senior 400m, running a personal best of 47.65, with Nicholas Atwell was fourth in 47.94, six-hundredths of a second outside a medal.
Other medallists included Tayo Andrews (silver in the U20 high jump), Gavin Johnson-Assoon (silver in the senior javelin), Blade Ashby (bronze in the senior 400m hurdles) and Dwayne Dowding (bronze in the senior 200m).
There were also notable performances at the London Schools event at Battersea, in particular a one-two-three of Saskia Millard, Maddie Shaw and Lucy Olsen in the junior girls' 800m. Denisha Marshall-Brown was another winner and threw a championship best in the junior girls' shot, while her brother, Dejean, matched her gold in the junior boy's shot. Feysel Nadew's excellent front running won him the intermediate boys' 800m win in a personal best, with Paul Burgess winning a tactical 1500m in the same age category. Other intermediate winners were Catriona McSorley (gold in the triple jump), Adam Ssali (gold in the 100m hurdles), Michella Obijiaku (second in the shot) and Phillip Thomas (second in the triple jump). Turkay Korkmaz medalled in finishing second in the juniors boys' 1500m, as did Alex Brown in the junior girls' 1500m.
Away from the track, Gary Ironmonger was first V50 at the Self Transcendence 10k in Battersea Park, clocking a personal best 35.50 in finishing 11th overall. Racing in Llanwrtyd Wells in mid-Wales, Jonny Muir was fourth runner at the Man v Horse 24-mile trail race in two hours, 59 minutes, with Rick Pearson finishing 34th in three hours, 43 minutes. Closer to home, Mohammed Ismail won the Dulwich parkrun in 16.27 ahead of Vic Maughn in second in 17.26.


Stanley Noel Allen, Born in Brixton on 25 December 1934; died in Tooting on 1 January 2014; aged 79 years and 6 days

Herne Hill Harrier. Elected, 21 May 1952; Club President:  1964/65 and 1997/98; Became a life member on 23 October 1970. Educated at Strand Grammar School, 1946-1951

Served in the RAF during National Service, 1953-1955

Editor, IPC Business Press, 1956-1999

Personal bests: 1:57.8 (880 yards); 3:55.7 (1500 metres); 4:15.1 (mile); 9:28.5 (2 miles); 14:45.8 (3 miles); 31:28.0 (6 miles); 32:49.0 (10,000 metres); 18,202 metres (1 hour run); 2:33:33 (Marathon); 6:14.4 (2,000m Steeplechase) and 9:41.0 (3,000 metres Steeplechase)

Stan Allen raced in 20 National Cross Country Championships, with a best placing of 252nd in a field of over 800 runners.

During his 62-years involvement with the club, Stan served as Hon. General Secretary, Track Secretary, Membership Secretary, Magazine editor, Clothing Secretary, Cross Country Captain and club coach to scores of distance runners wearing the red and black Herne Hill vest. He was described as an ‘extra extrovert’ by Kevin Kelly in the Herne Hill Harriers official history, Into the Millennium (2000).

In every sense, Stan was Herne Hill Harriers. His often said that his famous pink and black vest was “held together by the holes.”

I first met Stan at Tooting Bec Track in April 1962 when he helped Bob Fisher and I fill in membership forms for the club. Back then, he was known as ‘the Chris Brasher look-alike’ though he was taller than the 1956 Olympic steeplechase champion who had famously paced Sir Roger Bannister to the first sub four minute mile in 1954. 

Stan placed third in the 1961 Surrey Mile final at Motspur Park, a race memorable for the second 880 yards being covered in under 2 minutes by the winner, Alan Rogers of Mitcham AC. “The spectators on the back straight booed us when we ran the first half in outside two-twenty” (2:20), Stan recalled. “Then we picked the pace up and came roaring home on the last lap.”

I worked with Stan at IPC Business Press from 1973 until 1982, when I secured a post on Amateur Photographer with the same company. For years, we ran back to our respective homes in Thornton Heath from work on Mondays and Thursdays; and would sometimes run to our office from home when snow and ice make travelling difficult on public transport during winter months. 

As everyone knows, Stan had a rapier-like wit, and no one was ever spared. Once, as we ran through Dulwich on our way home from work near Waterloo, Stan cracked a one-liner that had me such hysterics that I had to endure stitch for the rest of the 11 miles journey!

Whilst working with Stan I became aware of his deep involvement with the Scout movement, and once helped him to arrange for 1980 Olympic Champion Steve Ovett to talk to his Troop in Brixton, and also field awkward questions from them - one of which was: “Have you ever been in love?”

Stan also ‘re-discovered’ David Glassborow when the 1971 English Schools 1500m Champion from Coventry rented a house next door to the Allens’ after graduating from University in Canterbury. 

Stan soon rekindled Dave’s enthusiasm for running, and by 1981, the leader of the HHH ‘Coventry mafia’ (others included Ceri Diss, Valdis Pauzers and Jasber Singh) set a club record of 3:40.79 for 1500 metres that still stands to this day.  Dave G also went on to lead the ten-scoring Herne Hill team to their first Surrey League Cross Country title at Coulsdon in February 1986; a very proud moment for both Stan and Dave.

Crippled by severe injury later, Stan had difficulty in getting about, which must have been highly frustrating for such a dynamic man  a who could dash off a ten mile run without giving the session a second thought.

Stanley Noel Allen was a larger than life character and an eternal optimist who always focussed on the positives in life. 

We will never see his like again.

David Cocksedge



Sunday 13th July is the date of our family picnic. 1.00pm onwards at the track. Everyone is, friends. Fun races, cakes!

29th November 125th Ball at The Bedford pub Balham, £35 per person, bookings are being taken. Family, friends, everyone is welcome.

Please any questions to,

Thank you,


Summer Track & Field Fixture List




Man Versus Horse 24: 4th Jonny Muir 2:59.29, 34th Rick Pearson 3:43.24

Self Transcendence 10k: 11th Gary Ironmonger 35:50 PB

Self Transcendence 5k: 11th Jonny Muir 16:28, 26th Keith Newton 17:25, 28th Thomas Boswell 17:29

South of England Championships

Rosenheim League

Brockwell Parkrun Crystal Palace Parkrun Dulwich Parkrun  Wimbledon Common Parkrun 





Upcoming Sessions


Mark, Phil & Wayne's Group:

After the success of vVO2max intervals two weeks ago we're going to do it again on Tuesday. On Thursday we have another variation on the fartlek theme. And on Sunday it is the Richmond 10K.


Tuesday, Tooting Bec Common, 7:15pm.

Meet at the field near the Lido.


Tempo Run: 4 laps of the field with long, medium and short loops for each group. (approx 12mins)

vVO2max intervals: 45-45 workout.

All Groups: 15 x 45s @vVO2max with 45s @50% of vVO2max

Cones will be laid out to help you gauge your speed. We'll need the whole length of the field this time. I will provide estimates for how far to run in 45 seconds. As before, everyone trains together, regulated by the whistle.

Thursday, Tooting Bec Common, 7:30pm.

Meet at the car park opposite the track.

After a 10 minute warm up, we'll do a "cut-down" fartlek consisting of 2 sets of 4, 3, 2, 1 mins fast with 2 mins slow running each time. 

Sunday, Richmond 10K, 9am.

Surrey Road League.



Geoff & Keith's Group:

This Tuesday we are on the track at Tooting with the full session being a configuration of reps of 4 x 400, 3 x 600, 4 x 400 with 200 jog recoveries between everything. Meet at the track ready for our strides at 7.15pm

Upcoming Races:
  June July August
  • Sat 2nd, Southern Mens League Play-Off Match
  • Sat 9th, Southern Womens League, Eton.
  • Sat 9th, British Athletics League, Lee Valley
  • Wed 13th, Rosenheim League Final, Tooting Bec. Timetable.
  • Sun 17th TBC, Wimbledon 5km, Surrey Road League
  • Sat 23rd, Herne Hill Harriers Open Meeting
  • Sun 31st, Southern Vets Final, Ashford
  • Sat 6th, Surrey Road Relays, Wimbledon
  • Sat 13th, BAL/UK Womens League Qualifier
  • Sat 20th SEAA Road Relays
  • Sun 21st, SEAA Road Relays

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

  • Sun 13th, Family Picnic, 1pm onwards at the track. No charge. Fun races: 3 legged, egg & spoon, wheelbarrow etc.
  • 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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