The eighth annual ‘mob match’ between Croydon Harriers and Striders of Croydon took place on Saturday morning, in conjunction with the South Norwood parkrun. Croydon Harriers packed very strongly at the front at the field, and had the first four finishers. Peter Chambers finished well ahead in 16 minutes 24, with Phil Symonds second (17:17). Kyron-Bailee Burke ran very well to finish first in the under-18 age-group and third overall (17:55) with club colleague Matthew Shires fourth (17:58). The first Strider to finish was Andrew Aitken who placed fifth (18:02). Harriers then had five of the next six finishers with Douglas Aikman sixth (18:20), Henry Butt eighth (18:25), Ashley George ninth (18:46), Colm Porter tenth (18:51) and Lee Torentino eleventh (18:56). Striders then packed six runners in close succession with Sebastian Munday 13th (19:26), Conor O’Hara-Barrett 14th (19:40), Justin Macenhill 15th (19:41), Steve Corfield 16th (19:44), Graeme Drysdale 18th (19:56) and Damian Macenhill 19th (20:05). Twelve Harriers and ten Striders finished in under 21 minutes. The first under-15 to finish was Daniel Finch of Striders, who ran very well to place 29th overall (21:04).
Harriers had the first four female finishers, led by teenager Zoha Jetha, who ran very well to place 30th overall (21:08). Another teenager, Katherina Warren, was 42nd (21:41), just outsprinting club colleague Laura Marshall who recorded the same time. Holly Smith of Harriers was the first under-15 girl to finish, placing 55th overall (22:26). Striders’ women were led by Kara Boaks who was the seventh woman to finish, placing 78th overall (24:05), with Ellyw Evans close behind in 80th (24:10).
The first over-60 to finish was Jon Dean of Striders, who placed 32nd overall (21:13). The first over-65 to finish was Rashmi Yadave of Harriers, who placed 65th overall (23:15). The first over-50 woman to finish was Sunanda Sarker-Bell of Harriers, who placed 104th overall (25:52). The first over-70 to finish was Michael Bassett of Striders, who placed 124th overall (27:21).
While Harriers had dominated the leading positions, the clubs were more evenly matched further down the field, and each club had 36 runners finishing in under 28 minutes. In total, Striders had 52 finishers while Harriers had 42. Using the ‘Thornbury’ method whereby all 94 runners score, Harriers won the match by 2300 points to 2165. Scoring 42-a-side, Harriers won by 1896 points to 1674.