Ross Braden (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers) celebrated his first open race win at the Ted Pepper Memorial 10K on a multi-terrain course from Norman Park, Bromley on May Day Bank Holiday Monday (1 May). The traditional club race has been held for 39 years since 1979 and the list of trophy winners reads like a veritable who's who of British endurance running.
Braden Just Misses Record At Ted Pepper
Blackheath Harriers' Edward Pepper was 35 and at the peak of his athletic prowess when he tragically lost his bearings in the 1978 Three Peaks Race. His body was not found until the following day. He had been one of the first names on the team sheet of Blackheath's successful National Road Relay squads and, as a chartered accountant, was the club's auditor.
The early races were around seven miles, but since 1991 the course became an accurate 10k and was changed to the current off-road circuit of Bromley Common in 2012. Course features include Norman Park beside the river and trout farm; Brook Wood; Barnet Wood and Bromley Cricket Club on a predominantly flat out-and-back lap.
Braden, aged 24, utilised his 4:11.75 1500m track speed to finish in 34:33 (one second outside the current course record). The men's prize winners were completed by M40 Che Compton (Kent AC, 35:01) and Simon Minting (Exmouth Harriers, 35:06). Tony Tuohy (M50 Dulwich, 36:39) claimed the masters' award in an excellent sixth overall.
Junior prospect Jessica Keene (Blackheath, 39:22) brought cheers from the partisan crowd as she stayed ahead of the fast finishing W50 course record holder Clare Elms (Dulwich, 39:50) and her Dulwich team-mate Selma Benattia (W35, 41:47). With master athletes among the individual awards, the age-group prize went to fifth-placed W45 Kathryn Suckling (Petts Wood Runners, 44:20).
Despite the early promise from Dulwich runners, it was Blackheath & Bromley Harriers who added the women's team prize to the men's award to cap a most successful morning for the host club. Full results are in the comprehensive runABC South race listings.