Twenty six of ESM’s top young athletes turned up at 6:30am for the coach into Central London for Sunday’s Mini Marathon, writes Tim Hannah.
Once inside the old Billingsgate Fish Market there was a long wait for the race in cramped conditions. Eventually 9am came and the athletes were led in groups out to the race start to await the celebrity starter – Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Wints – to set them under way. The race takes in the final three miles of the Marathon course, through the City, along the Embankment and finally across Parliament Square and past Buckingham Palace to the finish on the Mall.
Tactics and sharp elbow are required to secure a front row place on the grid, but our George Kerry showed how to do it in the U17 Men’s race. He only took 16m 7sec to reach the finish and came 16th out of all the London Borough runners – which was also the highest placing attained by ESM runners. George’s association with this event goes back further than any of the other 2017 entrants from ESM, as he is listed as far back as the 2011 race. Jack Whittaker took the third scoring place, while Jonathan Martin and Davide Lamagna (both still 15) completed the ESM squad.
Next up were the Under 15 boys who achieved the Borough’s best result of the day. The combined team came tenth with the assistance of Hillingdon AC’s Mohammed Ali, who finished second in the race. Sudeys Hersi took the second scoring place, with Arun Manget just a minute behind finishing third for the Borough. Chauncey Edwards was the fifth-placed runner.
The Under 13 boys placed 25th, with all six team places taken by ESM runners. The first club member home was Najiib Hersi, the youngest member of the squad, who ran competitively to finish 35th. Thanks to Maryam’s dad for the great action shot of Najiib. Marcus West was second scorer for the Borough. There were only a few seconds between Mahiis Hersi and new member Michael Gavin to take the last two scoring places. Maxi Steel and Marco Lamagna also ran well.
The story with the U17 girls is more complicated, as two of ours were running for other Boroughs! (Athletes run for the Borough in which they live). Jessica Leane was our fastest runner, but she was representing Harrow. She was first to score for their team, which finished 20th. Anisa Ibrahim was our second-fastest, scoring for Hillingdon, which finished another three places higher, in 17th. Those running for Ealing finished 23rd as a team, led in by Laura Stewart, followed by Roisin Lynch, Maryam Hussain and Cameron Thomas.
Thanks to Kay Stewart for this picture of most of the ESM U17/U15 squad: Lucy, Sarah, Nicola, Laura, Roisin, Maryam, Megan (unattached) and Cameron.
The U15 girls were 23rd, with Lucy O’Brien leading the Borough in, as she did last year. The team packed quite well, and Fiona Coutts was just 12 seconds outside a scoring place. Sarah Freegard completed the squad, running in this event for the fourth consecutive year.
The U13 girls placed 22nd with club members Lucy Henson, Leah Whittaker and Isabel Adar representing the Borough. The Ealing borough team had the benefit of Zakia Mossi from Blackheath & Bromley club who came fourth in a time of 17:57. Isabel was our champion charity fund raiser raising £145 for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Well done to all our young athletes who took part, and commiserations to Nicola and Ilyes who weren’t able to complete the race. Nicola dislocated several toes!
ESM Results Summary:
U17 Men: 16 George Kerry 16:07; 80 Jack Whittaker 18:10; 122 Jonathan Martin 19:49; 132 Davide Lamagna 20:25
U15 Boys: 26 Sudeys Hersi 16:49; 66 Arun Manget 17:43; 144 Chauncey Edwards 19:55
U13 Boys: 35 Najiib Hersi 18:22; 102 Marcus West 19:43; 139 Mahiis Hersi 20:26; 140 Michael Gavin 20:30; 150 Maximilian Steel 21:05; 158 Marco Lamagna 21:42
U15 Girls: 80 Lucy O’Brien 21:19; 132 Fiona Coutts 22:52; 180 Sarah Freegard 27:24
U13 Girls: 79 Lucy Henson 21:01; 135 Leah Whittaker 22:35; 174 Isabel Adar 25:34
[i] Representing Harrow
[ii] Representing Hillingdon