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The Common Runner

Week 42, 2014


Brother and sister Oscar and Saskia Millard celebrated individual victories, while Cathy Ansell was a further winner, as Herne Hill Harriers’ winter cross country campaign burst into life on Saturday.

The triumphs came in different parts of London, as male and female Surrey cross country leagues had season-opening fixtures at Farthing Downs and Richmond Park.
Saskia Millard and Ansell took the individual accolades in the U15G and senior women’s races respectively, with Oscar Millard seizing victory in the U13B event. The siblings also led their age category teams to overall first places to begin the season on a high.

Oscar was backed by impressive runs from Mohammed Ali (third), Alex Ferri (10th) and Ned Craddock (15th) in the U13B race, while Saskia’s support came in the shape of Zoe Tompkins (fourth), Kayah Wilks (ninth) and Tatiana Cooke (10th) in the U15G race. Herne Hill’s U13G also ended the fixture as league leaders after Clarissa Nicholls (second), Lulu King (sixth), Amy Miller (seventh) and Ursula Hall (10th) dominated the front end of the pack.

Despite Ansell’s control of the senior women’s race, the squad could only finish ninth overall. Karen Ellison was 15th, Helen Hadjam 77th, Abby Penfield 85th and Ruth Chalmers 90th.

Harriers’ men were also frustrated in their team performance in a league that they dominated in the early years of the century. The men’s squad could only muster a sixth-place finish out of nine teams. Individually, Chris Busaileh was the leading clubman in 10th with Simon Coombes (20th), Jeff Cunningham (26th), Alan Barnes (29th), Mohammed Ismail (43rd) and Tim Elsey (46th). Harriers can typically expect its top-10 finishers to be among the first 50, but a strong field and a lack of depth in the squad showed as Tom Conlon (62nd), Jonny Muir (67th), Jonathan Ratcliffe (81st) and Sam Knight (89th) made up the remaining four scorers.

Meanwhile, Harriers lie fifth in the U15/U17 league, with Paul Burgess (seventh), Mohammed Mohammud (16th), Andrez Famner (26th) and George Boritsch (74th) making up the counting quartet.

Away from cross country, Louis Waterman-Evans ran an even-paced race at the Kingston Run Challenge to finish second in the 16-mile event in one hour, 36 minutes, 38 seconds. Sean Fitzpatrick was seventh in the 24-mile race in 2:35.47. Vic Maughn was a winner at the Dulwich parkrun in 17.21.

Jonny Muir

Surrey Ladies League, Richmond Park RESULTS

2XU Surrey Men's League Division 1, Coulsdon RESULTS


Cathy Ansell

Chris Busaileh


Winter Fixture List


Emer Casey 10k, Sunday 26th October, 9:30am

Another reminder that HHH are the proud co-promoters of the Emer Casey London 10K which takes place in Brockwell Park. The course offers a thorough examination of your early season cross country credentials with its modest ascents and long downhill stretches where you can test out your form and cadence.

There are also team prizes to be won, so all the more reason to put this race in the diary and help HHH mount another successful of the team titles. So what are you waiting for? Sign up

Every race also needs its helpers and if you are not able to run, you can still help to make the event a success by turning up to help on the day. A strong amount of volunteers and competitors is what we need - this is another chance to showpiece the club and illustrate what being a member of Herne Hill Harriers means.

Whether you are planning to run or help (or even do both) everybody is invited to the venue of one of our sponsors, the Florence Pub, after the race. As we will be a large group, I am planning to reserve an area for us afterwards. We do need to give an indication to the Florence how big our group will be as soon as possible, so please do shout if you are planning to come to the after race warm-down and help us to make the Florence's job on what will be a busy day that little bit easier.

James Ward



Back in November last year I thought it’d be a good idea to sign up for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, not sure I fully read the small print.  Average of 100 miles a day for 9 days!  Gulp.  Well it came round quick enough, and with my usual preparations (or lack of!) 

I headed down to base camp at Lands End with 799 others, not really sure what to expect.  Well any uncertainty was cleared up after the first day, 107 miles and over 8000ft of climbs.  In my tent that night I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew, after an early night and a hearty breakfast I headed out on the second of nine days, this was only a mere 6000ft or so of elevation today!  The toughest 2 days of cycling I’ve ever done.  Everyone kept saying if you made it through the first 2 days you could do the whole lot, they were obviously right, although there were plenty of further challenges, the Quantock Hills and the Cheddar Gorge on Day two were lively, Day 3 we dipped into Wales and had to divert over a lovely steep hill in the Wye Valley due to a road closure, the scenery made up for the inconvenience though. 

Day 4 across the Cheshire flats was a welcome break from the hills.  Day 5 we skirted up the side of the Lake District, beautiful views from the top of Shap Fell.  Crossing Scottish Border at Gretna a week before the vote, we all rejoiced at how far we’d come, only to see the signpost alerting us that London was actually nearer to us than John O’groats!  So we spent 3 and a half days in Scotland, loved it, lots of long steady climbs, however all the beautiful scenery we viewed made it worthwhile, we had a big setback on the 7th day when one of our party was hit by a car on the way up to Glencoe, sadly the lady, Sally passed away on the penultimate day, so was an emotional last few days.  

On a more upbeat note, we were very lucky with the weather, we had mild conditions throughout, not a drop of rain and not even one puncture.   It’s the toughest challenge physically and mentally I’ve ever attempted, would recommend doing it, just the once, just make sure you do some hill training beforehand.

Spencer Mason



HHH AGM on Wednesday 29th October the downstairs room of the Furzedown pub, 118 Mitcham Lane, Streatham, London SW16 6NR starting at 7.30pm - all club members are invited to attend. The meeting covers the reports from the club's team managers and officers on the previous year, Life Membership awards, the announcement of the new Club President for 2014/2015, and election of Club officers for 2014/2015.  



Running Gear Collection

Hi Everyone,

I spent 6 months in Uganda a couple of years ago and will be returning for a month in November. Whilst there I am running the Kampala Marathon and have managed to arrange a week training in the highland area of Uganda where the majority of their top runners (incl. Stephen Kiprotich) originate from.

I have been in contact with the manager of Sipi Falls Athletics Club in Kapchorwa and I have the opportunity to train with Jackson Kiprop (10th at 2013 World Championship marathon) and Joshua Cheptegei (World Junior 10,000m Gold), amongst others. I'm yet to mention that I'm not particularly quick so I'll probably be demoted to the U-9 age group after one session!

My plan is to try and take a sizeable stash of running gear; clothes, trainers etc over to the club as the majority of their runners are from low-income backgrounds. I am sure a number of us have lots of rarely used running shoes and clothes so if anyone is keen to clear some wardrobe space and give to an exciting project then please get in touch. Either email me on, message me on 07752837305 or let me know at training if you wish to give anything away. I will plan to do a big collection in a few weeks time either at a training session or race.

I'm hoping we can establish an exciting relationship with the club and there could be a chance of hosting some of these runners if they are ever in the UK to race.








Brockwell Parkrun Crystal Palace Parkrun Dulwich Parkrun  Wimbledon Common Parkrun 




Upcoming Sessions


Mark's Group:

This is the fourth week of the new training programme and the last of the 4-weekly cycle. On this occasion we will do our 30-30 workout, where you run at vVO2max for 30 seconds then jog for 30 seconds. vVO2max means the minimum velocity you need to run at reach aerobic capacity. This is the average speed of your 6-minute test last month. If you haven't done such a test I have estimated the speed for you. This is close to your mile pace. Running at this speed has proven to be highly effective at improving your running efficiency such that slower speed feel easier.


We've done this workout a few times over the summer but this time I want to get closer to the way it was done in the research studies that produced the impressive results. The researchers asked runners to keep knocking out those 30-second bursts until they couldn't cover the distance in the required time any more. This could mean doing anything from 12-20 reps, perhaps more. I'll set an upper limit of 25 reps this time. 


Tuesday, Tooting Bec Common, 7:15pm.

Meet outside the track - save your money.


New dynamic warm-up

1500m tempo run on this street-lit route -

30-30 workout:

30 sec at vVO2max, 30 sec jog recovery

Your required distance to run in 30sec is based on your vVO2max will be assigned before hand.

Recovery distance will be half of the run distance.

Stop when you fall 10m short of your assigned distance.

Cones will mark out the distances. We will run along the track parallel to Tooting Bec Road.

Everybody runs together starting and stopping on a whistle.



Thursday, Streatham Common, 7:30pm.

6 - 8 times up Covington Way.

If you've run this hill in the last couple of weeks run an extra rep this time.

Meet at the Rookery Cafe at the top of the Common.

Functional exercises to finish.


Saturday, Tooting Bec Common, 10am.

If you're not a Vet doing the XC, meet at the car park opposite the track.

10 min warm-up including dynamic exercises

20 min tempo run around this 1K loop -

10 min warm down

I will provide pacing guides for the tempo run.



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

To Sydenham, back via Dulwich. 10-15M depending on how far you want to go.



Geoff & Keith's Group:

This Tuesday neither Keith nor I will be able to attend, but Alan is happy to take the session, so I have devised one that is hopefully easier to manage while actually taking part at the front end. This will be 2 sets of 8 x 75 sec reps with a minute between reps and 2 minutes between sets. These can all be run up and down the path that we usually start our reps on that goes past the tennis court and just keep going towards the end of the path, will probably just about fit for our fastest guys.

Upcoming Races:

  • 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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