It was a busy week for Stuart Overton who competed in two half marathons. On Easter Monday he travelled up to Lincolnshire to run the Boston Half Marathon finishing in a time of 1:15:44. This was enough for 6th place and 1st V40. Then today (Sunday) he ran the Worthing Half marathon finishing 7th overall and 3rd V40 in a time of 1:16:02. Also running in Boston UK, Greg Bowie ran the marathon, finishing in a time of 4:59.58.
Stuart said, “Both courses are pan flat with the potential for PB and fast times. However. The fens and coast are also prone to some winds which was the case in both. Although not strong they were just enough to dull the legs.”
Andy and Michelle Grudzinski headed over to Coed y Brenin for the Goldrush Trail Race on Saturday. It's an 8.5-mile race with 450m of elevation. As with every event at Coed y Brenin you start going uphill and keep going uphill for what seems like forever. Andy finished in a fantastic 1.32.34 (30th Man) and Michelle came in at 1.36.15 (19th Lady). Michelle said “having pushed hard on the flats and downhill to try and reduce the distance whilst reminding myself that I can't break any bones as I won't have a job in the summer if I do.”
Our new club president Lucy Hurley took part in the Barr Ellison 10k at Childerley. Lucy finished in a time of 56:53.
James Dalton and Greg Bowie reached the 100 Parkrun’s goal this weekend with both running at Letchworth. Other notable park runs were Sheila Leavy who ran at Henlow in a time of 47:27 and John Auld who finished 2nd at the Stevenage parkrun with a very impressive 18:16. Full parkrun results are as follows.
Leamington parkrun – John Russell 25:45
Westmill parkrun – Michael Over 21:25, Mike Bullock 27:26
Stevenage parkrun – John Auld 18:16, Ian Datlen 21:20, Ghia Botha 21:22, Mike Phillips 21:46, Eva McCabe 23:20, Natalie Phillips 25:41, Sue Vaughan 28:59
Darlington South Park parkrun – Brain Judkins 33:46
Weymouth parkrun – Brian Bailey 31:06
Panshanger parkrun – Paula Holm 21:39, Richard Harbon 22:02, Helen Harbon 22:21
Rutland Water parkrun – Lindsay Lucas 34:32
Letchworth parkrun – Matt Sayers 18:42, James Dalton (100) 20:49, Tim Banting 25:30, Jegan Simon 27:10, Phillip Flack 28:38, Greg Bowie 28:49.
Henlow Bridge Lakes parkrun – Rachel Annetts 28:22, Sheila Leavy 47:27.
Storeys Field parkrun – Joseph Sherry 30:26
Akrotiri parkrun – Alice Noakes 24:14
The North Herts Road Runners made the most of the gloriously sunny long Easter bank holiday weekend, with several excellent running performances both locally and further afield.
Kicking off the weekend on Good Friday, four squirrels headed down the A1 to run the St Albans Easter 10k. Starting in Highfield Park, the fairly flat single lap race headed out along the disused railway line on the Alban Way, in an out and back route that included several nice stretches of Hertfordshire countryside (as well as a few slightly less appealing sections alongside main roads!) The weather was beautifully sunny and warm (in fact, perhaps a little too warm!) – conditions that the runners had not experienced in recent weeks! Kat Hinitt was first home for the club in 46:36, followed closely by Rikki Clark in 48:09. Jane Robson (1:01:10) and Julie Taylor (1:02:55) completed the quartet, and all four agreed that it was a great start to the bank holiday weekend!
On Saturday, the North Herts Road Runners were well represented at parkrun events across the country. In Letchworth, James Dalton was first squirrel home, finishing seventh overall in an impressive 20:56, while Kat Hinitt was first lady in 23:39, setting a a new PB for this course. Meanwhile, down the road in Stevenage in a crowded field of 301 runners, Tracy Pitcairn was second lady and first in her age category in 20:43, accompanied by Dan Mallett who finished 19th overall in 20:41, coming first in his age category (VM 30-34) and bagging himself a new PB in the process. Ian Sutcliffe opted for Henlow Bridge Lakes for his first ever parkrun event (after “a lot of persuasion” from fellow clubmate Sue Vaughan), finishing in 30:49 and setting a new age-related club record for his age category (VM 75-79). In Devon, Elwyn Howell ran the Teignmouth Promenade parkrun in 22:27, coming second in his age category (VM 60-64). A full list of this week’s parkrun results is at the end of this report.
Finally, on Easter Sunday, while many of us were lazily eating chocolate eggs, Sue Foot headed to Suffolk to run the Risby Marathon. Describing it as “a picturesque out and back route on a mixture of trail and road with plenty of hills to test your stamina”, Sue was pleased to come in eighth place out of a field of just 14 runners.
The full NHRR parkrun results for this week are: EDEN PROJECT Steve Brenton 21:29; STEVENAGE Daniel Mallett 20:41, Tracy Pitcairn 20:43, Phil Hunt 24:33; WIMPOLE ESTATE Michael Banister 19:05; DELAMERE Joseph Sherry 25:43; POOLSBROOK Brian Judkins 34:42; MERSEA ISLAND William Harrison 19:19; LETCHWORTH James Dalton 20:56, Mike Phillips 22:47, Andrew Underhill 22:48, Kat Hinitt 23:39, Georgina Quayle 24:41, Natasha Pitman 25:55, Philip Flack 29:41, Brian Bailey 32:38, Carina Quayle 32:43; SIZEWELL Nick Malpeli 19:35; TEIGNMOUTH PROMENADE Elwyn Howell 22:27; RHEINAUE: Steve McKeown 20:11, Astrid McKeown 20:51; HENLOW BRIDGE LAKES Lucy O’Connor 24:35, Rob Milburn 26:00, Rachel Annetts 29:43, Ian Sutcliffe 30:49, Sue Vaughan 30:51.
Thanks to Kat for writing this weeks report.
It was another wonderful Marathon weekend for North Herts Road Runners with debut performances and PBs as the sun shone at the seaside.
First home for the club, making his marathon debut was Sam COXON in 3:00:22. Speaking after the race he said he was happy to complete his first marathon, but was disappointed to so narrowly miss out on a sub 3-hour time. He really enjoyed the support around the course and found the weather conditions almost perfect, but a little too sunny! Kyle STOUT came in at 3:42:08, not the time he was hoping for, but a superb PB all the same. Anna GREETHAM, the only female squirrel, enjoyed her first marathon performance, smashing a sub four hour marathon with a time of 3:55:21. Matt ROBERTS came in just behind his team mate and running partner in a very respectable 3:56:26.
Before commencing cheering duties, three squirrels raced in the 10km event ahead of the marathon start, with Ian DATLEN leading them home with a well deserved PB of 39:07. He was closely followed by the ladies, Rhia BOTHA in 43:47 and Charlie JONES in 49:09. Fish and Chips and ice creams on the beach were the perfect refuel for the runners and cheer squad alike.
Closer to home the Squirrels were out in force at April’s ‘Run of the Month’ – the Flitwick 10km. The Club’s Russ Hagan completed the course in 49:44 and spoke of his delight at eventually being able to race this event following injury and covid cancellations in previous years and described it as “undulating - like a Blackpool Rollercoaster for the second half.” Three Road Runners were first in their Age Groups with Natasha PITMAN taking the 1st V35 in 41:36, Astrid MCKEOWN 1st V45 in 43:31 and Sue FOOT 1st V65 56:18. The Ladies team of PITMAN, MCKEOWN and Rachel ARNOTT 44:23, took first place in the team competition, whilst the men’s team of Adam BOWLER 34:22, John AULD 37:55 and David EDWARDS 42:52, took second. Auld spoke of the lovely conditions for racing with “minimal wind and gorgeous sunshine”. Andrew PORTER, returning from injury, finished in 01:01:35 and Miranda MORGAN completed the course in 01:04:35
Further North, three squirrels travelled to the sunny Cambourne 10km where Elwyn HOWELL was delighted to top the 1st V60 podium with his time of 46:19. Other finishers for the club were Laura FAIRBANKS 48:28, Scott REED 55:39 and Phillip FLACK 01:03:32.
What a weekend for North Herts Road Runners. Manchester marathon was all the talk, with rumour's that club records were out to be broken and many squirrels out to break their own PB in one of the UK's premier running events, famous for its fast, flat and friendly route. Six squirrels in total headed up to Manchester to see if they had what it takes to defeat a distance renowned to put up the ‘runners wall’. With the current marathon club record standing at 2:32:57, it was a case of go hard or go home for Tom Webb who was the first NHRR ever to clock up a marathon time under 2 hours 30 mins. This was his debut marathon and Manchester served up perfect conditions for Tom who was cheered on by family and members of NHRR who travelled up to support, and he was delighted to clock 2:27:41.
Next in for North Herts Road Runners was Darren Sunter. Considering Darren has had 5 months out due to injury and cramp creeping in at 23 miles, it was a dream day which saw Darren finish in 2:31:58. Darren explained that the hills of Altrincham made the back section of the course tough, and with a superb first 10 miles, hilly mid-section, and then a new lease of life at 20 (albeit complimented by cramp), Darren left everything on the course to finish with a new V40 club record. And that’s not all. NHRR also saw Matt Sayers break his own club record in the V45 category, storming to victory in a time of 2:38:37, and Ben Sewell who blew his PB out the park by a massive 10 minutes, finishing the course in 2:43:58. Shaun Allin and Dave Braybrook defeated the course, both achieving PB’s of 3:25:03 and 3:45:01. Dave exclaimed he had to dig deep after mile 23 and was delighted with his time.
NHRR were also represented at the Reading Half Marathon, where Katie Harbon ran a superb time of 1.20.18, a PB of 2 minutes and sixth women overall in a field of 19,500 runners. Missing the club record by only 2 seconds, Katie enjoyed competing in such a big field and although it was mainly flat, the two hills at mile 2 and 8 were challenging.
Elsewhere saw Russ Hagen compete in the London Landmarks Half whilst raising vital funds for the Brain Tumor Charity. The LLH is an iconic event, passing iconic London sights along the way and priding itself on being the only half marathon to go through both the City of London and City of Westminster. Russ explained that it’s an amazing event with around 17,000 runners making their way through the West End, Westminster and the City; it’s like a London city tour without the open top bus. Running down Chapleside as the Bow Bells peeled out was inspirational as explained by Russ who finished in a great time of 1:50.
Michelle Grudinski got her second best time ever at the Paris marathon and came in in 4:29:02. Following her previous being only 6 days ago, Michelle was delighted with her time and loved the course.
Locally, the First Saturday of the Month 5k proved to be as popular as always with 62 people coming out on a cold but beautiful morning to run round the 2 lap course on Letchworth Common. April also saw many children run round the 1k course which is a new, but fabulous, addition to the FSoTM5k. The next 5k will be on the 7th May so see you there!
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