Saturday’s 167th weekly parkrun in Lloyd Park saw the first ‘mob match’ between local rivals Croydon Harriers and Striders of Croydon. The competition between the clubs produced a record total of 179 finishers, including 51 Striders and 30 Harriers.
The race saw a clear victory for Peter Chambers of Croydon Harriers, who is the course record-holder and who covered the undulating five kilometres in exactly 17 minutes. His club colleague Kartik Iyer, who had warmed up by winning a mile race at Croydon Arena two days previously, placed second in 18 minutes 30.
Striders had the next two finishers with Ernie Hann third (18.38) and Justin Macenhill fourth (18.40), closely followed by Harriers’ middle-distance coach Alan Burn who was fifth (18.46). James Bennett, not yet a registered club member although he has been training with Striders, was sixth (18.58), two seconds ahead of Harriers’ David Chambers.
The first under-15 was Harriers’ Omar Harhara who ran very well to place eighth overall in 19 minutes 16. The first over-50 was Harriers’ Colin Oxlade who placed eleventh overall in 19 minutes 55.
The first woman to finish was 16-year-old Harrier Stevie Lawrence, who placed 15th overall in 20 minutes 24. She was just one second ahead of her nearest rival, Rachel Lindley of Striders. Striders had the next two women to finish with Steph Upton 49th overall (22.53) and Zoe Williams 69th (24.16). The first under-15 girl was Harriers’ Josie Kavanagh who placed 73rd overall (24.53).
Striders had the first over-60 in Colin Cotton who placed 58th overall (23.34), ahead of Harriers’ Norman Hemming who placed 71st (24.25).
In the team event, Harriers took an early lead with 12 of the first 18 finishers, compared with only four Striders. However Striders fought back with a much stronger middle-order, and 27 Striders finished between 19th and 70th, compared with only six Harriers. 32 Striders finished the course in under 25 minutes, compared with 20 Harriers. The final result was that Striders won with 1906 points to Harriers’ 1415.