Herculian effort as runners win the Colman Cup team trophy

Front runner: Fred Slemeck finished the Richmond Park race in 13th place (43:09)

Smiles: Hercules ladies ensured that Crouse Alison Purnell and Fran Clarke

First published in Sport by

Hercules Wimbledon AC's cross-country runners made history in the South of the Thames championships in Richmond Park on Saturday by lifting the Colman Cup team trophy for the first time in the club's 76-year history.

The Cup, presented by Sir Jeremiah Colman, an old boy of King's College School, Wimbledon, and the founder of the Colman mustard company, in 1926, is awarded to the team which wins the 12-to-score contest.

Hercules Wimbledon won comfortably with 524 points, beating Dulwich Runners (982) and South London Harriers (1107).

Hercules Wimbledon fielded 17 runners in the senior men's race, more than any other club taking part.

The team was led to its historic win by Kieran White who finished 11th covering the 7.5 miles race in 43 minutes, one second.

A fortnight before his run in Richmond Park, White was competing across the Atlantic in the Orlando half-marathon where he set a Hercules Wimbledon veterans over-35 club record of 1.11:49 in finishing fourth out of more than 3200 runners.

Fred Slemeck, like White, a member of the club's silver medal-winning Surrey road relay championships team in September, finished just behind his club-mate in the Richmond Park race in 13th place (43:09) with Joe Toomey 31st in 45:19, Phil Glynn 32nd in 45:37, Sean Crummy 40th in 46:47, veteran Peter Lee 43rd in 47:26, Rob Tuer 44th in 47:44 and David Grima 51st in 48:26.

Completing the winning team were Rory McMahon (54th in 48:45), Andrew Davis (60th in 49:47), Stewart Bond (62nd in 50:02) and Tom Cheetham (82nd in 52:21).

Hercules Wimbledon's women also made history by closing in a team in the event for the first time.

They were led in by marathon-running mum Claire Grima who was ninth in 52:36.

Francesca Clarke, who is also aiming to race in next April's London race, was 26th in 57:28, with Alison Purnell 32nd and second woman over-50 in 59:00, Monika Crouse 39th in 60:59, Marilena De Luca 54th in 65:21, and Rachel Burke 55th in 65:24.

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