The fourth annual mobmatch between local rivals Striders of Croydon and Croydon Harriers took place at Lloyd Park on Saturday, in conjunction with the weekly parkrun. It was the closest match of the series, with 49 Striders and 37 Harriers taking part.
The first man home was Phil Coales of Striders, who completed the muddy course in 17 minutes 40 seconds, more than a minute clear of the runner-up, Rob Lines (18.49). Croydon Harriers were led by Robbie Tambling who placed third in 18 minutes 51. Striders had the next two finishers with Lee Flanagan fourth (19.10) and Justin Macenhill fifth (19.22), while Mark Lynch of Harriers was sixth (19.44). Matt Stone of Striders was the first over-50 to finish, placing ninth overall (20.02). Ernie Hann of Harriers was tenth (20.09) with Graeme Drysdale of Striders eleventh (20.13)
The first under-17 to finish was Jordan O’Dongo of Harriers, who placed 12th overall in 20 minutes 29. The first under-15 to finish was Adam Shew of Harriers, who placed 18th overall in a personal best 21 minutes 02. The first under-11 to finish was Christopher Finch of Striders, who placed 37th overall in 22 minutes 26, finishing two seconds behind his father Nigel.
Harriers had the first two women to finish, with Jessica Moore placing 35th overall (22.16) and Kyra Sethna-McIntosh placing 42nd overall (22.56). They also came first in the under-17 and under-15 categories respectively. The third woman to finish was Debra Bourne of Striders, who placed 52nd overall (24.02). She was closely followed by Sasha Howard of Harriers, who placed 55th overall (24.08).
The first over-60 to finish was Alan Dolton of Striders, who placed 63rd overall (24.37). The second over-60 was Rush Yadave of Harriers, who placed 74th overall (25.21). The first over-65 to finish was Barry Finch of Striders, who placed 98th overall (26.49).
The faster runners from both clubs were remarkably evenly matched, with both Striders and Harriers having eleven finishers under 22 minutes. Striders had 22 finishers under 25 minutes, compared with 21 Harriers. However after this point Striders’ superior numbers began to count, and they had a further 24 finishers between 25 and 35 minutes, compared with 14 Harriers.
James Bennett, from Striders of Croydon, had an excellent run to place fourth out of 557 finishers in the Bramley 10-mile road race on Sunday. James set a new club record of 53 minutes 48 seconds, which was 29 seconds faster than the previous record set by club colleague Peter Mills last year.