North Herts Road Runners have presented a cheque for £5,000 to Letchworth’s Garden House Hospice as it faces a funding shortfall caused by the Coronavirus crisis.
Our Web-a-thon evening of entertainment and appeals for donations raised an amazing £3,173, smashing the £1,000 target set by Membership Secretary Phil Hunt, who first came up with the idea for the event. There was also a further £327 donated by Greenway Challenge entrants and an additional donation from the club’s own funds which rounded up the final figure to £5,000.
The closure of the Hospice’s shops and loss of other fundraising events has left it facing a huge drop in its expected income and the Web-a-thon went some way towards replacing money that would have been raised for the Hospice by the running club’s annual Greenway Challenge half-marathon.
Donations flooded in as more than 100 people logged on from their homes to enjoy an evening of singing, music, dancing and Caroline Thrussell’s hula-hoop challenge - all put on by our talented members. An auction of promises ranging from cake-baking to babysitting to guided birdwatching walks – all to take place once the lockdown is eased - pushed the total above the £3,000 mark. Local driving school Go Drive even donated 20 hours of driving lessons to go to the highest bidder.
Web-a-thon impresario Phil Hunt said ‘I was blown away by the generosity of our members and many friends who supported this event and donated to Garden House Hospice Care. We had a lot of fun putting on the event and seeing people we know for their running put their other talents on show. I am absolutely delighted that we managed to raise so much for this vital local cause.’
Sue Plummer, CEO of Garden House Hospice Care, added: ‘As a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic demand for our care has increased. However, we are unable to fundraise in the ways we usually do, with our usual fundraising activities cancelled or postponed and our shops closed. We are forecasting a loss of £25,000 a week – that’s £1.3 million this year.
‘We are so grateful to our very loyal supporters, and without groups like North Herts Road Runners getting behind us our future faces a serious threat. The club did a fantastic job raising over £3200 in the Web- a-thon. We would like to thank everyone involved for supporting the hospice and helping ensure we can continue to provide palliative and end of life care to our community.’
BMAF have arranged a Virtual 5km event on 14-20 Jun 2020, which celebrates the masters road relay championships at Sutton Park and the 5k championships at Horwich, which were cancelled due to coronavirus.
The entry page is here. Please take a look at the details.
We are looking to create some teams for this based upon age category.
This is aimed at ALL abilities. It would be great to have a bunch of teams in each category.
The entry is open from May 1st - so not available just yet. Will post again when its open. I'm assuming its going to be similar to the 12 stage. You can either enter yourself, and then submit your own results. Or if you wish, I can enter you and I'll submit your result too. I'm happy to help with submissions.
You will need an activity on either Garmin or Strava that is publicly visible. If you have privacy settings enabled - then you can enable a single activity to be public.
Please note the rule on the course: One or more loops totalling 5k, with the start/finish close together.
The teams will be automatically selected based upon the age and the times submitted. So basically we want a bunch of entries to start with. Individual entries also welcome, so if a category doesn't have a team then you're OK.
Every year North Herts Road Runners raise thousands of Pounds for local charities, with a large slice coming from our annual Greenway Challenge half-marathon event. In 2019 the Challenge raised £6,500 and the edition scheduled for Sunday 3rd May this year would have benefited a fantastic local cause – Garden House Hospice Care.
The impact of the Covid-19 crisis means the Hospice faces a shortfall of £600,000 this year and we want to help. So, on the evening of Sunday 3rd May, we are putting on the NHRR ‘Web-a-thon’ – a glittering online evening showing off the best of our members’ talents. There will be singing, dancing, live music, a general knowledge quiz for all to take part and even a five-minute guide to ‘lockdown birds’ you can see in your garden. Most importantly, there will be opportunities to donate to Garden House Hospice Care and support this vital local cause. The donations link is already open on the Web-a-thon donations page.
NHRR Membership Secretary Phil Hunt, who first proposed the event, said ‘We all know that the Hospice is under massive pressure at this time. It’s fantastic that my colleagues at North Herts Road Runners are pulling together to help support it. The Web-a-thon should be great fun, and it’s open to everyone, so pull up a chair and join us for a cracking evening of lockdown entertainment’.
The Web-a-thon is open to all and will start at 7.00pm on Sunday 3rd May – link to come nearer the time. See you there!
Every spring, the North Herts Road Runners hold an awards evening where the club comes together to celebrate the achievements of its members over the previous 12 months. This year was no different, as despite having to cancel the planned party due to COVID-19, the club swiftly made arrangements to alter its plans, and instead held a virtual awards evening on Facebook. Using the social media channel’s Watch Party feature, the club’s chair, Astrid McKeown, presented all of this year’s prizes from her kitchen, looking resplendent in formal evening attire, while the members logged on to watch, comment and celebrate what had been a remarkable year of running together.
“Our social team had put so much effort into organising what would have been a fantastic awards night, so it was a real shame we couldn’t gather in person,” said Astrid McKeown. “We’ll certainly do something together when this is all over, but in the meantime, there was no way COVID-19 was going to stop us celebrating our members’ efforts and successes.”
There was certainly plenty to celebrate. In front of a large online audience, and ably assisted by her husband Steve (in black tie, of course, and debonair as ever), Astrid presented virtual awards to members who had either excelled in races or shown themselves to be supportive and inspirational club members, and in many cases, both! The awards for the best club runners, which are selected by age-grading and performances for the club, were Caroline Thrussell and Mark Vaughan. The most improved runners were Dervla Downing and Pete Sibbert. The short course champions were Astrid McKeown and Andrew Leach, while Caroline Thrussell and Darren Sunter were the long course winners. The athletes who turned out for the club most often during the year were Lucy O’Connor for the women, while the men’s prize was shared by John Auld, Ian Datlen and Pete Sibbert. The awards chosen by the coaches for the most outstanding contributions from the athletes in their groups went to Helen Marson Smith, Andrew Porter, James Dalton, Dervla Downing, Katie Harbon and Vince Wright. The final two awards of the evening were selected by the club’s membership. The winner of the 101% Award went to coach Brian Bailey, and the Personality of the Year was Ian Datlen.
The response to the online broadcast was overwhelmingly positive, with club members commenting enthusiastically about the online broadcast. Head Coach Karen Dodsworth recorded her own video message in response, saying to the club’s members: “We are missing you all, and are so looking forward to the time we can train together again. In the meantime: stay safe; know that we all still share our love of running, and are thinking of each other. Happy running Team NHRR!”
This evening the UK government advised everyone to avoid non-essential social contact and gatherings in order to slow the spread of Covid-19.
As our club meetings are non-essential (as much as we like to think they are), NHRR will be doing their part to slow the spread and we are cancelling ALL organised session (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) until further notice.
We appreciate that this is disappointing.
Please stay healthy in these very unprecedented time.
We will keep you updated via email, forum and social media.
Several North Herts Road Runners travelled to Milton Keynes for the hugely popular running festival on Sunday, where there was a number of events taking place including a 5k, 10k, half marathon and 20 mile.
Fourteen friendly squirrels took part in the varying distances with Mark Vaughan finishing 3rd overall in the 20 mile in a time of 2:00:07, even though ‘It was a last minute entry into the race and it was a nice way to finish off an 85 mile training week!’. Wow! Alongside Mark were five other North Herts Road Runners who did fantastically well in the challenging conditions, including Adrian Sherwood 2:23:33, Sophie Thrussell 2:25:43, Caroline Thrussell 2:35:02, Lucy O’Connor 3:18:18 and Vanessa Rolfe 3:44:57.
The 10k saw Dervla Downing lead North Herts Road Runners home in a time of 46:48. Kat Gourd and Andrew Coates finished together in a time of 48:45 even though Kat had a bit of a bumpy start with an ‘embarrassing’ trip in the car park before the race had even started, which meant running round with bloody knees and a grazed elbow! Nothing will stop these hardy squirrels!
Other finishers include Tim Banting 53:53, Sue Vaughan 57:22 and Ali Blunt 59:06 in the 10k, and Dave Frampton 1:32:04 and Katrina Dixon 2:20:23 in the half marathon.
Even though both Kat and Mark commented on the ‘nightmare hill at the end’, it does seem like a good event to put in the diary for next year as I heard it was well organised with a decent medal. Who doesn’t love a good medal!
Elsewhere saw John Auld complete his 20th, yep 20th, Silkstone Shuffle- an achievement itself I say. John finished 4th and received the first senior man outside the top 3, winning a bottle of wine. It wasn’t an easy race this time though with John describing it as a great race which was well fought. John told us that there was plenty of water and mud on the course which was very strength sapping (coaches take note- strength work required!), and that whilst the top 3 ran off the battle for 4th was a good one that lasted the whole race, with John out-sprinting his competition in the last 500m.
Dan Mallett attended the Beowulf 10k at West Stow Country park in Bury St Edmunds. Out of 315 runners Dan came 88th in a time of 55:59. Dan described the course as a trail run going through the park and back with a mixture of dry mud, sand and logs among the natural obstacles. And, with no hills and a couple of nice downhill sections combined with sunny(ish) weather, it made for an enjoyable experience with a cracking medal at the end. Another race to enter just for the medal!
James Dalton 20:54
Matt Roberts 24:00
Steve Brenton 24:25
Carl Goodrum 29:04
Philip Flack 30:11
Siobhan Walsh 33:24
Chris Stokes 20:48
Ian Datlen 21:57
Rhia Botha 23:2
Kat Gourd 26:59
Andrew Coates 26:59
Jane Clarke 35:23
Naomi Parkinson 49:43
Carl Haskell 44:26
Abbie Haskell 44:28
Vicky Haskell 44:29
Steve Williamson- 21:55
Chris Poole 24:07
Will Harrison 19:08
Jillian Boys 27:28
As you know, the latest situation and advice from the UK government as well as England Athletics on the Covid 19 pandemic is being updated on a daily basis. We have been following all of the advice and while not yet implemented by the authorities, as a club we will always put the health and safety of our runners and coaches first. We have therefore made the following decisions to minimise the risk caused from gatherings of people.
Regrettably we have decided to cancel this year’s award night. We apologise to those who made extra efforts to be able to attend and to our social team who has been working so hard to organise one of the clubs highlights of the year.
But because we don’t want to take anything away from what you have achieved this year, the award winners will still be announced on the night via forum and email. Therefore, have a glass of bubbles near-by and celebrate our winners virtually. The winners will be contacted after the event to arrange how they can receive their trophies.
We now need some time to look at the options for a summer/autumn event instead
We will offer you a full refund, just bear with us whilst we sort out how to do that.
The AGM will be held virtually. You will receive a link that will allow you to attend via computer or mobile. You will be muted during the meeting but this virtual meeting will allow you to vote for the committee members, president and constitution changes via voting buttons. A questions field to type any questions will also be available.
Note that the vote for the charity of the year will be prior to the AGM, but we will reveal the winner at the AGM.
Recognising that some individuals may face short term financial changes, we will are also looking membership renewal delay. We hope to share more details at the AGM.
Until further notice we will NOT be meeting at the Spirella building for announcements, starting Tuesday 17th March. If you want to take part in our coached group training, please check the weekly training post on the forum that will indicate the separate meeting points for blue, green, yellow and purple. Groups might be combined or self-guided. Alternatively use your whatsapp group to arrange your own sessions.
Please minimise the items you would bring to training and usually leave at Spirella. The coaches will aim to bring a bag for your clothes/car keys.
If you wish, you can still use the Spirella car park and run to your session from there, but please do your post run stretching/hydration at home.
Obviously, if you are not feeling well, please don’t come to the sessions.
We will review our training arrangements regularly and will communicate when we will resume notices. Please check forum/email for any updates.
While we all have been told that elderly people, people with underlying conditions, and people who have to take immune suppressants are at higher risk, please note that training, especially hard training in preparation for a race, can compromise your immune system. As a result you are likely at higher risk of infection and if you get infected, you are at a higher risk for a worse course of the infections. Hence, please consider if reducing the intensity of your training is something you might want to do.
Thank you for your understanding in this very unusual situation.
If you have any further question and concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
11 North Herts Road Runners travelled up the Cambridge Road to run the hugely popular Cambridge Half Marathon. The sun finally put its hat on and made a rare appearance but did little to take the edge off the wind freezing everyone at the start. Has there ever been a time in Cambridge when there is no wind? Kat Gourd remarked upon the, ‘Fabulous flat course, taking us through the wonderful city centre of Cambridge (even running through the infamous King's College!) and looping out to the very picturesque Grantchester village.’ Despite the beautiful scenery and the temptation to slow down and admire the views (maybe even pick up a degree) the appearance of the sun after 2 years in hiding had a startling effect on the runners resulting in a number of Personal Bests being achieved.
Kat Gourd was really pleased to finish in a new post-knee surgery PB of 1:47:38 whilst Dave Braybrook also beat his target, breaking the 2 hour barrier to gain a new PB of 1:59:04 smashing his previous PB of 2:06:52 by nearly 8 minutes. Angeliki Shearstone beat her best time by 2 minutes finishing in 1:51:52 and Elwyn Howell beat his PB by 7 minutes in 2:03:49. Sounds like some quality coaching has been taking place.
The other runners times were Tom Webb 1:11:42, James Dalton 1:28:10, Chris Poole 1:40:09, Ian Harvey 1:46:22, Jennie Fraser 1:48:51, Dan Mallett 1:49:58 and Andrew Robson 1:53:37
Ian Datlen shunned the limelight and the conversation of his clubmates and instead set off for the Roding Valley Half where he finished 33rd and set a new PB of 1:34:52 (there were no squirrels to verify this).
The PB’s don’t stop there! Katie Harbon set a new half marathon PB in an absolutely superb time of 1:22:45 at the Surrey Half Marathon and was the first lady home - an outstanding run. Darren Sunter also represented the club finishing 71st in a rapid 71:41. Clearly there was something in the water this weekend.
Sue Foot decided to run a long race for a change and completed the Amersham Ultra for charity. Sue finished first in the F60+ category after wading through 30 miles of mud and puddles in the Chilterns in a time of 6:59.
Rob Harris ran the HIllingdon 20 which involved 4 laps of a 5 mile course. Rob finished 7th overall and 1st MV40 in an excellent time of 2:04:13.
Elsewhere XC races were still taking place. The Herts Vets XC took place on a three and half lap course surrounding Stanborough Lakes in Welwyn. The results were Andrew Porter 48.12, Ian Sutcliffe 48.58, Lorna Chambers 50.21, Hannah Keeble 51.29 and Brian Judkins 55.36.
A special mention goes to Ed Price who was selected to run for Hertfordshire in the British XC series at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough. Despite the attritional course sucking the energy (and shoes) off the competitors Ed finished 6th for Hertfordshire and scored points for his County. An excellent achievement and honour for the club - well done Ed.
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