The second annual ‘mob match’ between local rivals Croydon Harriers and Striders of Croydon took place on Saturday, in conjunction with the weekly parkrun in Lloyd Park. For the second successive year Harriers had the individual winner, but Striders’ superior strength in depth gave them victory in the team event, by 2608 points to 1952.
With last year’s winner Peter Chambers on international duty in Bulgaria, Harriers’ 19-year-old Jake English was the winner on this occasion, covering the undulating five-kilometre course in 18 minutes 01 seconds. Striders had the next two finishers with recent signing Peter Mills second (18.24) and Krzysztof Klidzia third (18.32), while former Harrier Craig Purle, no longer a registered club member, placed fourth. Harriers’ middle-distance coach Alan Burn was fifth (18.48) and was followed by three Striders: Ernie Hann was sixth (19.10), Simon Ambrosi seventh (19.18) and Damian Macenhill eighth (19.21). The next three places were filled by teenage Harriers, with Luke Wakeling ninth (19.23), Kieron Connor tenth (19.24) and Laurence Johnston eleventh (19.52). Harriers’ team manager Matthew Kiernan was 12th in exactly 20 minutes. However the balance then tilted towards Striders as they had a total of 31 runners finishing in under 25 minutes compared to only 21 Harriers, and overall Striders had a total of 58 finishers, compared with 37 from Harriers.
The first woman to finish was Rachel Lindley of Striders, who ran well to place 14th overall in 20 minutes 04. Stevie Lawrence of Harriers was the second woman to finish (22.53) with her team-mate Atlanta Drummond third (24.14). Striders then had the next two women with Debra Bourne fourth (24.18) and Becky Laurence fifth (24.23).
The first over-50 to finish was Colin Oxlade of Harriers who placed 19th overall in 20 minutes 35. Striders’ team manager Chris Morton, who celebrated his 50th birthday earlier this month, was the second over-50, placing 23rd overall (20.59). The first over-60 to finish was Barry Finch of Striders, who placed 70th overall in 25 minutes 15, just three seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, Norman Hemming of Harriers. The first under-15 was Jordan O’Dongo of Harriers, who placed 32nd overall in 22 minutes 11, while the first under-15 girl was Cassandra Howard of Harriers, who placed 63rd overall in 24 minutes 36.