Pat Norris competed in the Harpenden 10k race on Sunday. Pat was running with his eldest son who had bought entry to the race as a Christmas present and finished in 77 minutes, 6 minutes after his son. He said,“This was a four lap course on a very damp, hilly and muddy park which I found quite difficult!”
North Herts Road Runners were out in force at Parkruns across the South-East of England this week, with 26 Squirrels taking to the green and pleasant spaces that this amazing movement seems to have opened up for many.
Amongst the results were 3 first places, with Andrew Leech finishing first in the Bedford Parkrun (17:11), Jane Clarke finishing first lady in Stevenage (21:05) and Eva McCabe first lady (23:43) at the inaugural Letchworth Parkrun. The club has been a big supporter of the new Letchworth Parkrun; 17 other Squirrels took to the muddy course to complete its first running which took place at the Grange Recreation Ground. Rob Milburn (24:32); James Walsh (24:42); Matthew Davies (24:43); Naomi Parkinson (25:53); Lewis Green (26:42); Christian Allen (27:19); Lucy Hurley (28:15); Linda Aird (28:50); Paul Bowal (30:48); Paul Phasey (31:50); Helen Giffin (32:48); Ellie Scott (32:58); Jon Stow (32:59); Hannah Keeble (33:17); Sheila Leavy (33:56); Helen Cromack (34:11) and Joy Stroud (36:31)
In other locations, Darren Matussa was 21st (18:22) at Hackney Marshes, James Laing was 104th (22:59) at Brockwell Park, Phil Hunt was also 104th (23:15) at St. Albans, Steve Williamson was 11th (21:05) at Kettering and Chris Poole was 88th (21:43) at Burgess Parkrun.
Squirrels Andy Grudzinski and Paul Bowal probably had the toughest event of the weekend as they took part in Buff Winter Trail Half Marathon, for the fourth time. That’s 13.2 miles with an impressive 608 m height gain in the hills and woodlands of Coed Y Brenin about one hour south of Mount Snowdon. The theme appears to have lots of mud as well as lots of hills. Running, fueled by plentiful Welsh Rabbit the day before, the going was tough to start with until the 680 runners spread out, and continued to be tough with the sleet turning to snow and the final Sting of a 100m climb up a mud and rock trail over a horizontal distance of 0.6 miles just after the 11-mile marker. Paul ran home in 02:40:58 in 363rd place pipping Andy who had still managed to achieve a personal best time of 02:41:47 in 372nd place.
Seven squirrels made it to St Albans for the Fred Hughes 10miler huddling around the start line in the driving snow. The course was undulating which meant there were loads of hills that no one mentioned, with a healthy number of puddles to be negotiated. Nonetheless our runners thought it was a great race with 759 runners and marshals with drums and tambourines. The after-race cups of water were topped up and decorate with more snow
135 Chris Stokes 01:09:54, 254 David Weston 01:17:14.,374 Naomi Parkinson 01:24:59, 380 Caroline Thrussell 01:25:18, 513 Tom Brownlee 01:32:26, 603 Paul Phasey 01:39:12, 681 Lindsay Cook 01:48:31
David Annetts went to the QE2 Track In Enfield on Saturday morning for the Enfield Race Walking League 5 mile race. He had a good race with no warnings for technique, working his way through a competitive field and taking the lead in the last 1/2 mile. Coming home first in a personal best time of 40:34.
Letchworth Parkrun test event saw a number of Squirrels taking to a muddy course at the Grange to help test the setup of the newest park run in the area.
In Parkruns elsewhere. At Luton Wardown Park Phil Hunt came in 20th in 23:19. Roding Valley, Redbridge saw Darren Matussa come a very creditable second in 21 mins dead. Rickmansworth saw Chris Pooke come in 41st (37th male) home. The Stevenage event was the most popular established race with Eva McCabe the first Squirrel and first woman home in 26th place overall in just 21:57. Lewis Green was 20 places behind in 23:48 but still with Eva as the only female finisher at that stage. The third squirrel home was Helen Griffin in 30:01. Wimple Estate Parkrun saw Vincent Wright running and finishing in 11th place in 20:54
Sunday was the 5th and final race in the Three Counties XC league. Going into the last race, NHRR had some great positions to hold onto - leading the combined, 2nd in the mens and 3rd in the ladies. The combined competition was tight at the top and there was effectively a last race shoot out for the title.
With great spirit and confidence, a scurry of 49 heroic squirrels made the trip to Bedford to battle it out in the mud for the league title. Other squirrels turned out in support too. The course had been shortened earlier in the week due to part of Priory County Park being under water with all the recent rain. Although the weather was mild on the day, the terrain was flat and there was no wind, it was slippy in the mud and tufty grass. There was a few large puddles to get through and indeed a lovely ford to negotiate too. Everybody got wet feet. Being shorter too it meant the pace was higher. Every squirrel gave it their all. Coach Karen gave out some last minute advise on the start line - “its not where you are after mile one, its where you are at the finish line that counts!”.
The scoring team of 8 men all came in the first 22 of the race, giving their lowest score this season. The ladies did fantastic too, producing their 2nd best score this season. The produced NHRR's best combined score this season and also produced a combined team victory. The men also won on the day and the ladies were 2nd.
This maintained the status quo. NHRR Squirrels came home grinning from ear to ear with the combined team league title - NHRR are the league Champions! Runners up in the men and 3rd in the ladies. This is the first time NHRR have won the combined title in 6 years.
Scoring for the men were Jim McConnell (5th), Ed Price (9th), Darren Sunter (10th), Adam Bowller (14th), John Rayner (15th), John Auld (16th), Matt Sayers (20th) and Ryan Smith (22nd).
Scoring for the ladies was Katie Harbon (1st), Jane Clarke (8th), Helen Nuttall (10th) and Astrid Mckeown (14th).
NHRR also won some individual trophies. Jim McConnell won the over V35 category. Ed Price won the over V40 category. Ed said afterwards “Going into the last race, the title was wide open. We still had everything to lose, but everyone turned up and gave it their all. Cross country is a team sport, and running together is what brought us the win today”.
Pictured from left to right is the ladies team captain, Katie Harbon with the ladies team 3rd trophy. The XC secretary, John Auld, with the combined team trophy. The men's team captain, Pete Sibbet, with the men's 2nd place trophy. Photo by James Walsh.
The full turnout of squirrels in the results is given below;
Jim McConnell (5th), Ed Price (9th), Darren Sunter (10th), Adam Bowller (14th), John Rayner (15th), John Auld (16th), Matt Sayers (20th), Ryan Smith (22nd), Mark Vaughan (28th), Stewart Overton (39th), Dan Hills (42nd), Vincent Wright (50th), Andy Green (52nd), Katie Harbon (56th) Dan Martin (59th), Nick Malpeli (68th), James Keogh (70th), James Walsh (74th), Adrian Sherwood (81st), Jane Clarke (122nd), Helen Nuttall (127th), David Watson (128th), Steve Harris (141st), Astrid Mckeown (144th), Marcus Farnfield (150th), Sarah Mitcherson (164th), David Frampton (184th), Paula Adams (189th), Johnny Spinks (195th), Naomi Parkinson (227th), Paul Bowall (252nd), Linda Aird (259th), Matt Ankers (262nd), Caroline Thrussell (268th), Niamh Barry (271st), Lucy O'Connor (274th), Adam Wilson (295th), Lucy Hurley (313rd), Hannah Keeble (332nd), Claire O'Sullivan (333rd), Karen Dodsworth (339th), Brian Baily (342nd), Andrew Porter (346th), Christine Sharpe (365th), Carina Quayle (372nd), Helen Cromack (378th), Jane Tyler (381st), Lindsay Cook (388th) and Joy Stroud (390th).
Andy Grudzinski travelled to Gothenburg in Sweden for the Sandsjobacka Trail of 44.6km in Scandinavian mud and 730m of hills. Andy completed the race in -4 degrees Celsius in a time of 7:02. When asked was it worth it, Andy said yes, with mud splattered from head to toe, bruised legs/arms/knees, having met all sorts of runners and gained the smallest of medals: what a great way to spend a Saturday in January.
Squirrels appeared in Parkruns this week at Stevenage, Ally Pally and Barclay. Rob Milburn, Chris Poole, Steve Lummis and Lewis Green ran Stevenage. Phil Hunt ran at Ally Pally and Paul Phasey ran at Barclay.
Jane Clarke and Jim McConnel both won selection to represent Hertfordshire with impressive performances in the County Cross-country Championships.
The pair were the stand-out performers for North Herts Road Runners on an undulating course at Cassiobury Park, Watford and both received letters from the Hertfordshire selectors at the finish line, inviting them to race at the Inter-counties Cross-country Championships at Loughborough in March.
Clarke admitted to being ‘emotional’ at securing her first opportunity to wear a Hertfordshire vest. ‘I thought I was going to shed a tear’, she said after a superb 14th place finish. McConnel took eighth place in the men’s race and said he was ‘elated to be selected to run for the county’.
Other finishers for the Squirrels in the County Championships: Ladies (8k) Linda Aird, 53rd; Jo Harbon, 57th, Christine Sharp, 86th. Men (12k) Darren Sunter, 16th; Matt Sayers, 37th; John Auld, 43rd; Dan Hills, 47th; Dan Martin, 68th; James Walsh, 77th; James Keogh, 91st; Johnny Spinks, 124th.
Lewis Cromack finished 21st in the under-11s race and Charlotte Spinks was 13th in the under-17s .
The NHRR men’s team took bronze medals for placing third in the team competition.
News, Notifications and Race Results