Latest Hercules Wimbledon news: Grima and Clarke lead the charge at the Surrey road relay championships
Hercules Wimbledon AC made a flying start to their autumn racing programme with a bagful of medals in the annual Surrey road relay championships at Wimbledon Park last weekend.
There were team victories for both the senior men's and women's veteran over-35 teams, as well as silver medals for the men's veterans over-60 and bronze for the men's over-40 teams.
Claire Grima was one of two Hercules Wimbledon runners to win individual medals for posting the fastest individual times in their categories - alongside Dave Clarke in the men's over-50s.
Grima stormed round the opening three-mile leg for the veterans women's over-35 team in 16 minutes, 53 seconds, to hand over to Estle Viljoen two minutes clear.
Viljoen stretched the lead to three minutes as she completed the circuit in 19:34, with Caroline Glynn (22:04) and Alison Purnell (20:27) keeping Hercules Wimbledon in the gold medal-winning position.
The senior men's team also led from start to finish to regain the title they last won in 2011.
Rob Tuer made a solid start in 15:04, handing over four seconds clear before Kieran White, still recovering from a broken collar bone sustained after falling off his bike, went slightly faster clocking 15:02 to extend the lead to 46 seconds, before Freddie Slemeck (15:04) moved more than two minutes clear of the second placed team.
Joseph Clark, making his Surrey relay debut, kept Hercules Wimbledon in front with 15:22 on the fourth leg, maintaining the two-minute lead, with Alex Robinson, coming back from injury, clocking 15:40 on the penultimate leg, before Matt Sharp came storming home on the last leg in 14:54 to clock the fastest Hercules Wimbledon time of the day to bring the team home in 1:31:08, more than two-and-a-half minutes clear of the silver medallists.
Hercules Wimbledon chairman Clarke, three times English national cross country champion in the 1980s, still showed his class as he posted the fastest time for the veteran men's over-50 team, which finished fifth - he clocked 16:41 for the three-mile circuit.
Other members of the team were Adam Fenton (19:07), Tom Morris (20:28) and Charles Lawrie (21:24).
Anchor leg runner Stuart Fraser (16:48) was the fastest member of the veterans over-40 team which he lifted into bronze medal position missing out on silver medals by just 10 seconds.
Grit and determination: Stuart Fraser was the fastest member of the veterans over-40 team, which won bronze
First leg runner Jeremy Purnell was eighth in 18:29 with Stuart Bond (18:51) slipped to 10th position.
Then came a storming run by Peter Lee (16:57) which lifted the team to sixth place just under three minutes behind the bronze medallists.
Then came Fraser's superb run in which he took Hercules Wimbledon into the bronze medal position more than a minute clear of the fourth places team.
Pensioners Maurice Sharp and Dennis Williams linked up with Dave Betts to take the silver medals in the men's veterans over-60 category in 63:31.
Betts was fifth on the opening leg in 20:40 with Sharp moving through to second in 21:00, a position held by Williams with 21:51 on the anchor leg.
Marathon runner Fran Clarke was the fastest member of the senior women's team anchoring the quartet home in 20:12.
Other members of the team were Heather Letley (23:13), Fenella Willis (22:06) and Marilena de Luca (23:46).
Hercules Wimbledon's track and field training sessions take place at Wimbledon Park athletics stadium on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6.30pm and Sunday mornings at 10.30am. Further details from coaching coordinator Maurice Sharp on 020 8337 8707.
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