On a super sunny Sunday morning, a scurry of Squirrels headed over to Hitchin to run the Hitchin 10k. The race was the first local running event since restrictions were eased and was organised under COVID-19 rules, with runners setting off in waves. The undulating course seemed to suit the North Herts Road Runners, with Natasha Pitman coming home as first lady (43:26), closely followed by second lady Tracy Pitcairn (43:27). Paula Holm also took part, despite a previous vow to give up racing, and notched up a great time of 43:58 – her third ever sub-45 minute 10k.
James Dalton achieved an excellent personal best (40:52) finishing 16th overall. Kat Gourd (47:15) said “It was very enjoyable, despite a few undulations and a sneaky challenging hill by the pig farm at Charlton Hill”. Ian Sutcliffe was pleased with his run in a time of 59:28, which got him below his target of an hour and placed him third in the V70 category.
Elsewhere, our ultra-running duo Mike Bullock and Susan Mansfield were back in action, this time joined by Andy Grudzinski. Competing in The Devil’s Lite 50k Trail Ultra, the three heroic squirrels set off on the South Downs Way, oblivious of the terror that was to come. After only 1 km, the hills began, and didn’t stop for the next 49 km. Even the downhills were “evil...steep and treacherous”, and apparently it felt like a morning on the rollercoasters at Alton Towers! As much as the elevation, the heat took its toll, as Mike explained: “Heatstroke was my problem, so I spent much of my race being sick in bushes, getting more and more dehydrated, and making it an uncomfortable day in the hills.” Susan, however, fell down hills....twice....and ended up in the ambulance ....twice ! She finished covered in bandages and sterile dressings , and Andy Grudzinski, who was doing his first 50k event, was like a Florence Nightingale, looking after her to make sure she finished the race…. big shout out to the superb Andy!
Andrew Porter and Sue Foot did the Chiltern Kanter on Thursday. This was a map-reading marathon of 26.5 miles in which runners were given 32 grid references with questions to answer at each grid reference. There were no marshals or checkpoints. They started at Pitstone out to Ivinghoe Beacon, Aldbury and Wiggington Bottom. It was a very scenic route and they managed to answer 28 of the 32 questions; the other four were missed due to them taking some wrong turnings!
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