PLENTY of local runners were in action at the London Youth Games cross-country championships at Parliament Hill last weekend as Tom Holden of Southwark repeated last year's success by winning the U17 event a year early.
Holden, who won last year's U15 title in a sprint finish, moved up to beat the same Haringey twins again this year, but by a more comfortable 100m and 150m margin to complete the course in 15:38.
Meanwhile Croydon Harriers, the 2012 London Youth Games champions, kicked off their 2013 campaign in style with sixth in the boys' category and tenth in the girls'.
Harry Smith got Croydon off to an excellent start in the U11 race, finishing runner-up over the 1500m course in 5 min 30 sec.
In the 2km U13 boys' race, Michael Eagling (26th, 8:15) and Angus Harrington (33rd, 8:18) placed highly in the 218-strong field to help the Borough to sixth, while in the girls' category Abbie Burrett (9:14, 50th) and Ellie McCormack (9:30, 76th) aided Croydon to 13th in the team standings over the same distance.
Omar Harhara (35th, 11:34) and Charlie Brackenborough (45th, 11:44) finished within ten seconds of each other in the 3km U15 boys ranks to assist the team to eighth, and the girls matched that feat with Emily Howe (41st) making the scoring trio.
After the youth events the men's 10k London championship race got underway with David White (17th, 35:53) leading Croydon's challenge in the near 300-strong field. Peter Chambers was one place further back in 36 minutes exactly and was the first U20 male home.
At the Bushy Park Run, Brendan Murphy came third from 809 finishers in 17:28.
Several South London Harriers juniors also ran in the London Youth Games on the muddy course, representing three different London boroughs. In the girls' races, with start lists of more than 200 in each, Amelia Stiff was the highest placed Sutton runner with sixth in the U13 team which finished 18th.
In the U15 category, with all the runners in the first year of the age group, Georgia Holden was the first Sutton runner back in 22nd place and Kaeli Zonfrillo in 77th – the Sutton team finishing ninth. Lili Collins ran for Croydon and came 40th. In the U13 boys' race Laurie Pope finished fifth running for Southwark. In the U17s, Jacob Geraghty (32nd), alongside Tom Holden, helped the Sutton team to sixth. Joe Lyne, for Croydon, was 37th.
Scott Overall, the 2012 Olympic GB Marathon runner, who lives in Sutton, kindly presented the medals to worthy competitors.