HERCULES Wimbledon Athletic Club can boast one of the country’s finest as Senior Men’s athlete Jonathan Cornish picked up an English Championship 10,000m bronze at the Fast Friday event in Walthamstow.

On the hottest day of the year, with temperatures reaching 32 degrees in the earlier races, Cornish led the field for much of the race and was only overtaken in the final 300m. It represents a significant breakthrough at the sport’s highest level for the long-time Hercules athlete who adds to a Great Birmingham 10k win in May.

The race was won by Newham and Essex Beagles athlete Charlie Brisley, narrowly ahead of Dylan Evans of Australia, though the latter was ineligible for national medals.

Cornish was pleased with his evening’s work saying: “I was excited for the race as training had been going quite well in the build-up though you never know if this will translate to race day. I was glad to be racing later in the evening at 9.15pm when the temperature had cooled although it was still above 20 degrees - however I thought this might suit me as I usually like running in the heat up to a point.

Cornish sat in behind the pacemaker before taking the lead when he dropped out: “There was a bit of jostling for position but I managed to stay as close to the inside as possible to minimise any unnecessary energy expenditure. Before I knew it 5km had passed in roughly 14:48 and the pacemaker stepped off the track. At the front Jack Gray was looking around waiting for someone to take it on, so reluctantly I obliged for two laps as I didn’t want the pace to slow.

"I then hoped we could share the workload, which seemed to work, but with five to six laps there were still four of us, with just three medals up for grabs, so I decided to take it on again without killing myself.

"I was still in first position as we went through the bell but could feel the group all on my shoulder waiting to pounce. Then the three waiting athletes streamed past. I crossed the line two seconds behind Jack Gray but was elated to realise I had achieved my aim of a sub-30 minute time by two seconds (29:58.53) - and also, although I finished fourth, I had actually placed third in the Championships, since one of the racers is an Australian national.

"Becoming an England athletics bronze medallist was a proud moment!”

Elsewhere, Hercules youngsters finished third in Match 2 of the Ebbisham League, a junior league for boys aged ten to 17. The body of points came from the junior middle distance athletes.

In the Under-13s 800m, Hercules won both the A and B races thanks to strong running from Otis Jones and Harry Allen respectively. They did the same over 1,500m with Thomas Whorton and Sam Dyson taking maximum points.

The Under-15s continued where their juniors had left off, winning A and B 1,500m races through Noah Fernandez and Zach Elliott and they added to the points thanks to an 800m B race win from Yusuf Achchi.

An Under-15s 4x100m win rounded up a positive week for Hercules athletes, present and future.