North Herts Road Runners gave strong performances in the Barcelona half marathon and closer to home in the Milton Keynes Winter Warmer 10K,
As the UK suffered another wet and wild weekend being battered by Storm Dennis, and countless races and Parkruns were again called off due to the extreme weather, two squirrels wisely escaped to run in sunnier climes. Michelle and Andy Grudzinski jumped on a plane to Barcelona to run the Barcelona Half Marathon as part of their training for the forthcoming Paris Marathon, and to support a friend doing her first half marathon. Michelle admitted that “three days of walking and sightseeing is probably not the best half marathon preparation” but they also took advantage of the abundance of tapas and paella offered by the Catalonian city. “Loaded up with seafood and injuries”, they embarked on the 21km course, sticking together for the first 13km, and finishing in an excellent 2:15:57 (Michelle) and 2:23:23 (Andy).
Back home in the UK, the furies of Storm Dennis didn’t quite manage to cancel all the scheduled races. Four hardy squirrels braved the elements and headed to Milton Keynes to take part in the "questionably named" (according to Matt Roberts) 10k Winter Warmer. Determined performances all round saw Julie Toland finish in 53:22, Tim Banting in 53:22, Saab Bharaj in 1:06:18, and Matt Roberts in a new personal best of 49:58. Although several local Parkruns were cancelled, club members did venture out to some events on Saturday, with James Fox coming first at Stevenage.
Stevenage: James FOX 16:47, Nick MALPELI 19:23, William HARRISON 19:24, Naomi PARKINSON 23:17, Andrew COATES 23:40, Matt ROBERTS 24:39, Philip FLACK 27:09, Glyn BLAKEY 28:07, Abbie HASKELL 29:01, Carl HASKELL 29:01, Patrick NORRIS 36:59.
Lowestoft: James POULTON 26:16.
Ellenbrook Fields: Jillian BOYS 27:34.
Crewe: Chris POOLE 22:59.
With Storm Ciara closing in on the UK, many of Sundays’ races were cancelled for the health and safety of all runners and marshals, though many Squirrels managed their weekly Saturday Parkrun ahead of high winds and rains while two members tackled an Ultra.
Two hardy squirrels, Mike Bullock and Susan Mansfield, undeterred by severe weather warnings, ventured to the barren North on Saturday to compete in the Leicester Round Ultra - a 100 mile trail route round the villages and hamlets of Leicester, split into 3 races; this was the third event , distance 58km
Mike commented after the race “Let’s just say it was 58km of pure muddy torment...big hills and constant never-ending mud, so we were filthy and soaking wet from start to finish.
I will be grateful never to run across another ploughed field in my life, one farmer was actually ploughing his field as we ran across it, just to torture us, and some of the hills were so muddy we actually went up on our hands and knees.”
They claimed that navigation isn’t one of their strengths and struggled with some of the course marking, but luckily didn’t take too many wrong turns, and managed to find the finish line, Mike in 8hrs 5 minutes , Susan in 8 hrs 16 minutes. They are looking forward to the Amersham Ultra in just a few weeks!
Kettering: Steve WILLIAMSON 22:36 Stevenage: Dan MALLETT 23:39, Kat GOURD 24:26, Glyn BLAKEY 24:27, Dave BRAYBROOK 24:45, Julie TOLAND 24:58, Chris POOLE 26:08, Georgina Quayle 26:38, Helen Giffin 31:18, Patrick NORRIS 36:07, Jane CLARKE 36:59 Wimpole: Jillian BOYS 30:17 Conwy: Jo SOPALA 35:44 Crissy Field (San Francisco): Natasha PITMAN 21:07 Letchworth: Matt ROBERTS 25:18, Philip FLACK 29:42, Carl GOODRUN 29:54, Carina QUAYLE 31:36, John O’GORMAN 40:18 Wendover Woods: Abbie HASKELL 31:41, Carl HASKELL 31:42 Coldham’s Common: Naomi PARKINSON 24:46
Six Squirrels headed west on Sunday for the Watford Half Marathon, an iconic event that the Watford Harriers have been proudly hosting for over 50 years. First home for the club was Matt Sayers, who ran 1:16:17. ‘This was my debut half marathon in 2004 (1:45:34) so a special event for me personally,’ said Matt. ‘It's put on by runners for runners. Lots of enthusiastic marshals, locals come out to cheer along the way, occasion music blasting out en-route.’ Although just outside his PB, Matt was delighted to get 2nd V40 overall and V40-49 Half Marathon Herts County Champion. Also running were Grace Cleary (1:52:03) and Siobhan Walsh (2:17:20), and Ian Harvey (1:43:04), Chris Poole (1:47:07) and Richard Weber (1:58:56). ‘It was great to see the Squirrels putting in impressive personal performances,’ said Matt.
Andrew Porter, Lucy O'Connor and Ian Sutcliffe ran the RSPB Race for Wildlife 10k at Sandy on Sunday. Ian, who finished in 63 minutes, described it as a ‘lovely course and not too muddy,’ adding that it includes two steep hills ‘which we have to run up TWICE!’ ‘It was a real treat to run on an off-road multi- terrain course,’ said Lucy O’Connor, who finished in 54:07, four minutes quicker than the last time she ran this race.
The weekend began with the First Saturday of the Month, North Herts Road Runners’ popular timed 5k run round Letchworth’s Norton Common. As ever, the event was only possible thanks to all the marshals and helpers. Although a bit muddy in places, the conditions weren't too bad - good enough for NHRR’s Tom Webb to fly around in 17:55, nearly 2 minutes ahead of second place. Eva McCabe provided the other standout performance: the junior athlete was the second female, and finished in 23:06. In total, seventy people ran (see the forum for full results).
In parkrun news, Elwyn Howell completed the Teignmouth Park run in a PB time of 24.20 on a beautiful day in Devon. This week’s full parkrun results:
Albert parkrun, Melbourne
335 Anna PRIESTLEY 30:26
479 Abbie HASKELL 01:01:41
480 Carl HASKELL 01:01:42
Milton Keynes parkrun
75 Naomi PARKINSON 22:57
47 Steve WILLIAMSON 22:22
129 Chris POOLE 25:36
168 Georgina QUAYLE 26:53
436 Jane CLARKE 37:45
1 James DALTON 21:51
10 Daniel MALLETT 25:07
15 Steve BRENTON 26:09
43 Elwyn HOWELL 24:20
233 Lindsey LUCAS 36:06
Fulbourn Hospital parkrun
116 Brian JUDKINS 34:09
The South England Athletics Association held the Annual Cross Country Championships on Saturday. The Women had to run a gruelling 8k and the men 15k in very hilly and muddy conditions. The ladies representing NHRR were Katie Harbon (34:18), Paula Adams (39:17) and Jo Harbon (46:10). The men were Mark Vaughan, Vince Wright (1:03:50), James Keogh (1:05:33), Darren Sunter (56:48), Wayne Bell, John O’Gorman (1:04:55) and Johnny Spinks (1:17:43).
David Annetts travelled to Amsterdam for the De Lat Winterserie 10k Walk. He was very pleased to set a new PB on the sunny morning of 47:16. A challenging race where David only lost out to local walker Paul Jansen on the final lap of the 4 lap course.
Phillip Flack decided to rest his legs from churning through all the mud at his regular Letchworth Parkun and travelled to Bedford Parkrun for a change. This proved a good decision as he knocked 15 seconds off his personal best finishing in 26:15 and won his age group of over 65s.
Father and son Andrew and Matt Leech travelled to Texas USA to compete in the Houston Half Marathon and finished in 62:55 and 71:11 respectively. The pair were undertaking an official attempt to break the father-son half marathon combined time world record and did so by an amazing six and a half minutes.
A scurry of squirrels ran the Fred Hughes 10 mile race in St Albans – which incorporated the Herts County championships. Described as a very well organised race on an undulating course taking in some of the Hertfordshire countryside. Carl Haskell achieved a new personal best (PB) of 69:58. Lucy O'Connor finished in 1:25:05. David Weston was in familiar territory as the race HQ was his former school. David said that those near him in the race could often hear him shout out loud former teachers names in anger to help motivate himself. This clearly was affective as he finished with a new personal best of 68:32. Andrew Coates also ran a new PB with a time of 80:45. Others running were Kat Gourd (1:25:53), Matt Roberts (1:24:51), Ian Harvey (1:13:52) and Dervla Downing (1:17:23).
Four runners and a giant chocolate squirrel took the annual pilgrimage to the Buff Trail Half Marathon Wales. The event has been represented by NHRR at for the last 6 years, since its inception. Adam Wilson went up off the hill and wasn't seen again until it was time for the finish line mug of hot vegetable soup. His time was a fabulous 2.35.21. Paul Bowal and Andy Grudzinski were the next squirrels in having run much of the race together. This was unusual for Paul who has a reputation for finding young females to run with. That may explain why Andy beat him to the finish in a time of 2.47.29. Paul's no-female to chase time was 2.47.37. Michelle Grudzinski ran with an achillies problem which gave her pain and a finish time of 3:08:43. Michelle declared herself NHRR queen of the Sting, a separately timed very steep up hill section – whilst NHRR King of the Sting was Adam Wilson.
David Annetts started off his 2020 race season with the 5 mile Enfield event of the Race Walking league. Finishing in 1st place in a time of 38:00.
Vanessa Rolfie was the sole squirrel at the Folksworth 15. The last time she ran this race the weather was atrocious – this time the sun was out but there were still some hazardous black ice to look out for. Nessa was very pleased with her run and time.
Nick Malpeli ran close to where he grew up at the Essar Four Villages Half Marathon, finishing 111th with a time of 80:53. Although the temperature was still almost zero and foggy throughout - Nick was pleasantly surprised by the still and dry conditions amongst the recent rain and windy weather.
Luton Wardown: Andrew Coates 23:43, Dave Braybrook 25:45, Tim Banting 27:03
Ashton Court: Georgina Quayle 30:38
Milton Keynes: Jillian Boys 29:02
Westmill: Phillip Flack 28:50
Stevenage: Russell Hagen 26:18, Julie Toland 26:54, Jane Clarke 27:37, Patrick Norris 34:11
Linford Wood: Naomi Parkinson 24:51
Yeovil Montacute: Brian Judkins 35:04
Ellenbrook Fields: Siobhan Walsh 29:05
Letchworth: James Dalton 23:01, Ian Datlen 23:51, Ellie Scott 33:02
Drumpellier Country: Claire O'Sullivan 26:32
Fulbourn Hospital: Carl Haskell 20:34, Chris Poole 24:22, Abbie Haskell 32:31, Vicky Haskell 32:33.
North Herts Road Runners claimed the Three Counties Cross-Country league title for an unprecedented third time on Sunday as 41 Squirrels laboured to victory on the hilly, muddy Dunstable course. The club’s cross-country rep, John Auld, said “The mud made the already challenging hills even worse! I think I was just jogging on the spot a few times.” However, the conditions did not dampen the spirits of the plucky club runners. Knowing they needed to win the race to take the title, they dug deep. In a hard-fought contest, the ladies team won first place and the men’s team won second place, leading to a combined victory for the race and the overall league.
Reflecting on the victory, John said, “We won every race. We have the best team, with 65 club runners taking part this season. Everybody should be super proud of this. We have actually only failed to win one race in the combined category in the last 3 years.” In further impressive news, the ladies team captain, Katie Harbon, was crowned Ladies’ Open Champion, with Ed Price storming to second place in the Open Male competition.
It was not all about winning however. Lorna Chambers said, “A baptism of fire for my first ever XC race! Thanks so much to all who turned up to support in the chilling wind. I am so proud to have been part of the NHRR team - every little helps!”. Rhia Botha added “What a brilliant result. Well done everyone! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to run for such a wonderful club in my debut XC season. I really thought I'd hate it, with all the mud, wind, rain and cold, not to mention the hills! But I must admit that it has been quite a special experience.”
Other impressive results from the league were as follows: Oliver Brady, 1st male U20, Stewart Overton, 1st male V35, John Auld, 2nd male V35, Wayne Bell, 2nd male V40, Mark Vaughan, 1st male V45, Paula Adams, 1st Ladies V50, Pete Sibbett 3rd male V55, Carina Quale, 2nd ladies V60 .
Elsewhere, two Squirrels took part in the very first Letchworth Ultra (Run the Sun in Weston). Mike Bullock and Susan Mansfield ran in what Mike described as a “Big muddy sludge-fest”, which involved running as far as you can in daylight hours (8 hours) on a 5 km lapped off-road (hilly-ish) course. Mike said, “The day started with foolish ambitions of a double marathon distance for our first ultra of the decade, but this lasted about 2 minutes until we arrived at the first bog-of-doom...then the second, then the third ...” As the day progressed, more and more runners disappeared down muddy holes, so by lunchtime half of the field had retired. Mike and Susan soldiered on to the end, and ended up tired but happy, coming 4th (57km in 7hrs 45) and 6th (57km in 8hrs 6 minutes) respectively.
Squirrels have taken advantage of the festive period to enjoy extra racing opportunities both locally and while away.
Sunday saw 17 squirrels race the County Champs at Stevenage, competing in the U17 ladies, U20 men and both senior ladies and men. Flying the flag for our younger members, Eva McCabe placed a fantastic 5th in the Ladies under 17s and James Fox was a superb 6th in the Men’s Under20s competition. The senior men had two teams out, the A team (Andrew Leach, Ed Price, Darren Sunter, Stewart Overton, Mark Vaughan and Nathan Pask) finished 3rd behind St Albans and Watford. The B team came 12th. Cross Country representative John Auld commented “The course was flat, but super muddy in places. The sprint finish was really muddy and we had to do that bit 5 times! It was so strength sapping, it took me the whole of the rest of the lap to recover from it - and then you had it again. I attempted a bit of a sprint finish at the end, but I was literally stuck in the mud!” The Ladies were led home by Astrid McKeown and were followed by Georgina Quayle and Carina Quayle.
Ben Sewell joined Sophie Thrussell at the Run Through, Victoria Park Half Marathon for his debut race in a Squirrel vest. Sophie claims that they have “continued training throughout the holidays- including speedwork on Christmas Eve morning and minimal mince pies!” Ben went out quicker than target pace for the first few miles and decided to hold on - finishing in an impressive new PB of 1:15:47- over a 3 minute PB and a fifth place finish! Sophie reports that she started at target pace and tried to keep it consistent, which proved to be quite difficult, saying it felt uncomfortable throughout. Ben ran beside her to the finish line, resulting in a PB of an incredible 1:29:04 and a Championship Start Qualification for the Virgin London Marathon in April.
Making the most of being retired, Coach Karen Dodsworth drove up to Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, to take part in the New Year’s Eve 10km. With the original course flooded in 2 parts the organisers used their Winter 10km course and apologised to runners for the muddy conditions. Whilst there were some slippery corners and muddy paths Karen was intent on pushing on having trained hard for this race. Reaching half way in 25.16 Karen realised that a fast time was possible and kept pushing to the line to finish in a chip time of 50:50, 3 1/2 mins faster than her previous best 10km of 2019 and her fastest time for 9 years.
Kat Gourd was the only squirrel to travel slightly further East to take part in the Ely NYE 10k on New Year’s Eve. In her first race back after injury and having been hit by the dreaded winter lurgy, Kat was pleased to get round in a respectable 53:54 pleased, helped by the perfect running conditions and the jolly bagpiper at the 8.5k mark!
Further afield, Astrid and Steve McKeown took advantage of the New Years Eve 5k race in Bonn, Germany whilst visiting family. Astrid finished the chilly run beside the Rhein in 21:04 which placed her 5th overall woman (2nd F45), whilst Steve won his age group (17th overall) in 18:53.
Saturday saw the First Saturday of the Month for this year with 86 hardy runners taking part in the picturesque 5km run around Norton Common. First Male home for the club was James Dalton in 21:00 and Rhia Botha took the position of First Lady in 23:10.
Not only did squirrels take part in the additional Parkruns that took place on New Years Day, several members clocked up their Parkrun milestones this week with Brian Judkins reaching his 250th. His long journey to hit this target has taken him around the UK, as far as Inverness, over the past 10 years, but was completed this Saturday at the local Letchworth Parkrun. Pat Norris completed his 100th Parkrun this Saturday choosing the slightly less muddy Stevenage course!
Stevenage: Jane CLARKE 22:47 James POULTON 24:54, Danielle LISTER 30:09, Glyn BLAKEY 31:06, Barbara SAYERS 33:40, Patrick NORRIS, 35:40 Letchworth: Siobhan WALSH, 32:08, Mike Bullock 37:26, Brian Judkins 38:26, Allison Blunt, 38:28 Cara Sutton, 38:29 Kettering: Steve WILLIAMSON, 22:50 Wimpole Jillian BOYS, 25:34 Southwark: Chris Poole: 26:24 Fulbourn Hospital: 23:21
A strong contingent of North Herts Road Runners delivered a series of good performances at the most popular event in the local racing scene’s Christmas calendar – the Buntingford 10.
Stewart Overton headed the 16-strong team of Squirrels, securing a podium finish with third place and a new best time of 56.11 over the 10-mile course. Looking to ‘push for a good time, Overton said he ‘started fast with the aim of settling in before the hills arrived and with a pack of 3 other runners we reached 5 miles in just under 28 minutes’. After dropping off the pack he managed to ‘move back in around 8 and a half miles’. With 300 metres to go and coach Karen Dodsworth ‘shouting advice’, he managed to ‘kick on for 3rd place’.
Matt Sayers (6th), Rob Harris (15th) and Vince Wright (24th) were not far behind, with Wright transferring his fine recent cross-country form to the roads to knock almost four minutes off his previous best time for the 10 mile distance with 1.03.46. Susan Mansfield recorded 1.26.43 in her debut over 10 miles.
Dave Braybrook just missed his 1.30 target with 1.31.58 and said he ‘would have been just under my target if it wasn’t for the last mile – my legs had nothing left to give’.
Full Buntingford 10 results:
Stewart Overton, 56:11; Matthew Sayers, 57:57; Rob Harris 01:01:12; Vincent Wright, 01:03:46; Peter Sibbett, 01:09:26; Ian Harvey, 1.11.42; Caroline Thrussell, 01:12:10; Stuart Cocks, 01:15:25; Mike Bullock, 1.17.17; Dervla Downing, 01:17:24; Chris Poole, 01:23:21; Lucy O’Connor, 01:24:39; Matt Roberts, 01:25:51; Susan Mansfield, 1.26.43; Helen Harbon, 01:26:54; Matt Ankers, 01:31:40; Dave Braybrook, 01:31:58; Andrew Porter, 1.34.20; Hailey Batson, 01:44:57; Brian Bailey, 01:46:49
Ian Sutcliffe took first prize in the 70-plus age group at the Cambridge 10k with an impressive 54.58, closely followed by Allison Blunt with a new personal best of 58.36 and Elwyn Howell in 55.07.
Ultra-distance specialist Sue Foot ticked off yet another marathon at the Great Barrow ‘Triple Tipple’. Foot admitted she ‘had been suffering with foot pain and not long ago had the flu, but still wanted to get one more marathon in before the end of the year’. She finished in ‘4.46 with lots of walking breaks!’.
The Serpentine 5k was also on the Christmas agenda for some London-based NHRR members, with Darren Matussa completing the 5k Hyde Park course in 18.58 to round off what he said had been ‘a quiet year for me racing-wise’. Team-mate Stewart Overton also took part, finishing in 16.19.
37 Squirrels flew the NHRR flag (or vest) at Parkruns across Britain and beyond over the festive weekend, with Rhia Botha first female at Alberts Farm, Johannesburg, in 23.40 and Sarah Millhouse and John Russell popping up at Parkruns in Australia and the USA respectively. Ed Price was first finisher at Tyne Green Parkrun in 17.06.
NHRR superheroes Susan Mansfiled and Mike Bullock tackled Stevenage Parkrun dressed as Batwoman and Spiderman respectively, with Susan reporting that ‘Mike needed to use all his Spider senses and help from BatWoman to navigate the course as his hero face mask reduced visibility down to zero’. They finished together in 28.26.
Full NHRR Parkrun results this week:
Peter Clarke, 22.24; James Dalton, 22.32; Ian Datlen, 23.20; Dave Braybrrok, 28.52; Angeliki Shearstone, 28.59; Adam Wilson, 29.48; James Poulton, 30.01; Philip Flack, 40.13, Steve Brenton, 54.40
Stuart Cocks, 24.05; Chris Poole, 25.44; Hayley Cocks, 34.32
Claire O’Sullivan, 25.39; Naomi Parkinson, 26.24; Jillian Boys, 26.58; Russell Hagan, 27.22; Susan Mansfield and Mike Bullock, 28.26Danielle Lister, 28.28; Helen Giffin, 28.46; Elwyn Howell, 29.04; Carina Quayle, 30.41; Glyn Blakey, 32.53
Ellie Scott, 24.46
Darren Matussa, 24.29
Brian Judkins, 34.27
Ed Price, 17.06
Carl Haskell, 22.45; Abbie Haskell, 35.25; Vicky Haskell, 35.29
Steve Williamson, 23.37
Bury St Edmunds
Pat Norris, 40.19
Andrew Robson, 24.01
Alberts Farm, South Africa
Rhia Botha, 23.40
Roosevelt Island, DC
John Russell, 26.16
Sarah Millhouse, 28.05
The 100th edition of the Letchworth Parkrun was the most popular place to be for North Herts Road Runners at the weekend, and their recent series of cross-country races proved to be ideal preparation.
12 squirrels tackled the famously demanding Letchworth course, which the organisers declared to be in its ‘muddiest ever’ state after recent downpours.
Stewart Overton found the slippery conditions much to his liking as he stormed through sections described by Parkrun volunteers as ‘the swamp’ and ‘a new sheep dip’ to cross the line first in an excellent 19 minutes and 15 seconds. Overton credited his mastery of the conditions partly to his ‘grippy’ footwear, but also to his determination to ‘just plough through the mud and puddles’. He hailed the ‘great support from the marshals and fellow runners as ever’ and saluted Letchworth Parkrun on being ‘100 not out’.
James Dalton was close behind as fourth finisher in 22.30 with Angeliki Shearstone sixth female in 28.44.
Two Squirrels encountered very different conditions as they took part in Parkruns in South Africa and Australia. Rhia Botha flew the NHRR flag at the Roodepoort Parkrun in Johannesburg, where she finished as second female in 24.10, and Sarah Millhouse clocked 28.18 at the Whitford Nodes Parkrun in Perth, Western Australia.
Full NHRR Parkrun results this week:
Stewart Overton, 19:15; James Dalton, 22.30; Steve Brenton, 26.03; Andrew Coates, 26.15; Angeliki Shearstone, 28.44; Lucy Hurley, 28.54; Naomi Parkinson, 28.54; Tim Banting, 29.26; Jennie Fraser, 31.38; Philip Flack, 32.37; Carl Goodrum, 35.48; Glyn Blakey, 41.07
Carl Haskell, 22.45; Abbie Haskell, 28.36
Helen Giffin, 28.44
Ellie Scott, 25.46, Jane Clarke, 25.51
Jillian Boys, 25.42
Chris Poole, 23.14
Brian Judkins, 33.11
Roodepoort, South Africa
Rhia Botha, 24.10
Whitford Nodes, Western Australia
Sarah Millhouse, 28.18
Sunday morning saw the 3XCX league return to the champions HQ of Standalone farm. A heavy dose of rain and misery had ensured prime cross country conditions were in place. Despite the look of terror on many a runner’s face there was a palpable sense of excitement at charging through the filth and battling carnage corner.
NHRR went into the race in first place but an outstanding effort from the Ampthill men and the Wellingborough ladies means it is all to run for in the final race of the league in Dunstable in the 12th. Currently the men are on level points with Ampthill and the women are 1 point behind Wellingborough. A total of 41 die hard squirrels ran the race with a special mention to Katie Harbon who has already won the individual women’s title by obtaining an unassailable points lead in the first 4 races.
Elsewhere, as sure as day follows night, John Auld ran the Silkstone Shuffle. It is a 4.5M multi- terrain race ran in each season and the aggregate time is the series time you are awarded. It’s 2M up hill followed by 2.5M down hill but over farmers fields separated by woods and stiles.
‘On the day I finished 1st! Meaning that I finished 4th in the series, but won the first senior man outside of the top 3.
It was a surprise to be leading as we belted out and I settled in 4th. I’d even given up on top 3 at this point. But when the real part of the hill started, I slowly moved from 4th up towards the guys, and then decided to push the pace and lead. I ended up leading still at the top of the hill, and from here I knew I had to go for the victory - so I pushed on!
It was so slippy and wet, windy and a bit of snow at the end - it was so much hard work. Stiles and wooden bridges to cross in the wet. This was my 19th event and this is the worst I’ve seen the course. I also ended up with a bunch of cuts on my legs and arms from brambles.
I got my head down and pushed on, All I could hear was the jingle bells attached to my vest, I couldn’t hear any other footsteps, but dare not look back. However towards the end, after a few little looks over my shoulder I realised nobody was with me.
I was absolutely delighted to win the race for only the 2nd time, especially in those conditions. The field was a little light, due to the conditions, I feel. So only the truly mad and GC contenders were on the start line. I fall into both categories, hence the win.’
As it stands no complaints have been upheld regarding John having bells attached to his vest during the race.
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