Squirrels roll with it at Manchester Marathon
Twelve North Herts Road Runners headed up to Manchester to take part in the marathon which is seen as one of the fastest courses in the country. There were 7 personal best times and three athlete smashed the 3 hours barrier in near perfect conditions.
First home for the club, was Sam Coxon, knocking an impressive 15 minutes off his debut marathon time to lead the North Herts contingent home in 2:45:05. He was followed home by Anna Klucnika who also ran her fastest ever marathon despite a "huge crash" to finish in 2:54:33. Ollie Parsons completed the trio to break the magical sub 3 hours, also running his fastest ever time of 2:58:51. Luke Nicholl has just joined the club and did a brilliant time of 3:06:56, even more impressive considering he only completed Brighton two weeks ago! Paula Holm had an amazing race, speeding up with every mile to knock 14 minutes off her previous best time to finish in 3:21:06. Talking after the race Paula credited coach Karen for an excellent training plan to get her to the start line uninjured and in peak condition. James Godfrey also looked determined and finished in 3:28:23. Laura Fairbanks had a stunning race to finish in 3:34:00, a 14 minute improvement from her previous best time from Paris in 2019 and a huge 53 minutes faster than her first marathon in London 2014. She commented "she is over the moon, gave it everything and never been so relieved to see a finish line in her life!" David Weston dipped under 4 hours in 3:59:14 and is now focused on his training plan for the Richmond Marathon in September. New club member Emma Sandham ran an excellent 4:00:22, a huge 29 minutes off her time at Edinburgh last year and she is "super chuffed"! Jodie Wilkes was next home in 4:08:47 followed by Anna Gibson in 4:35:12 and Laura Preston in 5:57:55.
Full results: Sam Coxon 2.45.05; Anna Klucnika 2.54.33; Ollie Parsons 2.58.51; Luke Nicholl 3:06:56; Paula Holm 3.21.02; James Godfrey 3.28.23; Laura Fairbanks 3.34; David Weston 3.59.14; Emma Sandham 4.00.22; Jodie Wilkes 4.08.47; Anna Gibson 4.35.12; Laura Preston 5.57.55
Squirrels conquer the infamous hills at the Flitwick 10k
Closer to home the 12 Squirrels were out in force at the Flitwick 10km. As usual, it was a great event, very well organised by our friends at Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers. The weather made it very pleasant for running conditions and for a great post-race social. Tom Webb lead the way home for the squirrels, as he did the whole race - finishing first overall and winning the race. North Herts Road Runners won both the men's and woman’s team competitions. The winning men comprising of Tom, Ian and Oli. The winning ladies team were Karen, Rachel and Linda. Ian Datlen also won 1st V50 prize and Rachel Arnott 1st FV45. Oli Babik finished very strong with a new 10k PB.
Full results: 1st Tom Webb 34:03; 19 Ian Datlen 39:54; 29 Oli Babik 40:50; 30 John Auld 40:55; 42 Karen Townsend 42:23; 49 Rachel Arnott 43:03; 68 Steve Tracey 45:17; 228 Linda Aird 56:30; 353 Miranda Morgan 1:07:04; 354 Susan Foot 1:07:05; 364 Jana Robson 1:08:03; 386 Julie Taylor 1:08:13.
Resolution 5k - Ridlins Athletics Track, Stevenage
14 squirrels ran the Resolution 5k at Ridlins track on Wednesday evening. Mens team captain John Auld commented, "The atmosphere was fantastic - with a number of graded races throughout the evening - it was a great opportunity to both race and support fellow team mates. It’s brilliant for spectators and athletes getting a cheer every 400m from supporters positioned round the track. Every squirrel correctly counted 12.5 laps and had a fantastic time!"
North Herts Road Runners were 2nd in the combined team competition of 3 men and one woman. With another similar event planed in October - this is one to look out for to join in the team effort.
Full results: Stewart Overton 16:19 (equalled his PB and looking fantastic ahead of Sunday's London Marathon); Ed Price 17:36; Kris Whitmore 18:41; John Auld 18:50; Ian Datlen 19:00 Ian Harvey 19:13; Darren Matussa 19:15; Oliver Babik 19:21; James Walsh 19:56; Tracy Pitcairn 20:31; Stuart Cocks 21:31; Astrid Mckeown 21:43; Lucy O’Connor 24:20; Linda Aird 27:33
Harbon continues to dazzle with another personal best time in the Lincoln 10km
Katie entered Lincoln 10k at the last minute and said "It was a great event with a good sized field and fab crowds on the way round. Having started strong and seeing if I could ‘survive, the last 2km was a struggle with it being a long up hill to the finish. Pleased to have finished in 34:49, a 24 second PB and new club record. Although I need to get back into the headspace of fast 10k’s ready for the midweek leagues!" Katie was 3rd in a competitive field with the race won by Lincoln local Abbie Donnelly in 31:42 who represents GB at cross country.
On Saturday, parkruns proved very popular with 36 Squirrels running in 12 different parkruns:
Great Denham parkrun event #197 Six squirrels headed to Great Denham Parkrun on Saturday. A flat two lap course, it was a final hit out before London Marathon next week. Darren Sunter won the race (16:25), closely followed by Stewart Overton in second (16:54). Matthew Sayers (17:14) was third, which was his Parkrun PB and club record in the M45-49 category. John Auld (19:16) came 8th, reaching his 25th Parkrun milestone. Tracey Pitcairn (24:49) and Eve Surridge (24:49) also with impressive performances. All enjoyed a well-earned coffee and cake in the cafe for a post-race debrief.
Stevenage parkrun event #288 Matthew Ronayne 19:02, Ian Harvey 20:24, James Poulton 22:53, Michael Over 23:42, Jennie Fraser 23:58, Alice Noakes 24:41, Matt Ankers 25:18, Sarah Mitcherson 26:45, Rhiannon Botha 27:29, Matt Roberts 27:29, Philip Flack 28:17, Jane Clarke 28:42, Tash Pitman 28:42, Siobhan Walsh 33:43
Henlow Bridge Lakes parkrun event #78 James Dalton and Chris Stokes were pleased to take 3rd and 4th place on a very muddy course 21:15 and 21:39 respectively.
Gunpowder parkrun event #523 Darren Matussa 24:06
Houghton Hall parkrun event #204 Mike Bullock48:19
Wimpole Estate parkrun event #432 Vincent Wright 21:16, Georgia Barker 31:45, Richard Barker 31:46, Lucy Hurley 55:02
Coldham’s Common parkrun event #162 Elwyn Howell went to try this Cambridge event and despite two laps of slippery grass finished first in his category in 22:34.
Clacton Seafront parkrun event #263 John Russell 24:37
Skipton parkrun event #435 Paula Holm 25:07
Melton Mowbray parkrun event #366 Brian Judkins 36:55
Jersey Farm parkrun event #154 Jon Hunt 24:55, Richard Harbon 24:59, Jo Harbon 29:16
Fulbourn Hospital parkrun event #87 Joseph Barker-Sherry 30:57
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