North Herts Road Runners sent two teams to the SEAA road relays at Crystal Palace. The relays are a prestigious event that provide road runners from across the South of England a great opportunity to race alongside some of the country's best. Once again, NHRR equipped themselves well and produced creditable performances all round. Jim McConnel (19:02), Matt Sayers (19:05), Ed Price (19:05) and Mark Vaughan (19:25) ran the M40 race and finished as 4th M40 team overall. Steve McKeown (20:35), Adrian Sherwood (21:30), Richard Harbon (23:37) and Pete Sibbett (22:06) ran the M50 race, finishing in 11th place.
On Wednesday 18th September NHRR fielded a team in the Ridlins 5000m Challenge in Stevenage. The Squirrels finished in 3rd place. Nathan Pask won the race in 16:18, John Auld finished in 18:10, Adrian Sherwood in 18:32, Darren Matussa in 18:42 74.8% and Rhia Botha in a new PB of 20:55.
At the Millenium Arena in Battersea Park, Stuart Overton took part in the VAC 10,000 metre championships. This was his first time taking part in this distance on the track. Stuart said “front-running a pack for 18 laps certainly cost me places in the later stages but I finished in a time of 34:45 which I was pleased with.” He should have been, as this was enough to rank as the 3rd V35 and the 1st Eastern Masters V35.
Jo Summers ran the Great Barrow Challenge which, according to Jo “has ventured into the murky world of laps… of 6.55 miles, with added interest by running loops 1 and 3 clockwise and loops 2 and 4 anti-clockwise.” She continued “Suffolk is not flat. Neither clockwise nor anti-clockwise. I admit to struggling with some of the hills”. Jo finished in 4.06, first lady and took 42 minutes off the female course record which was set the previous day.
Jennie Fraser ran the Norfolk Coastal marathon, which she described as “a beautiful race taking in the coastline from Holme-Next-the-Sea to Morston Quay”. It was a hot day for marathon running, but with an unrelenting headwind the temperature seemed cooler but the distance longer! The route took in soft deep sand for a couple miles in Holkham, navigating marsh mud and beach-worn shingle paths. Jennie finished in 4:59:34 and would highly recommend the route!
Two squirrels ran the Welwyn Garden City half-marathon. Vanessa Rolfe finished in 2:27:26. Having enjoyed the same race last year she said she “found it particularly tough this time”. She was 4th in her age group, just missing out on a medal. “I must try harder! She said. Helen Marson-Smith ran too, in her first half-marathon, another of the last couch to 5k group the club coached to tackle the distance. She finished in a very creditable 2:35:53.
International Squirrel Michelle Grudzinski has been living in Greece recently and finally got her trainers on and took part in the Ioannina Lake Run 30km. Michelle telegraphed that “it was an opportunity to visit a different town in Greece and to kick myself back into action!” She continued “30km was perhaps 20km too far, but I managed it in a time that would make a tortoise cry (3:51)” Michelle is now looking forward to thinking about training, before returning to blighty in November.
Clare Hooley and James Keogh joined Vince Wright at the last minute for the “Steeple Chase 10k”. This low-key event is a trail run through countryside around Steeple Morden with proceeds going to the local primary school. The route, gave beautiful views across the fields, skirted the former airfield and included a long straight stretch of the Icknield Way trail. There were also cross-country elements around field edges and a short distance across a ploughed field. James told us that “the weather was good, if a little warm, and the threatened thunderstorms didn’t materialise.” Vince and James finished second and third respectively in under 43 mins. Clare was pleased to finish in just under 1hr 24mins, following couple of months off through injury.
Jo Harbon, Andrew Porter and Matt Ankers ran the St Paul’s Walden Burt 10K race. Matt commented that it was an “incredibly hard run. The heat mixed with never-ending ups and downs meant we were all a bit slower than usual! Lovely views though as usual, and lovely ground too!” Matt finished in 55:39, Jo in 58:54 and Andrew in 1:01:55.
17 Squirrels ran in weekend parkruns. At Stevenage Ellie Scott finished in 25:20, Russell Hagan in 26:45, Pat Norris in 33:33 and Jane Clarke in 34:39. Jillian Boys finished Wimpole Estate in 35:19. Rebecca Nicholl travelled to Cleethorpes and finished in 32:18. Chris Poole took on Ellenbrook Fields and finished in 23:35. Naomi Parkinson went to Crewe and finished in 25:34. Finally, at Letchworth there were 9 NHRR finishers. John O’Gorman was first home for the club in 19:06, followed by Ian Datlen in 20:43. Other finishers were Rhia Botha (22:42), Steve Brenton (24:06) Kat Gourd (24:12), Alan Hazlehurst (27:50), Amy Murch (29:16), Glyn Blakey (29:55) and Carol Goodrum (33:35)
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