On a hot and steamy evening last Wednesday, 66 North Herts Road Runners finished the 3rd Mid-week league race hosted by their friends at Hitchin Running Club. They have put the club on course for promotion back to Division 1. The squirrels took a clean sweep of first places in all 4 categories - women, men, vet women and vet men. Katie Harbon was first lady in a time of 39:33 with Astrid McKeown in second (41:12) and Helen Nuttall fourth (43:23). For the men, NHRR had 4 of the top 6 finishers, Jim McConnel leading the charge in a time of 35:13, closely followed by Ed Price (35:22), Mark Vaughan (35:41) and Darren Sunter (35:53) .
On Saturday NHRR also had 3 teams running in the Greensands ridge relay.
A team of Adrian Sherwood, John Auld, Mark Vaughan, Ed Price, Adam Bowller and Darren Sunter won the trophy for the quickest time in an impressive 3:37:35 for the 34 mile course. A team of Johnny Spinks, Matt Ankers, Stuart Overton, Peter Sibbett and Jon Hunt finished 11th in 4:48:18.A team of Miranda Morgan, Helen Ferguson, Katie Harbon, Jo Harbon, Sue Vaughan and Jane Clarke finished 23rd in 5:22:21
On a week of great results for the Squirrels, Katie Harbon also took part in the Box End triathlon, which she won.
Further afield, three Squirrels raced in Coad-y-Brenin in Wales. The half marathoners ran 609m of height gain, with Paul Power completing the course in 2:53:23 and Dawn Power in 3:11:13. Andy Grudzinski completed the full marathon, including 1222m height gain in 6:11:21
The club launched their latest “Couch to 5k” group last week. 36 new runners signed-up to train over ten weeks to complete NHRR’s First Saturday of the Month 5k race in September. All club member wish the runners the best of luck!
9 squirrels took part in 4 park runs on Saturday, at Bedfont Lakes, near Heathrow (Stephen Lummis (22:45) and Chris Poole (24:43)), Black Park, near Slough (Ollie Garbas (19:22)), Bedford (Steve Tracey (19:43) and Stevenage (Simon Poole (19:04), Oliver Brady (19:22), John Cooper (20:53), Amanda Keightley-Pugh (30:07- PB) and Patrick Norris (35:04))
Inspired by the scurry of Squirrels running the London Marathon, John Rayner picked the Yeovill marathon as an attempt to gain Good For Age entry to 2018. With only 7 weeks to prepare, a half charged watch and first introduction to hitting the wall, John finished 10th in 3:02:11 to successfully achieve the Good For Age goal.
The St Albans Half marathon had a few squirrels in the sunshine. The pollen count was high, but this didn't stop Yuko Gordon winning the V55 category for the 4th year. Other squirrels finishing were Ellie Scott (1:53:52) and Joe Sherry (2:10:54).
A few squirrels ran the Stotfold challenge. The challenge is a 5km race completely off road. Claire O'Sullivan finished in just over 25min. Ian Sutcliffe (26.15) also running was Monica Cullin and Jen Nesbitt.
Jo Summers ran the 27.5 mile Farthingstone Foot Fest in the Northamptonshire undulating countryside. Jo finished with 3 others which were the first male and equal first ladies in a time of 5:10.
Several parks run venues were ran this week. Stevenage had the most squirrel appearances, John Cooper was first Squirrel home finishing in 21:06. Others running were Sheila Leavey (28:45), Amanda Keightley-Pugh (31:05) and Patrick Norris (33:44).
Else where some individuals popped up. James Laing ran 25:52 at Brockwell. Darren Matussa ran 18:34 at Roding Valley. Chris Poole ran 22:57 at Southend and Steve Lummis ran 22:41 at Conons Park.
Intrepid adventurers Michelle and Andy Grudzinski travelled to Norway for the Spitzbergen Marathon - the most northerly land marathon in the world and also the only marathon with polar bear guards. Through stunning scenery and with a two mile hill which had to be run twice the pair finished in 5:16:12.
Squirrel John Auld went to Barnsley to compete in the 50th Silkstone Shuffle. On a hilly 4.5 mile off road course Auld won the event setting a new PB of 27:38.
Jeni Spurr-Jones ran the Richmond Park 10 mile race in 1:42:31 whilst David Annetts took part in his first walking race, the Moulton Open 5 Miles Road Walk in Suffolk which he completed in an impressive 45:56.
The popular First Saturday of the Month 5K race celebrated its 6th birthday on Saturday 2nd June. With 102 runners competing the race was won by squirrel Rob Harris in 18:06.
Parkrun: Stevenage; Peter Sibbett 20:06; Chris Poole 23:45; Jeni Spurr-Jones 26:27; Karen Dodsworth 27:20; Patrick Norris 33:55. Sheringham; Ellie Scott 24:48.
Wimpole Hall; Ollie Garbas 20:29
North Herts Road Runners strengthened their promotion push with an emphatic victory in the second Midweek League race of the summer season.
A two-lap course in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage, proved to the Squirrels' liking as wins for the men and ladies gave NHRR overall victory on the night. The Letchworth-based club now has a commanding seven-point lead at the top of Division Two, halfway through the four-race series.
North Herts also head the veteran men’s standings, with the vet ladies a close second behind Harlow Running Club.
Ed Price ran a storming second half of the 9.9k course to lead the whole field home in 34.05 and Club Chairperson Astrid McKeown made light of the warm conditions to win the ladies’ race in 41.12.
Other NHRR finishers:
Paula Adams 7th, 44:11
Tash Pitman 11th, 45:54
Ellie Scott 14th, 46:47
Jo Summers 16th , 47:01
Barbara Sayers 17th, 47:07
Yuko Gordon 21st, 47:52
Jane Clarke 23rd, 48:02
Caroline Thrussell 24th, 48:14
Chloe Lucas 26th, 48:26
Helen Harbon 28th, 48:47
Claire O’Sullivan 33rd, 49:43
Jo Harbon 48th, 53:22
Lucy Hurley 50th, 53:33
Rachel Annett 57th, 55:26
Miranda Morgan 62nd, 56:05
Helen Giffin, 72nd, 57:16
Lucy O’Connor 74th, 57:39
Rachel Pounder 80th, 59:03
Sheila Leavy 86th, 1:00:07
Michelle Grudzinski 90th, 1:01:27
Dawn Power 91st, 1:01:38
Carina Quayle 94th, 1:01:55
Christine Sharp 98th, 1:04:31
Lindsay Cook 99th, 1:05:20
Jane Tyler 102nd, 1:06:43
Mark Vaughan 3rd,34:30
Jim McConnel 4th, 35:12
John Auld 9th, 35:42
Andy Mutton 11th, 35:46
John Rayner 14th, 35:53
Rob Harris 17th, 37:02
Nick Malpeli 22nd, 37:39
Darren Matussa 27th, 38:00
Steve McKeown 31st, 38:31
Andy Green 33rd, 38:39
Stewart Overton 34th, 38:40
Adrian Sherwood 37th, 38:47
James Keogh 42nd, 39:32
Vincent Wright 48th, 39:51
Martyn Annetts 63rd, 41:55
Richard Foster 72nd, 43:23
Greg Pounder 74th, 43:29
Richard Harbon 79th, 44:14
Dave Frampton 87th, 45:17
Niccolo Bassani 89th, 45:30
Christian Allen 99th, 45:58
Rob Milburn 108th, 47:08
Steve Lummis 110th, 47:35
Colin Calcutt 114th, 48:02
Chris Poole 126th, 49:22
Jason Davis 140th, 51:26
Matt Ankers 141st, 51:42
Ian Sutcliffe 147th, 54:13
Brian Bailey 157th, 56:50
Geoff Murray-Rochard 170th, 1:05:36
Brian Judkins 173rd, 1:06:46
Geoff Pettengell 174th, 1:12:27
Pat Norris 175th, 1:12:31
Andrew Leach turned in a superb performance at the Vitality London 10,000m road race, knocking 16 seconds off his own V50 club record to finish in 32:59 and first in his age category. Adam Bowller and John Rayner also recorded new bests, with 35:12 and 35:23 respectively, and Helen Nuttall finished in 43:19.
After missing the Midweek race with illness, Simon Poole was delighted to bounce back with a personal best in the Liverpool Half-marathon. Poole's strategy of running strictly to heart rate and not worrying about pace paid off as he crossed the line in 1:29:20.
Plenty of North Herts runners packed a second race into their week by taking part in Parkruns across the country. Steve Lummis ran at Luton Wardown, finishing in 23;13; Steve Tracey recorded 19:57 at Bedford; and Chris Poole travelled to Penrhyn, finishing in 24:45.
Four Squirrels competed at Panshanger Parkrun: Richard Harbon, 20:59; Helen Harbon, 23:24; Matt Ankers, 23:54; Jo Harbon, 26:37.
The largest NHRR Parkrun contingent was at Stevenage: Vincent Wright, 18:54; Ollie Garbas, 20:01, John Cooper, 21:16; Chloe Lucas, 23:05; Ellie Scott, 23:50; Bob Davis, 26:06; Jeni Spurr-Jones, 27:09; Pat Norris, 34:25.
Finally, four Squirrels took part in the Wimpole Estate Parkrun: Lucy O’Connor, 27:01; Helen Giffin, 29:03; Sheila Leavy, 31:11; Lisa Laundy, 31:37.
It was a weekend of marathons and parkruns for North Herts Road Runners.
In great form was Darren Sunter who took part in the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon. Sunter finished the 3 lap course in 2:51:16 which placed him 23rd in a field of over 6000. Also running was Jennie Fraser who clocked 4:03:57, finishing in 1578th.
Experienced marathoner Jo Summers took on a Derbyshire double this weekend. On Saturday she took part in the White Peak Marathon, a point to point marathon along the Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail. She finished in 3:46 (2nd FV50). On Sunday she took on the challenging “Leaden Boot”. This tough self-guided marathon has over 6000 feet of ascent. Summers battled the hills to finish in a course PB of 5:32 (3rd lady).
In parkrun action were: Stevenage – 25th Richard Harbon 21:04, 45th Ollie Garbas 22:21, 48th (and 2nd lady) Chloe Lucas 22:29, 51st (and 3rd lady) Ellie Scott 22:42, 69th Helen Harbon 23:32, 73rd Matt Ankers 23:54, 99th Joe Sherry 25:30, 107th Bob Davis 25:57, 128th Helen Giffin 26:49, 149th Linda Aird 27:44. Luton Wardown Park – 142nd Lindsay Cook 29:59. Plymvalley – 14th Simon Poole 20:30. Hatfied Forest – 60th Steve Lummis 23:42, 73rd Chris Poole 24:14. Wimpole Estate – 199th Lucy O’Connor 27:43.
Last weekend Yuko Gordon took part in the Starfish Bexhill Marathon. Aiming for a London Marathon qualifying time, Gordon completed the 4 lap coastal course in 4:12:05, successfully achieving her aim.
An impressive turnout of 60 North Herts Road Runners kicked of their midweek league campaign in division 2 with an impressive win in Bishop Stortford. In perfect conditions over an undulating course both the men’s and women’s team stormed home securing first place for the club. Five squirrels lead the field to dominate the final results. The scorers for men’s team were 1st Andrew Leach 34:12, 2nd Edward Price 34:29, 3rd Mark Vaughan 34:52, 4th Jim McConnell 34:57, 5th Darren Sunter 34:59, 12th Adam Bowller 35:50, 14th John Auld 36:02, 15th John Rayner 36:03, 24th Nicholas Malpeli 37:41, 26th Darren Matussa 38:02, 28th Steve McKeown 38:07, and 34th Adrian Sherwood 38:42.
The ladies team was lead home by Katie Harbon who won the women’s race in a time of 38:56. Other scores in the team include in 2nd place Astrid McKewon 41:55, 6th Helen Nuttall 43:14, 9th Natasha Pitman 45:55, 12th Kat Burr 46:52 and 20th Chloe Lucas 47:01.
Only weeks after completing the London Marathon, Darren Matussa and Oliver Garbas clocked up a couple of impressive times in a very hot Riga Marathon. Matussa finished in 3:06 with Garbas coming in at 3:25. Sue Foot also ran a marathon this weekend finishing the PJs in the Park Marathon in 4:40.
In Parkrun action at Stevenage Vincent Wright finished 2nd in 19:03, 9th Simon Poole 19:54, 15th John Cooper 20:29, 27th Phil Hunt 21:56, 33rd Lewis Jon Green 22:30, 4th Chloe Lucas 22:41, 35th Joseph Sherry 22:43, 5th Ellie Scott 22:48, 6th Barbara Sayers 22:50, 8th Helen Harbon 23:49, 10th Claire O’Sullivan 24:06, 18th Jeni Spurr-Jones 26:50, 19th Sue Vaughan 26:50, 98th Brian Bailey 26:57, 28th Sheila Leavy 28:19, 41st Jennifer Naisbitt 29:38 and 48th Carina Quayle 30:04. Other Parkruns Bracknall 63rd Stephen Lummis 25:12, Raphael 35th Chris Poole 22:34, and Livingston 165th Brian Judkins 33:11.
19 North Herts Road Runners ran in the club’s Greenway Challenge on Sunday with Mark Vaughan leading home the 295 finishers in an impressive 75.20. Mark was followed by club mates Ed Price, 2nd 76.20, Jim McConnel 3rd 76.53 and Darren Sunter 4th in 80.28. Darren Matussa also gained a top 10 finish in 9th with 84.16 whilst V50 Adrian Sherwood was 12th, 86.22. 1st lady home for the club was Ellie Scott, 1.52.43 closely followed by Helen Harbon, 1.53.47. Other finishers were: Greg Punder 1.40.02, James Drew 1.42.27, Phil Hunt 1.43.37, Barry West 1.44.13, Christian Allen 1.51.29, Matt Ankers 1.56.58 PB, Alice Bates 2.02.42, Jeni Spurr-Jones 2.09.45, Andrew Porter 2.17.42, Andee Price 2.21.01 and Joy Stroud 2.26.29.
Ladies’ team captain Katie Harbon competed in the final race of the Windsor Sprint Duathlon series at Dorney lake on Saturday and finished 1st lady in 4th position overall. Katie’s 74.27 finishing time put her just 6 minutes behind the 1st man and an impressive 7minutes ahead of the 2nd lady.
12 squirrels lined up for the First Saturday of the Month 5km held on Norton Common and Jon Auld crossed the line 1st in 18.21 just 2 weeks after his impressive London Marathon PB performance. James Keogh was 4th in 18.44 with junior Oliver Brady posting a superb 18.50 in 5th and John Cooper clocking a 20.35 PB for 10th. V60 Stewart Bryant ran 21.12 followed by 2nd lady Chloe Lucas 22.46, 3rd lady Jane Clarke 22.56 and 4th lady Ellie Scott 23.09. Also delighted with personal bests were Helen Giffin 26.58, Dawn Power 27.55, Sheila Leavy 28.31 and Lisa Lundy 30.54.
Also in PB form at the Stevenage Park Run was Jennifer Naisbitt who finished in 31.43. Joe Sheery completed the course in 24.30.
With such impressive times from all club members North Herts Road Runners are looking forward to the start of the Scott’s Travel Midweek Road Race League on Wednesday where they hope to secure promotion back to Division 1.
On Bank holiday Monday, five squirrels ventured over to Pednor near Chesham for the Pednor 5, incorporating the Herts County 5 mile Champs. The course is on small country lanes, devoid of traffic and starts with a flat 2 mile section, followed by a very steep hill, more flat bits then a crazy downhill section to the finish. Conditions were perfect and NHRR managed to put in some decent performances as follows.
First home was Mark Vaughan in 2nd place setting a new club record of 27:38. Mark was 1st in the Herts County open male and is county champion. Adam Bowller finished 7th (28:39). Yuko Gordon finished first in the F55 category despite being over 65. Yuko was 100th (15th lady). Other runners were Sue Vaughan, 209th (71st lady), (45:08) and Karen Dodsworth 214th (75th lady) (45:29). Yuko, Sue and Karen completed the ladies team who were also the Herts County ladies team winners!
Also on bank holiday Monday - several squirrels took part in the MK Marathon/Half marathon event. In the Marathon, Kat Burr finished in 3:46:02. Chris Poole finished his 2nd marathon this spring in 4:06:42. Naomi Parkinson completed her first marathon in 4:22:15. Steve Lummis finished in 4:37:39. The field of the Half Marathon was also populated with squirrels. Helen Govey finished in 2:03:40, taking nearly 21 mins off her previous PB and Jim Marvell finished in 2:27:18.
On Sunday, Sue Foot, Caroline Thrussell and Miranda Morgan completed the multi terrain Salcombe Coastal Marathon from Torcross to Bantham, via Salcombe along some of South Devon’s most beautiful coastline. The coastal footpaths were a mixture of grass, gravel and rocks and many parts needed careful negotiation both up and down the hills. There were the most stunning views everywhere you looked. Sue and Miranda both finished in 7:03 and Caroline in 6:51.
In rural Northamptonshire, Jo Summers completed the 27 mile route around the Valleys and Views and finished in 5.11.
On Saturday, Michelle Grudzinski completed the Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultra marathon along the Highland Way from Milgave to Tyndrum. Michelle finished in 14.58.43.
Several squirrels turned out at Stevenage Parkrun. John Cooper, 13th (21:50), Bob Davis (27:17), Helen Giffin (29:05), Oli Garbas (31:58) and Partick Norris (34:46). Others ventured to parksruns further a field. At Lyme Park, James Keogh finished in 20:36. And at Rutland Water, Chris Pool finished in 22:33.
Rob Harris and John Auld stormed to superb sub-3 hour personal bests at the front of a large North Herts Road Runners contingent in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Harris recorded 2:44:21, a time good enough to gain him qualification for the prestigious Championship start in next year's race.
Auld smashed a remarkable 11 minutes off his previous fastest time to finish in 2:51:56 - handsome reward for recording 800 miles in his marathon training programme.
Dan Hills was another Squirrel delighted with his time, completing his first marathon in 3:04.56. Further debuts – and some impressive charity fundraising - came from Allison Blunt with 5:08:2 and Jennifer Naisbitt with 6:33:13.
Barbara Sayers also recorded a personal best with 3:42:48.
Other North Herts Road Runners finishers: Adrian Sherwood 3:07:56; Nick Malpeli 3:12:59; Darren Matussa 3:15:05; Ollie Garbas 3:28:31; Daniel Williams 3;45:59; Steve Tracey 3:53:01; Jane Clarke 3:58:18; Helen Nuttall 4:08:33; Andrew Hull 4:21:41.
Parkrun results: Chris Poole achieved a new best of 21:57 at Beckton and Miranda Morgan took the honours as first V60 lady at Redditch with a time of 26:40.
Warm temperatures saw some blistering North Herts Road Runners performances this weekend. On Sunday, fast veterans Mark Vaughan and Yuko Gordon travelled to Gravesend Cyclopark to take part in the British Masters Athletics Federation’s 10k open road championships and both won British National Masters Titles in their age groups; Mark Vaughan finished 5th overall in a time of 34:57 Yuko Gordon was in 62nd place in a time of 45:19.
Also on the south coast were a group of North Herts Road Runners who took part in the Brighton Marathon. On an undulating coastal course, Jeni Spurr-Jones completed her debut marathon in 4:57 beating her target of 5 hours in tough marathon conditions. Chris Poole finished in 4:05, Dan Mallett in 5:52 and Pat Norris in 6:53.
Helen Harbon and Matt Ankers took part in the Sheffield Half Marathon, both were delighted to achieve new personal bests of 1:52 and 2:05 respectively. Jo Summers and Sue Foot took part in the 2 lap Haverhill Marathon. Jo Summers was the 2nd lady and first FV50 in 4:05 and Sue Foot finished in 5:02.
Closer to home was the Flitwick 10k. Darren Sunter placed 6th and got a new PB of 35:44 with Vincent Wright also dipping under the 40 minute mark, finishing in 39:33. Other runners were Christian Allen (45:44), Chloe Lucas (49:01), Claire O’sullivan (51:17), Brian Bailey (57:28), Derek Myall (1:01:58), Richard Fox (1:02:19), Christine Sharp (1:03:29) and Joy Stroud (1:05:45)
In parkrun action on Saturday were John Auld who set a new parkrun PB at Bedford of 17:20 (3rd place). John Raynor won at Dartford in 18:04, Brian Judkins finished 339th at Cambridge (30:28), Ellie Scott was 12th at Fritton Lake (23:45), Lisa Laundy was 331st at Wimpole Estate (32:43), Joe Sherry was 16th at Walthamstow (22:59) and Helen Giffin finished 178th at Panshanger (28:35).
At Stevenage parkrun, Simon Poole ran a great race to finish 2nd in 19:17. Pete Sibbett was 10th in 21:01, Ollie Garbas 12th in 21:19, John Cooper 16th in 22:03, Chloe Lucas 48th in 25:00 and Karen Dodsworth 83rd in 28:00.