Rob Harris and John Auld stormed to superb sub-3 hour personal bests at the front of a large North Herts Road Runners contingent in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Harris recorded 2:44:21, a time good enough to gain him qualification for the prestigious Championship start in next year's race.
Auld smashed a remarkable 11 minutes off his previous fastest time to finish in 2:51:56 - handsome reward for recording 800 miles in his marathon training programme.
Dan Hills was another Squirrel delighted with his time, completing his first marathon in 3:04.56. Further debuts – and some impressive charity fundraising - came from Allison Blunt with 5:08:2 and Jennifer Naisbitt with 6:33:13.
Barbara Sayers also recorded a personal best with 3:42:48.
Other North Herts Road Runners finishers: Adrian Sherwood 3:07:56; Nick Malpeli 3:12:59; Darren Matussa 3:15:05; Ollie Garbas 3:28:31; Daniel Williams 3;45:59; Steve Tracey 3:53:01; Jane Clarke 3:58:18; Helen Nuttall 4:08:33; Andrew Hull 4:21:41.
Parkrun results: Chris Poole achieved a new best of 21:57 at Beckton and Miranda Morgan took the honours as first V60 lady at Redditch with a time of 26:40.
Warm temperatures saw some blistering North Herts Road Runners performances this weekend. On Sunday, fast veterans Mark Vaughan and Yuko Gordon travelled to Gravesend Cyclopark to take part in the British Masters Athletics Federation’s 10k open road championships and both won British National Masters Titles in their age groups; Mark Vaughan finished 5th overall in a time of 34:57 Yuko Gordon was in 62nd place in a time of 45:19.
Also on the south coast were a group of North Herts Road Runners who took part in the Brighton Marathon. On an undulating coastal course, Jeni Spurr-Jones completed her debut marathon in 4:57 beating her target of 5 hours in tough marathon conditions. Chris Poole finished in 4:05, Dan Mallett in 5:52 and Pat Norris in 6:53.
Helen Harbon and Matt Ankers took part in the Sheffield Half Marathon, both were delighted to achieve new personal bests of 1:52 and 2:05 respectively. Jo Summers and Sue Foot took part in the 2 lap Haverhill Marathon. Jo Summers was the 2nd lady and first FV50 in 4:05 and Sue Foot finished in 5:02.
Closer to home was the Flitwick 10k. Darren Sunter placed 6th and got a new PB of 35:44 with Vincent Wright also dipping under the 40 minute mark, finishing in 39:33. Other runners were Christian Allen (45:44), Chloe Lucas (49:01), Claire O’sullivan (51:17), Brian Bailey (57:28), Derek Myall (1:01:58), Richard Fox (1:02:19), Christine Sharp (1:03:29) and Joy Stroud (1:05:45)
In parkrun action on Saturday were John Auld who set a new parkrun PB at Bedford of 17:20 (3rd place). John Raynor won at Dartford in 18:04, Brian Judkins finished 339th at Cambridge (30:28), Ellie Scott was 12th at Fritton Lake (23:45), Lisa Laundy was 331st at Wimpole Estate (32:43), Joe Sherry was 16th at Walthamstow (22:59) and Helen Giffin finished 178th at Panshanger (28:35).
At Stevenage parkrun, Simon Poole ran a great race to finish 2nd in 19:17. Pete Sibbett was 10th in 21:01, Ollie Garbas 12th in 21:19, John Cooper 16th in 22:03, Chloe Lucas 48th in 25:00 and Karen Dodsworth 83rd in 28:00.
Nick Malpeli kicked off the spring marathon season for the club at the Greater Manchester Marathon. Malpeli finished 191st and 4th MV50 in a time of 2:54:04 a new club record.
With many more runners still building up to their marathons nine squirrels took on the undulating Oakley 20 as part of their training. First home for the club in 15th place in an impressive 2:10:10 was Darren Saunter followed by Darren Matussa in 2:17:17 and John Auld 2:17:43. First lady to finish for the club was Kat Burr in 2:46:42 followed by Oliver Garbas 2:50:12, Barbara Sayers 2:53:23, Caroline Thrussell 2:57:46, Jane Clarke 3:03:40 and Naomi Parkinson in 3:12:24.
Jo Summers clocked up yet another Marathon in Rome and finished in 3 hours 40 minutes. Michelle Grudzinski ran the picturesque Prague Half Marathon in 2:04:18. Chris Stokes was closer to home at the Lee Valley Half Marathon and finished in 1:32:44. Joseph Sherry got a new PB at the Regents Park 10k with a time of 46:02 and Lindsay Cook ran the Lincoln 10k in 1:00:16.
93 runners enjoyed the spring conditions on Norton Common for the First Saturday of the Month. North Herts Road Runners dominated the front of the field with Ed Price’s winning time of 17:06 followed by John Auld in 17:38, 3rd Steve McKeown 19:12, 4th James Keogh 19.17. Other finishers for the club included Richard Harbon 20.35, John Cooper 21:42, Ellie Scott 25:00, Adam Wilson 25:03, Ian Sutcliffe 27:07, Jeni Spurr-Jones 27:16, Dawn Power 28:23, Sheila Leavy 29:19 and Helen Ferguson 30:36.
Six squirrels were out and about at Parkruns, closest to home at Stevenage were Bob Davis 25:46 and Karen Dodsworth 27:08. Chris Poole ran Heaton in 22:33, Lindsay Cook was at Lincoln and finished in 32:00 while Joseph Sherry ran Bedford Parkrun in 23:20. Finally Brian Judkins ran at Fountains Abbey in a time of 31:58.