Sunday saw the second race in the season’s Three Counties Cross Country League. 34 North Herts Road Runners took to the Wootton course. The men’s scoring team of Jim McConnell, Ed Price, Adam Bowler, John Auld, Matt Sayers, Stewart Overton, Ryan Smith and Nick Malpelli finished in second place and the women’s scoring team of Jane Clarke, Sarah Mitcherson, Linda Aird and Naimh Barry (in her first race for the club) finished in 8th place giving the Squirrels an overall 4th place on the day. Other runners were Dan Hills, Vince Wright, Simon Poole, Adrian Sherwood, Steve Wells, Matt Davies, Richard Harbon, James Walsh, Marcus Farnfield, Johnny Spinks, Lucy O’Connor, Ian Sutcliffe, Miranda Morgan, Karen Dodsworth, Sue Vaughan, Christine Sharpe, Jane Tyler, Helen Crommack, Lindsay Cooke, Brian Judkins, Geoff Pentengell and Monica Cullin.
In the overall standings NHRR are 3rd, with the men’s team in 2nd place and the women in 4th.
Further afield, in the Greek sunshine, Michele Grudzinski completed her 10th marathon (and her 3rd in 7 weeks) in the Athens Authentic Marathon in a time of 4:39:28.
11 Squirrels took part in ParkRuns. Ellie Scott - 28:44 (366th) in Norwich. Julie Jones - 38:48 (407th) in Bedford. Chris Poole - 26:47 (72nd) in Wanstead Flats. Brian Judkins - 33:30 (281st) in Woodley. Matthew Davies - 25:49 (92nd) at Wimpole Estate. Stephen Lummis - 26:06 (28th) at a muddy Rushmere Park. Mark Cook - 21:39 (9th) in March. At Stevenage Oliver Brady was 5th in 19:47; John Cooper was 12th in 20:56; Joe Sherry was 71st in 25:01 and Sheila Leavy was 162nd in 29:01
Satuday 4/11 witnessed a fabulous turnout of over 120 runners for a very soggy First Saturday of the Month 5K at Norton Common proving how well loved the open-to-all monthly event organised by NHRR is. First to finish was squirrel John Auld in 18:18 and first lady finisher was fellow NHRR member Jane Clarke in 21:51. A total of 31 members of the club raced on the common in pouring rain. These included; James Keogh; Adrian Sherwood; Steve Tracey; Steven Harris; John Cooper; Sophie Thrussell; Sarah Mitcherson; Dan Martin; Colin Calcutt; Manvir Parmer; Andrew Cooper; Paula Holm; Caroline Thrussell; Lucy O’Connor; Paul Bowal; Linda Aird; Geoff Murray-Rochard; Karen Dodsworth; Cara Sutton; Helen Giffin; Helen Cromack; Jennie Andrews; Linsey Ashley; Ali Mottram; Heidi Mollart-Griffin; Helen Marson-Smith; Shirley Calcutt; Jo Sopala and Helen Govey.
The next FSOTM will be the Santa Canter on Saturday 2nd December at Norton Common. All runners are invited to don festive outfits. The run is free as usual and will be raising funds for the MS Therapy Centre. Last year a fantastic £650 was raised.
Several squirrels took part in parkruns over the weekend. Joe Sherry was at Stevenage (28:45), Steve Lummis (23:54) and Chris Poole (24:27) were at Hoblingwell, Darren Matussa (20:16) at Roding Valley and Brian Judkins was at Ellenbrook Fields (31:14). On Sunday Darren Matussa also ran the Marlow Half Marathon which he finished in 1:32:47.
Only 3 weeks after winning silver at the British Masters Marathon championships, Nick Malpeli was racing again. This time over a shorter distance at the Fenland 10. A strong head wind for the first 5 miles and with legs still recovering from his recent marathon meant that his time wasn’t as fast as he had hoped for finishing 20th overall in 01:02:36, 2nd MV50. This was still good enough to secure him the gold medal in the Eastern Masters championships MV50-54 category.
Four squirrels took on marathons this weekend. Sue Foot and Miranda Morgan took part in the challenging Beachy Head Marathon running together they finished in a time of 5:32. Michelle Grudzinski took on the Snowdonia Marathon for the second time and despite nursing an injury and stopping in the local pub she managed to finish 4 minutes quicker than last year in 5:16. Jo Summers was at St Edmunds Marathon where she finished 4th female and 1st FV50 in a time of 4:06. Pat Norris was also at St Edmunds and took the half marathon option finishing in 2:58:20.
Monica Cullin took park in the Love Luton 10k finishing in a time of 1:36:09.
On Saturday North Herts Road Runners were out in force at many and various parkruns around the country. Simon Poole took the top result at Pennington Flash parkrun finishing 1st in a time of 19:23. Darren Matussa was 3rd at Roding Valley Parkrun in 18:48. Other parkruns included Torbay Velopark where Brian Judkins finished 156th in 30:28, Phoenix parkrun Chris Poole 21st 25:26, Westmill parkrun Helen Giffin 33rd 30:07, Kettering parkrun Steve Williamson 26th 22:05, Wimpole Estate parkrun Matthew Davies 26th 21:13.
Most squirrels stayed closer to home at Stevenage parkrun with John Cooper 8th 20:31, Rob Milburn 10th 20:36, Richard Harbon 12th 20:45, Chris Stokes 22nd 21:32, Oliver Garbas 38 23:08, Barbara Sayers 43rd 23:43, Paul Bowal 66th 25:07, Caroline Thrussell 97th 26:58, Sue Vaughan 98th 26:59, Linda Aird 108th 27:17, Chrissie Davis 165th 30:14, Geoff Pettengell 190th 33:36, Lindsey Lucas 215th 36:58, Johanne Kenlin 232nd 40:24, and Joanne Sopala 238th 43:25.
This Sunday saw the beginning of the cross-country league season. The first race took place at Croyland Park, Wellingborough with 26 squirrels taking to the course.
Both men’s and women’s teams finished in 2nd, leaving the NHRR team top in the combined competition. It’s a fantastic start to the race series.
Jim, Mark, Adam, John, Ed, Matt, Ryan and Stewart scored for the men and Astrid, Jane, Paula and Sarah were the women’s scorers.
The full list of runners with their positions are as follows:
7, Jim McConnel
9, Mark Vaughan
12, Adam Bowler
15, John Auld
18, Ed Price
21, Matt Sayers
29, Ryan Smith
38, Steward Overton
42, Nick Malpeli
48, Steve Wells
53, James Keogh
56, Vince Wright
71, Adrian Sherwood
101, Astrid Mckeown
112, Jane Clarke
118, Steve Tracey
122, Steve Harris
142, Steve Williamson
157, Paula Adams
162, Lewis Green
163, Sarah Mitcherson
164, Kat Burr
265, Linda Aird
289, Hannah Keeble
317, Christine Sharp
329, Joy Shroud
With Less Mud but a longer distance Chelmsford Marathon saw four squirrels donning their vests. Naomi Parkinson was the first to finish in a PB time of 4:18:46, Lucy Hurley in her marathon debut time of 4:27:28. Adam Wilson also making his marathon debut finished in a time of 4:44:38, Alan Hazlehurst in 4:51:50 pretty impressive for someone still recovering from a chest infection!
Jennifer Naisbitt ran her first half marathon in Stevenage doing better than she expected, finishing in 2:13:02.
11 Squirrels settled for the 5k parkrun distance in Stevenage with the following results.
10th Rob MILBURN, 20:27, 20th Chris STOKES, 21:25, 55th (6th Female) Ellie SCOTT, 24:22, 88th Richard FOX, 25:48, 91st Paul BOWAL, 26:00, 94th Jon STOW, 26:05, 126th Verity HAGUE, 27:50, 144th Helen GIFFIN, 00:28:47, 171st Oliver GARBAS, 00:30:11, 202nd Chrissie DAVIS, 00:31:30, 232nd Patrick NORRIS, 00:32:54.
Parkrun Zary saw Chris Poole coming in 69th in a time of 28:58, Tring Parkrun had Stephen Lumis taking part coming in in 53rd with a time of 26:07 and in March Mark Cook was 7th in 21:01.
A scurry of squirrels turned out at the Amptill Trophy to start the Cross-Country season. Described as a fast, challenging course in historic Amptil Park, it was more challenging than fast! With great support round the course, first home for the club and winner of the race was Andrew Leach, closely followed by Jim McConnel who was 2nd. Matt Sayers was 3rd home for the club in 8th place overall. These 3 made up the winning mens team for the event. Other runners were Ryan Smith (10th), John Auld (11th), Stewart Overton (14th) and Vincent Wright (20th). Astrid Mckeown was the first lady in the race and 24th overall. Robert Milburn (51st), David Weston (58th), Johnny Spinks (128th). Linda Aird (129th) was the first FV55.
In the junior race, supported by NHRR was Oliver Brady who finished 2nd U15 and Charlotte Spinks finished 1st FU17.
Nursing an injury from the Standalone 10k fun run, Lindsay Cook ran the Manchester Half in 2:21:11 in the unseasonably warmth of the north.
Two squirrels ran the at the Bedford Duathlon. In the sprint distance, Simon Poole finished 7th in his category and is waiting to see if this merits a GB qualification. Andrew Green (1:03:10) finished 11th in category. In the standard distance NHRR member Katie Harbon, racing for Freedom Tri, finished first lady and has qualified for the Europeans in Ibiza.
Several squirrels were in Parkrun action this week. Five squirrels went to Bedford parkrun #327. Ellie Scott (23:44) was first home for the club, followed by Paul Bowal (25:56), Sue Vaughan (26:54), Jon Stow (27:07) and Verity Hague (28:17). Cambridge Parkrun #393 had the pleasure of Brian Judkins (34:42). Closer to home, four squirrels ran Stevenage Parkrun #177. First home for the club was Simon Poole (20:29) who was on pacing duty and successfully got a friend round with a new PB. Steve Limmus (22:38) was second home for the club followed by Christian Allen (25:18) and Jo Sherry (27:01). Further afield, Chris Poole ran his 177th Parkrun at Sale Water. Chris has now done 124 different parkruns world wide.
North Herts Road Runners ‘ Nick Malpeli celebrated his debut in an England vest by taking the silver medal in the British Masters Championships for the marathon.
Competing in the Chester Marathon, Malpeli recorded a magnificent 2.47.28 to slice 96 seconds off his personal best and set a new club record in the process.
The Squirrels sent a strong contingent to the Great Eastern Half-marathon in Peterborough, where Richard Fox was delighted to knock 12 minutes off his time in last year’s event, recording 2.21.23 this time. James Drew achieved a new personal best with 1.37.00. Other results from Peterborough: Mark Vaughan, 1.14.55; Darren Sunter, 1.15.44; Ed Price, 1.16.51; Adam Bowller, 1.17.35; John Rayner, 1.17.44; Stewart Overton, 1.22.39; Martyn Annetts, 1.34.33; Suzy Trott, 1.40.15; Linda Aird, 1.53.51.
Sue Foot and Jo Summers both travelled to Suffolk for the Great Barrow Autumn Double marathon event over the weekend, with Sue recording 4.32 on the Saturday and Jo clocking 4.14 on Sunday.
James Keogh was the first North Herts finisher at their regular First Saturday of the Month 5k crossing the line third in 19.05. 127 people enjoyed the scenic and challenging Norton Common course.
Sunday saw the 30th running of North Herts Road Runners’ Standalone 10k, with a record 1650 entrants for the 10 km course and 300 for the children’s fun run at Standalone farm. Alongside the runners, helpers and stalls the Garden City Samba band and NHRR’s Tufty and the Squirrels were on hand to play the runners home. As usual Standalone Farm was a great setting for the race, with the farm team being the perfect hosts.
With around 120 Squirrels and their friends helping put on the event, marshalling, supervising road closures, providing refreshments, working with our sponsors and a myriad of other jobs, a relatively small team was entered in the race itself.
The ladies race (662 finishers) was won by North Herts’ very own Katie Harbon in a time of 38:30, followed by Astrid McKeown in 40:37 (6th), Jane Clarke - 43:15 (10th), Paula Adams - 44:31 (17th), Natasha Pitman - 44:54 (19th), Katherine Burr - 46:12 (35), Jennie Fraser - 50:42 (84th), Angela Edmondson-Jones - 55:08 (172nd), Jen Naisbitt in a PB of 57:16 (253rd); Carina Quayle - 1:04:08 (415th), Helen Cromack - 1:04:35 (423rd), Lisa Laundy - 1:04:38 (425th), Randeep Sandher - 1:20:03 (631st), Shani Fielding - 1”20:35 (633rd) and Hayley Cocks - 1:21:27 (638th)
In the men’s race (692 finishers), first home for the club was Andrew Leech in a time of 33:41 (4th place), followed by Mark Vaughan in 34:39 (8th), and then Darren Sunter in 34:51 (9th), Jim McConnel - 35:06 (11th), John Rayner - 35:29 (13th), Ed Price - 35:41 (16th), Andy Mutton - 35:42 (17th), John Auld in a new PB of 35:47 (19th), Rob Harris - 37:08 (26th), James Drew - 45:47 (177th), Lewis Green - 47:28 (227th), Manvir Parmer - 48:17 (250th) and Andrew Porter - 58:06 (527th).
The ladies team of Katie Harbon, Astrid McKeown, Jane Clarke and Paula Adams, were first and won the County Championship. The men’s top two teams came first and second and won first and second places in the county championships too. They were made up of Andrew Leach, Mark Vaughan, Darren Sunter, Jim McConnel (A team); John Rayner, Ed Price, Andy Mutton and John Auld (B Team).
The Race Committee and club would like to thank all of those who raced and especially all those who gave up their time to help make this once again one of the best local community events of the year.
Elsewhere, 4 squirrels raced Parkruns, with Chris Poole finishing 121st in 23:39 at Gunnersbury, Brian Judkins finishing 63rd at Westmill in 34:21, while at Stevenage, Geoff Pettengell was 157th in 32:27 and Patrick Norris finished 166th in 33:31
On Wednesday 27th, a squabble of Squirrels ran in the third and final race in the Hatfield 5k Series gaining some more impressive results and prizes. In a field of 249 runners Mark Vaughan was first home for the club in 16:26 (3rd place), as well as finishing 2nd overall in the series and first MV40. John Rayner finished in 17:01 (9th) and 3rd in the MS category. John Auld finished in 17:14 (10th), as well as 2nd overall in the MS category. Other finishers were Matthew Sayers - 17:38 (17th) (2nd in the V40 category overall), Stewart Overton - 17:49 (21st), Nick Malpeli - 17:50 (22nd), Andrew Green 18:03 (28th), Simon Poole - 18:27 (34th), Darren Matussa - 18:55 (43rd), Martyn Annetts - 19:49 (65th), Jane Clarke was the first female Squirrel home - 20:40 (80th) and 3rd overall in the FV35 category, Peter Sibbett - 20:50 (83rd), Claire O’Sullivan - 23:22 (129th), Matt Ankers - 24:37 (150th), Richard Fox - 24:45 (154th), Linda Aird - 24:53 (157th) finishing 2nd overall in the FV55 category. Ian Sutcliffe - 25:35 was 165th and 1st in the MV70 category, Rachel Annetts - 25:40 (169th) and Karen Dodsworth - 27:32 (198th). The men’s team of Mark Vaughan, John Rayner, John Auld, Matt Sayers and Andrew Green won the series title.
Mark Vaughan and John Auld made the short trip to Biggleswade to compete in the open 10,000 on the track. The race was also the Herts County and EVAC Championship. Vaughan won the race in 34:02 with John Auld in his first track 10k finishing 3rd in 36:40. Vaughan’s win secured him a clean sweep of golds as County Champion in both Open and Vets competition and EVAC champion. Auld took the silver in the Open County competition.
On Sunday 13 squirrels hit the streets of Hitchin to race the town centre 5k. Katie Harbon was the 2nd lady to finish in a time of 18:16. Andrew Green was 5th in a time of 17:54 followed by 18th David Weston 20:39, 27th Richard Harbon 19:43, 67th Claire O’Sullivan 23:06, 70 Naomi Parkinson 23:30, 81 Richard Fox 23:59, 82 Helen Harbon 24:02, 85 Jo Harbon 24:26, 93 Matt Ankers 24:41, 173 Lindsay Cook 28:31, 203 Geoff Pettengell 31:28, 231 Shani Fielding 36:27 and 232 Hayley Cocks in 36:39.
David Annetts took part in the Enfield League 1 hour Badge Race Walk, completing 11.243km on the track for 3rd place.
Michelle Grudzinski ran the Berlin Marathon completing the 26.2 miles in 4 hours 47 minutes while Patrick Norris tackled Kings Forest Trial Marathon in 7 hours and 26 minutes.
Enjoying Parkruns at Stevenage finishing in 3rd was Simon Poole in 18:32 (PB), 10th John Cooper 20:36, 22nd Oliver Garbas 21:22, 86th Paul Bowal 26:03, 203rd Patrick Norris 33:20. At Heartwood Forest Stephen Lummis was 28th in 22:19 and Chris Poole finished 51st in 24:26. Helen Giffin finished 111th in 27:33 at Luton Wardown.
How many runners does it take to run around Norfolk?
17 if they were taking part in this weekend’s Round Norfolk Relay along with the North Herts squirrels of support crew who helped transport, feed and accompany the runners.
Each runner ran one leg of 17 leg race with the 198 mile route starting in Kings Lynn through Hunstanton to Cromer, great Yarmouth, Breckland and Feltwell, before making its way back to Kings Lynn.
Katie Harbon was the first Lady home on Stage 9 in a new Category Record Time! And with the total time of 26 Hours, 48 minutes and 3 seconds the team came in 30th out of 61 teams in something less than ideal running conditions.
Sticking with the relay theme, the Annetts Family took part in the Hercules Sprint Triathlon Relay. Rachel completed the 400M swim in around 7 min 40 secs followed by a run to transition to hand over to David for the bike ride. The 20K route took him to Redbourn and back with a long run at each end at the transition areas. David’s time was 38:40. Martyn took over for the last leg; a 5K run through the park at Verulamium, finishing in 20:58. The total time was 1:11:26 giving them first place in the Team Relay event.
In the HSV Triathlon on his own Simon Poole was 9th but 1st in his category
Jane Clarke was further afield starting the Copenhagen Half Marathon is blazing sunshine and ending in thunder, forked lightning, and from two miles out rain when the heavens opened and let loose with everything including hail stones the size of golf balls. It’s a race she is unlikely to forget and wants to do again.
Phil Hunt was quelling his demons in the Richmond Marathon by breaking the 4 hour barrier at his 5th attempt finishing in 3:56:06, taking nearly 9 minutes off his personal best.
We were also out in numbers for the Hatfield 5K series on the 13th of September :
Pos. No. Name Cat. Chip time
3. 245 Mark VAUGHAN MV40 0:16:27
10. 192 John RAYNER MS 0:17:15
12. 16 John AULD MS 0:17:23
13. 216 Matthew SAYERS MV40 0:17:26
17. 177 Stewart OVERTON MS 0:17:45
20. 107 Katie HARBON FS 0:17:51
30. 95 Andrew GREEN MS 0:18:22
31. 184 Simon POOLE MS 0:18:25
36. 151 Darren MATUSSA MV40 0:18:32
53. 250 James WALSH MV40 0:19:10
68. 221 Peter SIBBETT MV50 0:19:38
69. 8 Martyn ANNETTS MV50 0:19:41
76. 108 Richard HARBON MV50 0:19:52
93. 48 Jane CLARKE FV35 0:20:57
121. 41 Katherine BURR FV35 0:22:34
127. 178 Naomi PARKINSON FS 0:23:01
128. 174 Claire O'SULLIVAN FV35 0:23:00
148. 85 Richard FOX MS 0:24:20
153. 3 Linda AIRD FV55 0:24:35
159. 232 Ian SUTCLIFFE MV70 0:25:12
163. 9 Rachel ANNETTS FV55 0:25:28
185. 246 Sue VAUGHAN FV45 0:27:06
A number of individual awards went our way with the vet men's team of Mark Vaughan, Matthew Sayers, Darren Matussa and James Walsh winning silver in the county vets champs. Mark Vaughan was 3rd man overall, and 2nd MV40. Katie Harbon was first lady. County medals went to Mark Vaughan for 2nd MV40, Ian Sutcliffe for second MV70 and Linda Aird for 3rd FV55. There were also Personal Bests for Naomi Parkinson and Claire O’Sullivan.
Keeping up the Clubs ‘End’ at Parkruns this week:
Bedford: John Auld 2nd in 00:17:52, Chester: Chris Poole 136th in 00:30:04, Stevenage Oliver Brady 5th in 18:43, Bob Davis 93rd in 26:21, Helen Giffin 111th in 27:13, Sarah Millhouse 131st in 27:57 and Patrick Norris 207th in 32:44, Gladebridge Stephen Lummis 20th in 24:44, Wimpole Estate John Cooper 46th in 22:52 and in Kings Lynn Richard Harbon 6th in 19:45 and Darren Matussa 8th in 19:54 (not bad for two people also taking part in the round Norfolk relay!) and Brian Judkins 185th in 30:38
Two NHRR members, John Auld and Simon Poole, travelled to Newcastle to compete in the Great North Run. Both ran at a blistering pace in blustery weather and finished in 127th and 611th positions respectively. Auld had set himself a target of 79 minutes and had achieved it with 8 seconds to spare in a fantastic 1:18:52 with Poole close behind in a brilliant 1:27:57.
A little closer to home Sue Foot took on the Thetford Iceni Marathon, a self guided trail route running on various surfaces. Despite the lack of recent training and a trip only a few miles in, the resilient Foot clocked an amazing total of 26.5 miles in 5:15.
Darren Sunter took on the Swineshead 10 Mile race and finished in second place with a superb time of 00:58:02.
Earlier in the week Darren Matussa and David Annetts went to Woodford for the Open Meet. Matussa ran in the 1 mile (00:05.12.89) and 3K (00:11:04.51) races. Annetts took part in the 3K walk and finished in second place in 00:15:26. The next day Matussa raced in the Watford Open Meet and took part in one of the 800m races (00:02:25.09) and also a 3K race (00:10:22:01).
Several squirrels ran Parkruns at the weekend. At Stevenage were Richard Harbon 20:21, John Cooper 20:52, David Weston 22:09, Lewis Green 23:27, Sheila Leavy 29:17 and Patrick Norris 33:04. Wimpole Hall: Vince Wright 22:03, Matthew Davies 26:10 and Lucy O'Connor 27:25. Chris Poole ran the Queen Elizabeth Parkrun in 26:03 and finally in Jersey James Keogh and Claire Hooley ran the 5K course in 19:41 and 35:08 respectively.
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