North Herts Road Runners strengthened their promotion push with an emphatic victory in the second Midweek League race of the summer season.
A two-lap course in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage, proved to the Squirrels' liking as wins for the men and ladies gave NHRR overall victory on the night. The Letchworth-based club now has a commanding seven-point lead at the top of Division Two, halfway through the four-race series.
North Herts also head the veteran men’s standings, with the vet ladies a close second behind Harlow Running Club.
Ed Price ran a storming second half of the 9.9k course to lead the whole field home in 34.05 and Club Chairperson Astrid McKeown made light of the warm conditions to win the ladies’ race in 41.12.
Other NHRR finishers:
Paula Adams 7th, 44:11
Tash Pitman 11th, 45:54
Ellie Scott 14th, 46:47
Jo Summers 16th , 47:01
Barbara Sayers 17th, 47:07
Yuko Gordon 21st, 47:52
Jane Clarke 23rd, 48:02
Caroline Thrussell 24th, 48:14
Chloe Lucas 26th, 48:26
Helen Harbon 28th, 48:47
Claire O’Sullivan 33rd, 49:43
Jo Harbon 48th, 53:22
Lucy Hurley 50th, 53:33
Rachel Annett 57th, 55:26
Miranda Morgan 62nd, 56:05
Helen Giffin, 72nd, 57:16
Lucy O’Connor 74th, 57:39
Rachel Pounder 80th, 59:03
Sheila Leavy 86th, 1:00:07
Michelle Grudzinski 90th, 1:01:27
Dawn Power 91st, 1:01:38
Carina Quayle 94th, 1:01:55
Christine Sharp 98th, 1:04:31
Lindsay Cook 99th, 1:05:20
Jane Tyler 102nd, 1:06:43
Mark Vaughan 3rd,34:30
Jim McConnel 4th, 35:12
John Auld 9th, 35:42
Andy Mutton 11th, 35:46
John Rayner 14th, 35:53
Rob Harris 17th, 37:02
Nick Malpeli 22nd, 37:39
Darren Matussa 27th, 38:00
Steve McKeown 31st, 38:31
Andy Green 33rd, 38:39
Stewart Overton 34th, 38:40
Adrian Sherwood 37th, 38:47
James Keogh 42nd, 39:32
Vincent Wright 48th, 39:51
Martyn Annetts 63rd, 41:55
Richard Foster 72nd, 43:23
Greg Pounder 74th, 43:29
Richard Harbon 79th, 44:14
Dave Frampton 87th, 45:17
Niccolo Bassani 89th, 45:30
Christian Allen 99th, 45:58
Rob Milburn 108th, 47:08
Steve Lummis 110th, 47:35
Colin Calcutt 114th, 48:02
Chris Poole 126th, 49:22
Jason Davis 140th, 51:26
Matt Ankers 141st, 51:42
Ian Sutcliffe 147th, 54:13
Brian Bailey 157th, 56:50
Geoff Murray-Rochard 170th, 1:05:36
Brian Judkins 173rd, 1:06:46
Geoff Pettengell 174th, 1:12:27
Pat Norris 175th, 1:12:31
Andrew Leach turned in a superb performance at the Vitality London 10,000m road race, knocking 16 seconds off his own V50 club record to finish in 32:59 and first in his age category. Adam Bowller and John Rayner also recorded new bests, with 35:12 and 35:23 respectively, and Helen Nuttall finished in 43:19.
After missing the Midweek race with illness, Simon Poole was delighted to bounce back with a personal best in the Liverpool Half-marathon. Poole's strategy of running strictly to heart rate and not worrying about pace paid off as he crossed the line in 1:29:20.
Plenty of North Herts runners packed a second race into their week by taking part in Parkruns across the country. Steve Lummis ran at Luton Wardown, finishing in 23;13; Steve Tracey recorded 19:57 at Bedford; and Chris Poole travelled to Penrhyn, finishing in 24:45.
Four Squirrels competed at Panshanger Parkrun: Richard Harbon, 20:59; Helen Harbon, 23:24; Matt Ankers, 23:54; Jo Harbon, 26:37.
The largest NHRR Parkrun contingent was at Stevenage: Vincent Wright, 18:54; Ollie Garbas, 20:01, John Cooper, 21:16; Chloe Lucas, 23:05; Ellie Scott, 23:50; Bob Davis, 26:06; Jeni Spurr-Jones, 27:09; Pat Norris, 34:25.
Finally, four Squirrels took part in the Wimpole Estate Parkrun: Lucy O’Connor, 27:01; Helen Giffin, 29:03; Sheila Leavy, 31:11; Lisa Laundy, 31:37.
It was a weekend of marathons and parkruns for North Herts Road Runners.
In great form was Darren Sunter who took part in the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon. Sunter finished the 3 lap course in 2:51:16 which placed him 23rd in a field of over 6000. Also running was Jennie Fraser who clocked 4:03:57, finishing in 1578th.
Experienced marathoner Jo Summers took on a Derbyshire double this weekend. On Saturday she took part in the White Peak Marathon, a point to point marathon along the Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail. She finished in 3:46 (2nd FV50). On Sunday she took on the challenging “Leaden Boot”. This tough self-guided marathon has over 6000 feet of ascent. Summers battled the hills to finish in a course PB of 5:32 (3rd lady).
In parkrun action were: Stevenage – 25th Richard Harbon 21:04, 45th Ollie Garbas 22:21, 48th (and 2nd lady) Chloe Lucas 22:29, 51st (and 3rd lady) Ellie Scott 22:42, 69th Helen Harbon 23:32, 73rd Matt Ankers 23:54, 99th Joe Sherry 25:30, 107th Bob Davis 25:57, 128th Helen Giffin 26:49, 149th Linda Aird 27:44. Luton Wardown Park – 142nd Lindsay Cook 29:59. Plymvalley – 14th Simon Poole 20:30. Hatfied Forest – 60th Steve Lummis 23:42, 73rd Chris Poole 24:14. Wimpole Estate – 199th Lucy O’Connor 27:43.
Last weekend Yuko Gordon took part in the Starfish Bexhill Marathon. Aiming for a London Marathon qualifying time, Gordon completed the 4 lap coastal course in 4:12:05, successfully achieving her aim.
An impressive turnout of 60 North Herts Road Runners kicked of their midweek league campaign in division 2 with an impressive win in Bishop Stortford. In perfect conditions over an undulating course both the men’s and women’s team stormed home securing first place for the club. Five squirrels lead the field to dominate the final results. The scorers for men’s team were 1st Andrew Leach 34:12, 2nd Edward Price 34:29, 3rd Mark Vaughan 34:52, 4th Jim McConnell 34:57, 5th Darren Sunter 34:59, 12th Adam Bowller 35:50, 14th John Auld 36:02, 15th John Rayner 36:03, 24th Nicholas Malpeli 37:41, 26th Darren Matussa 38:02, 28th Steve McKeown 38:07, and 34th Adrian Sherwood 38:42.
The ladies team was lead home by Katie Harbon who won the women’s race in a time of 38:56. Other scores in the team include in 2nd place Astrid McKewon 41:55, 6th Helen Nuttall 43:14, 9th Natasha Pitman 45:55, 12th Kat Burr 46:52 and 20th Chloe Lucas 47:01.
Only weeks after completing the London Marathon, Darren Matussa and Oliver Garbas clocked up a couple of impressive times in a very hot Riga Marathon. Matussa finished in 3:06 with Garbas coming in at 3:25. Sue Foot also ran a marathon this weekend finishing the PJs in the Park Marathon in 4:40.
In Parkrun action at Stevenage Vincent Wright finished 2nd in 19:03, 9th Simon Poole 19:54, 15th John Cooper 20:29, 27th Phil Hunt 21:56, 33rd Lewis Jon Green 22:30, 4th Chloe Lucas 22:41, 35th Joseph Sherry 22:43, 5th Ellie Scott 22:48, 6th Barbara Sayers 22:50, 8th Helen Harbon 23:49, 10th Claire O’Sullivan 24:06, 18th Jeni Spurr-Jones 26:50, 19th Sue Vaughan 26:50, 98th Brian Bailey 26:57, 28th Sheila Leavy 28:19, 41st Jennifer Naisbitt 29:38 and 48th Carina Quayle 30:04. Other Parkruns Bracknall 63rd Stephen Lummis 25:12, Raphael 35th Chris Poole 22:34, and Livingston 165th Brian Judkins 33:11.
19 North Herts Road Runners ran in the club’s Greenway Challenge on Sunday with Mark Vaughan leading home the 295 finishers in an impressive 75.20. Mark was followed by club mates Ed Price, 2nd 76.20, Jim McConnel 3rd 76.53 and Darren Sunter 4th in 80.28. Darren Matussa also gained a top 10 finish in 9th with 84.16 whilst V50 Adrian Sherwood was 12th, 86.22. 1st lady home for the club was Ellie Scott, 1.52.43 closely followed by Helen Harbon, 1.53.47. Other finishers were: Greg Punder 1.40.02, James Drew 1.42.27, Phil Hunt 1.43.37, Barry West 1.44.13, Christian Allen 1.51.29, Matt Ankers 1.56.58 PB, Alice Bates 2.02.42, Jeni Spurr-Jones 2.09.45, Andrew Porter 2.17.42, Andee Price 2.21.01 and Joy Stroud 2.26.29.
Ladies’ team captain Katie Harbon competed in the final race of the Windsor Sprint Duathlon series at Dorney lake on Saturday and finished 1st lady in 4th position overall. Katie’s 74.27 finishing time put her just 6 minutes behind the 1st man and an impressive 7minutes ahead of the 2nd lady.
12 squirrels lined up for the First Saturday of the Month 5km held on Norton Common and Jon Auld crossed the line 1st in 18.21 just 2 weeks after his impressive London Marathon PB performance. James Keogh was 4th in 18.44 with junior Oliver Brady posting a superb 18.50 in 5th and John Cooper clocking a 20.35 PB for 10th. V60 Stewart Bryant ran 21.12 followed by 2nd lady Chloe Lucas 22.46, 3rd lady Jane Clarke 22.56 and 4th lady Ellie Scott 23.09. Also delighted with personal bests were Helen Giffin 26.58, Dawn Power 27.55, Sheila Leavy 28.31 and Lisa Lundy 30.54.
Also in PB form at the Stevenage Park Run was Jennifer Naisbitt who finished in 31.43. Joe Sheery completed the course in 24.30.
With such impressive times from all club members North Herts Road Runners are looking forward to the start of the Scott’s Travel Midweek Road Race League on Wednesday where they hope to secure promotion back to Division 1.
On Bank holiday Monday, five squirrels ventured over to Pednor near Chesham for the Pednor 5, incorporating the Herts County 5 mile Champs. The course is on small country lanes, devoid of traffic and starts with a flat 2 mile section, followed by a very steep hill, more flat bits then a crazy downhill section to the finish. Conditions were perfect and NHRR managed to put in some decent performances as follows.
First home was Mark Vaughan in 2nd place setting a new club record of 27:38. Mark was 1st in the Herts County open male and is county champion. Adam Bowller finished 7th (28:39). Yuko Gordon finished first in the F55 category despite being over 65. Yuko was 100th (15th lady). Other runners were Sue Vaughan, 209th (71st lady), (45:08) and Karen Dodsworth 214th (75th lady) (45:29). Yuko, Sue and Karen completed the ladies team who were also the Herts County ladies team winners!
Also on bank holiday Monday - several squirrels took part in the MK Marathon/Half marathon event. In the Marathon, Kat Burr finished in 3:46:02. Chris Poole finished his 2nd marathon this spring in 4:06:42. Naomi Parkinson completed her first marathon in 4:22:15. Steve Lummis finished in 4:37:39. The field of the Half Marathon was also populated with squirrels. Helen Govey finished in 2:03:40, taking nearly 21 mins off her previous PB and Jim Marvell finished in 2:27:18.
On Sunday, Sue Foot, Caroline Thrussell and Miranda Morgan completed the multi terrain Salcombe Coastal Marathon from Torcross to Bantham, via Salcombe along some of South Devon’s most beautiful coastline. The coastal footpaths were a mixture of grass, gravel and rocks and many parts needed careful negotiation both up and down the hills. There were the most stunning views everywhere you looked. Sue and Miranda both finished in 7:03 and Caroline in 6:51.
In rural Northamptonshire, Jo Summers completed the 27 mile route around the Valleys and Views and finished in 5.11.
On Saturday, Michelle Grudzinski completed the Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultra marathon along the Highland Way from Milgave to Tyndrum. Michelle finished in 14.58.43.
Several squirrels turned out at Stevenage Parkrun. John Cooper, 13th (21:50), Bob Davis (27:17), Helen Giffin (29:05), Oli Garbas (31:58) and Partick Norris (34:46). Others ventured to parksruns further a field. At Lyme Park, James Keogh finished in 20:36. And at Rutland Water, Chris Pool finished in 22:33.