Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club’s top runner Jonny Cornish gained an impressive win in damp and blustery conditions when he headed home a 2600-plus field in the Wokingham half-marathon on Sunday, writes Tom Pollak.


It was victory at his third attempt in the event having finishing eighth in 2016 and ninth last year. But, it proved a painful experience for schoolteacher Cornish. During the race he suffered two nasty blisters on his left heel and although it hampered his running, it failed to stop him winning.


He sat back with Nick Torry of Serpentine and Joe Wade of Ryde as Bristol’s Harry Allen spearheaded the race for the opening mile. Soon after that, he overhauled by Cornish, Torry and Wade who ran together until the 11-mile mark when Cornish, ignoring the discomfort of his blistered heel, decided to kick on and steadily opened up a lead on his rivals.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

He went on to win by almost half-a-minute in one hour seven minutes 13 seconds, his fastest time for the course by 10 seconds. It improved on the 1:07:13 he clocked in finishing ninth last year.


“I wore two pairs of socks to protect my feet but felt them rubbing during the race and got two bad blisters on my left heel,” said Cornish, who last  month won the Oxfordshire cross country title.

“I need to sort my feet out before March 7th when I’m running in the Inter-Counties cross country championships at Loughborough. It seems the socks I was wearing were too tight.”


Cornish’s Hercules Wimbledon clubmate Claire Grima also had a good run finishing runner-up to two-times English cross country champion Louise Damen in the women's race. Grima had the consolation on being top woman veteran. Grima, who was running at Wokingham for the fifth time, was not far off her best time for the course of 1:18:26 set in 2018. She was just behind husband David who was 48th in a personal best 1:15:54. His previous best Wokingham time was 1:17:29 in 2018.


More than 30 Hercules Wimbledon were in action in testing, muddy conditions in the Saucony English National cross county championships at Nottingham’s Wollaston Park on Saturday.


Surrey champion Ellen Weir led the Hercules Wimbledon girls under 17 runners in finishing 23rd in the 257-strong field. Georgie Clarke was 32nd and Niamh Thomson 47th. The fourth member of the team, Selma Hegvold had the misfortune to lose her chip in the mud and therefore did not score. She finished about 190th.


Lulu Weisz led the under 15 girls to a good ninth place out of 39 teams. She was 50th of the 394 finishers with Millie Thorpe 101st, Eloise Davies 120th and Rosie Speed 143rd.


Ronan McArdle led the under 13 boys to 19th place. He was 114th of the 385 runners with Ibrahim Mohamed Achchi 134th, Oliver Holden 173rd and Matt Weisz 176th. Grace Emission led the under 13 girls home finishing 154th of the 358 runners in the race. Sophie Thorpe was 197th, Elena Hernandez 235th and Indira Ferree 331st.


Tom Jervis led the senior men’s team home finishing 95th of the 1715 runners with Fred Slemeck 127th, Joe Toomey 239th, Matt Sharp 243rd, Ed Mallett 253rd and Rob Tuer 596th.


Four Hercules Wimbledon runners contested the Self Transcendence 10km road race in Battersea Park on Saturday morning. Bill Woodcock was second in 31:41, five seconds behind the winner. Rosemary Fernando was seventh woman and Tom Cheetham third veteran over 50 man.


This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon’s youngsters compete in the last of this season’s Down Cross Country League races on Epsom Downs on Sunday morning. The first of three races is at 10.45am. Hercules Wimbledon lead the girl under 11 teams after three matches.