A return to working in London allowed 3 North Herts Road Runners to enter the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5km in Hyde Park. Stewart Overton ran a superb race with a stunning sprint finish which saw him finish 3rd in 16.25 which was a new V40 club record. Stewart said, ‘I’m delighted to run just 6 seconds slower than my 2019 PB in my 1st 5km race in 2022. Hopefully I can run faster in future races.’ Club mate Darren Matussa ran strongly to cross the line in 18.40 whilst ladies team captain, Tash Pitman, also sprinted hard to finish 3rd lady. With a time of 20.14 Tash edged close to her 19.42 PB amazingly set 13 years ago in 2009. With a more regular return to office life all 3 squirrels are aiming to make competing in this well organised and competitive race a regular monthly event.
Katie Harbon’s excellent form continues. Katie set a new course record at the Henlow Bridge lakes Park run in at time of 19:25 and finishing 2nd overall.
In January North Herts Road Runners launched a new 025K course and despite the cold weather and dark nights 26 runners signed up to start their running journey in 2022. With 5 qualified leaders and coaches supporting the group, and amazing support also from runners who graduated from our previous course, this friendly, committed group have already mastered the first 4 weeks of the 9-week plan. Everyone is looking forward to completing their 5k in March and coach Karen Dodsworth said, ‘All the leaders and support runners love running with our awesome group of new runners, it makes Thursday’s so special’.
NHRR finishers at Parkrun events
Michael Over 22:13; Matt Roberts 26:12; Andrew Coates 26:32; Tim Banting 26:48
Matthew Ronayne 18:40; Barbara Sayers 25:22; Sue Vaughan 30:25
Wimpole Estate parkrun
Lucy Hurley 30:30; Jillian Boys 30:53
James Dalton (3rd overall); Steve Brenton 22:03; Daniel Mallett 23:22; Daniel Martin 24:08; Ian Datlen 24:08; Phillip Flack 29:05; Alan Hazlehurst 29:53; Georgina Quayle 30:33; Carina Quayle 34:33.
Nick Malpeli 19:26
Fulbourn Hospital parkrun
Joseph Sherry 27:39
Henlow Bridge Lakes parkrun
Katie Harbon 19:25 (first lady/second overall); William Harrison 20:45; Helen Ankers 23:22; Matt Ankers 24:36; Jo Harbon 28:06; Rachel Annetts 29:21; John Russell 29:36; Brian Judkins 37:11.
Written by Karen Dodsworth.
Seven North Herts Road Runners headed south down the A1 in perfect conditions on Sunday morning, to race in the sell-out St Albans Striders Fred Hughes 10 mile road race around the rolling country lanes of St Albans. Experienced athlete Adam Bowller toed the line in his first road race for over 2 years and finished in 8th place in a stunning time of 56 minutes 30 seconds, a personal best time by 52 seconds.
Tash Pitman was first female home for the female team, equalling her personal best time of 1:07:40 and setting a new club record in the female veteran 45 age group. It was great to see new member Melanie Flynn in her first race for the club. She couldn’t have picked a tougher course for her debut!
Kat Hinitt said “the course was a bit hillier than I expected with a never-ending long slog uphill through some woods after the halfway mark, but the hill training sessions with North Herts Road Runners paid off”, as Hinitt knocked a sizeable 3 and half minutes off her time from 2 years ago.
Meanwhile over at the popular Stevenage parkrun on Saturday morning, Matthew Ronayne and Tracy Pitcairn both set personal best park run times and also broke the current club records in their age categories! Ronayne finished in second place overall, in a fantastic time of 17 minutes and 53 seconds to take the fastest under 19 male record and Pitcairn finished in 20 minutes 41 seconds, to set a new female veteran 35 years club record.
Tracy Pitcairn was also on sparkling form, winning the ladies race in an impressive time of 20:41
NHRR finishers at Fred Hughes 10 miles, St Albans
Adam Bowller 56:28
Tash Pitman 1:07:40
Dave Braybrook 1:12:54
Matt Roberts 1:17:05
Anna Greetham 1:18:52
Kat Hinitt 1:22:23
Melanie Flynn 1:35:23
NHRR finishers at parkrun events:
Peter Clarke 19:47; James Dalton 21:54; Daniel Martin 24:29; Steve Brenton 24:50; Philip Flack 32:01
Matthew Ronayne 17:53; William Harrison 19:19; Tracy Pitcairn 20:41; Sue Vaughan 31:28
Stewart Overton 17:55 (first place); Vince Wright 19:14 (second place); Anna Gibson 26:27; Lucy O’Connor 26:31; Charlotte Coles 27:25; Rachel Annetts 29:10
Normanby Hall parkrun (North Lincolnshire)
Brian Judkins, 88th male in 33:03
Written by Tash Pitman
Katie Harbon notched her third Sunday League cross-country win of the winter for North Herts Road Runners by finishing as first lady across the line in the latest fixture at Watford.
‘That was a tough course’, Harbon said after tackling the six miles of hills and muddy woodland trails around Cassiobury Park. ‘I couldn’t get any grip at all and my mind was telling me it was all uphill’.
Harbon was one of what NHRR Cross-country Rep John Auld described as a ‘superb scurry of 15 squirrels’, with the ‘brutal’ course featuring ‘ups and downs on some sharp descents as well as steep climbs – quite a bit of mud about as well’.
Auld was delighted with his ‘best run so far this season’, but said ‘It was tough. I’d made a note of the steep descent as we ran to the main loop. But with all the ups and downs in the woods, I’d forgotten all about this hill for the way back... when I turned to leave the loop and head back home it was there – right in front of me! It was very disheartening. But I pushed on. I started to hear Mark and Pete with the cowbells and that got me to the top’.
NHRR finishers at Watford:
8, Andrew Leach
21, Rob Harris
25, Katie Harbon
41, Vince Wright
46, John Auld
75, James Keogh
77, Darren Matussa
82, Tash Pitman
83, Ian Datlen
105, James Walsh
172, Paula Adams
192, Helen Ankers
292, Lucy O’Connor
326, Karen Dodsworth
355, Lindsay Cook
Mike Roberts recorded a superb new personal best of 1 hour 12 mins 41 in the Brass Monkey Half Marathon at York. According to Roberts, the ‘incredibly flat’ course starting and finishing at York Racecourse makes the event ‘so popular that when the 1,600 entries opened back in October they sold out instantly!’. Roberts finished an impressive 34th in ‘a strong field with big groups forming from the start’.
Matthew Ronanye 19:53; James Dalton 21:54; Steve Brenton 25:28; Philip Flack 41:31
Steve Williamson 24:39
Ellie Scott 31:18
Royal Tunbridge Wells Parkrun
Mike Bullock 43:08
Dan Martin 21:51; Russ Hagan 27:49; Jane Clarke 38:50
Darren Matussa 23:16
Wimpole Estate Parkrun
Andrew Coates 25:31; Ian Datlen 26:56; Kat Hinitt 25:56; Matt Roberts 23:08; Paula Holm 25:50; Tim Banting 26:26
Mersea Island Parkrun
William Harrison 19:47
Joe Sherry 29:49
Rhia Botha 25:59
Henlow Bridge Lakes Parkrun
Jillian Boys 25:54; Stuart Cocks 26:13; Rachel Annetts 29:28; Hayley Cocks 40:47
Carl Haskell 24:17; Vicky Haskell 37:38
Written by James Walsh.
Hertfordshire County Cross Country Championships
The clubs cross country representative and men's team captain John Auld described Sunday as a great day for cross country and a brilliant day out for North Herts Road Runners. A scurry of nine squirrels and a fantastic support team headed over to Stanborough lakes, Welwyn Garden City. The clubs gazebo looked superb in the glorious sunshine by the lake and provided an excellent headquarters for the team.
Although the weather was very kind - the course was not so kind. It was various number of laps depending on the competition of a muddy loop and a nasty hill at the end of each. The ladies and under 20’s men had four laps and the senior men had five.
There were some fabulous squirrel performances. The senior men's team finished 5th overall behind St Albans Striders, Watford Joggers, Barnet & District and Dacorum.
Lindsay Cook was first squirrel home for the ladies - all be it the only sow (female squirrel) in the race. But you have to be in it to win it. She finished 68th overall.
Matthew Ronayne competed at 17 in the under 20’s men race. Beautifully paced - he finished 7th overall and was handed an invitation to represent the county at the inter county completion later in the year.
Seven boars (male squirrels) competed in the men's senior race. James Fox was first home for the club finishing in 4th overall, closely followed by Tom Webb in 5th. Stewart Overton was 18th and Matt Sayers was in 29th. Completing the team of 6 were Mike Banister in 50th and John Auld in 70th. James Walsh provided solid back up to the scoring team finishing shortly after in 80th.
Walsh was delighted to be part of the NHRR contingent - commenting afterwards that on arrival he thought the course looked quite benign as far as cross country goes. However after the first lap coming to 1.6 miles, he realised that four more laps would be close to 8 miles! Realising there was no way out of it now, James got on with it and in the end quite enjoyed it. Afterwards his Garmin running watch came to the verdict of ‘overreaching’ - which he concurred was a good summary!
Stewart Overton added that it was very much a hard graft but very enjoyable and a pleasure to represent the club in a county level event. The fabulous support from fellow squirrels was uplifting at more or less every corner.
Bedfordshire County Cross Country Championships
Adam Bowller ran in the combined Beds/Bucks county champs at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes. Adam described the course as very muddy and the course was also unexpectedly short. Competing in the Beds competition, Bowller finished 6th overall - just short of an automatic selection for the inter counties competition. Although he is still being considered for selection by the team manager.
Victoria Park Half Marathon
Gurbir Singh Parmar (Arnie) ran is first race of the year at Victoria Park Half Marathon. Arnie has now ran 9 marathons and half’s since joining the club in June.
Sue Foot ran the Stanstead Stagger - an off road marathon with a written route description. Sue described the course was extremely muddy as they staggered across numerous ploughed fields, slippery tracks and negotiated several stiles. The course was diverted due to the River Chelmer overflowing meaning the total distance was 27.2 miles.
Stevenage: Ben Sewell 1st, (18:04), Sophie Thrussell 1st lady (20:45), Jane Clarke (30:19)
Gunpowder: Darren Matussa 3rd (19:06)
Roodepoort: Rhia Botha 2nd lady (24:24)
Wimpole: Matt Roberts (27:04)
Holkham: Chloe Lucas 3rd lady (24:24), Lindsay Lucas (35:22)
Letchworth: Steve Brenton 9th (25:52)
Henlow Bridge Lakes: Carl Haskell (24:55), Rob Milburn (25:54), Jillian Boys (26:38), Rachel Annetts (29:44)
Storeys Field: Joseph Sherry (29:43)
Written by John Auld
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