Last week the big outing for NHRR was the Mid Week League race at Trent Park. 54 squirrels took part in the race with a good number of supporting cast. The first Squirrel home was Mark Vaughan in 13th place in just 37:09 with Katie Harbon the first female home in 39:30 in an excellent 41st place overall. After 3 races in the series the Men are in 3rd place in the League and the Ladies 2nd with the overall club position showing a strong 4th well clear of the 5th placed club.
Following the competitive Mid Week race there was a bit of a pace change on the Saturday with the annual ‘Bird Run’ which combines a bit of a run with a bird watch and breakfast. Binoculars and ears at the ready being lead by an expert bird lover the group witnessed Whitethroat, Swallows, House Martins, Red Kite, Blackcap and glimpsed a typically elusive Reed Warbler. Plus they heard Great Spotted Woodpecker and Garden Warbler. They also saw a fine display of Marsh Orchids.
Running is not just a social event, its not just a way of keeping fit, this proves that it is a great way of getting out in the great outdoors and experiencing the world around you. Summer club training runs often come with the added bonus of a spectacular Sunset.
More individual performances this week included Jo S taking part in the Farthingstone Foot Fest. The race is a minimum (!!!) of 26 miles when advertised and ran to 27.3 this year taking an off road route, but it is was a sociable outing apart from the stinging nettles which were totally anti-social.
A last minute decision for Jilian Boys to run in the Stotfold 5K Challenge paid off as she came in the first lady to finish in 22 mins. She was one of 6 Squirrels taking park with Ian Sutcliffe finishing in 26:13, Claire O coming in third lady in 24:12, Helen M-S finishing in 32mins and Andrew P in 28:15. The main feature of the ran that they all remember is running through lots and lots of long grass.
Sue F ran the Redway festival of Running Maraton, having battled to be fit for the race after a lengthy layoff with a foot injury she felt a little underprepared but previous conditioning and great metal attitude kicked in and finished happy in just 4 hours 28 minutes.
Michelle was at the end of a fairly major flight plan to run the Green Half Marathon in Lefkada, part of the Greek Ionian Islands. Finishing in under 2 hours 5 the run was around the bay as the sunset. Running shoes are an essential part of a squirrels awaydays packing!!!!
Nicolo took part in the St Albans half Marathon, trying to keep up with the 1:40 pacers proved only just a little bit much with a finishing time of 1:41. The highlight of the race though was a lady at mile 7 with a moral boosting sign saying 'You're running better than Thameslink'
Shani Fielding, Jo K, Halyley Crocks and Stuart Crocks took part in the Marston Mortain 5K which was a mostly flat but a little slippery underfoot. Stuart managed a 5K PB in 21:22 and Shani a PB of 32:45. Hayley was less happy with her time but it just proves even squirrels suffer when full of cold – but they are still running.
With the huge variety of one off races and after the mid week league there were only a few running at Park Runs this week. Darren Matussa ran in Roding Vally finishing 51st out of 151 in 24:03, In Bracknell Steven Lummis was 50th out of 349 runners in 24:39. In Stevenage Nick Malpeli was in 4th place out of 330 runners in 19:18, followed by Chris Stokes (20:15), Richard Harbon (21:24), Chris Poole (23:04) and Joseph Sherry coming in last of the Squirrels but only in 147th place in 27:45. Jillian Boys ran the Wimpole estate in 23:24 finishing 69th out of 335 runninger. Helen Giffin was another squirrel travelling with her running shoes as she took part in Keswick finishing in 30:30. James Dalton was the only Squirrel running in the Letchworth event finishing 7th out of the 114 runners in 22:05.
This July, the First Saturday of the Month will be held at both dawn (9am) and dusk (7.30pm), with the dusk runners encouraged to bring family, friends, food and drink.
Run hard in the morning and unwind with a social run in the evening, or use the morning's run as a warm up, and blast the 5k at sundown, or you could even just do one and not the other. Whichever you choose, it's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the best that midsummer has to offer in the picturesque setting of Norton Common.
Bring the kids, or make it a date night – the Midsummer Dawn & Dusk Double 5k is another example of NHRR's well-loved social events. Free entry. All welcome. Sign up on our First Saturday of the Month page
Saturday saw the 7th anniversary of Letchworth’s First Saturday of the Month 5k race. This free event is run once a month by volunteers from North Herts Road Runners and takes in two laps of the beautiful Norton Common. With barcode timing and free tea and coffee, the race has gone from strength to strength over its 7 year history. To celebrate the birthday, this week, cake was added to the post-finish rewards with the chocolate-covered flapjacks earning particular praise! 93 runners finished the course, with NHRR’s Paul Jackson leading the field home in 18:04, and former Squirrel Emily Hutchinson leading the ladies home in 18:38, magnificent times from both runners. Other Squirrels chasing the cake home were: 6th - James Keogh (19:30); 9th - Lee Hayes (19:59); 11th - David Weston (20:19); 15th Steven Peel (22:17); 16th - James Walsh (22:19); 19th - Richard Harbon (22:43); 23rd - Stuart Cocks (23:17); 25th - Jane Clarke (23:59); 28th - Sam Barry (24:10); 29th - Drew Norton (24:30); 32nd - Andrew Robson (24:55); 39th - Cooper (25:36) - 41st - Richard Weber (26:09); 47th - Paula Holm (27:13); 50th - Linda Aird (27:37); 54th Allison Blunt (27:54); 66th Gladys Cheng (30:21), 67th - Sheila Leavy (30:24); 78th - Dawn Power (32:58); 85th - Helen Marson-Smith (34:15); 89th - Kelly Hanlon (35:25) and 90th Clare Hooley (37:31). Linsey Ashley said “Thanks for a great FSOM. My daughter had a great time and can't wait to do it again next month, and the Run Around the Garden (on 17th June). Future Squirrel!! Everyone was so encouraging with her as ever.”
Further afield, Eleanor Williams travelled to Ireland to run the Cork half-marathon. After the race she said “it was crazily humid and hillier than I was expecting. The crowd was amazing and there was plenty of water, cold wet sponges and lucozade to keep everyone going.” The race didn’t go exactly to plan, however. “The day didn’t get off to the best start as I had a sickness bug but it managed to hold off during the race. I managed 2hrs 26 - my second best half marathon time. Absolutely loved the race itself, the scenery, the crowd and my play list. It was by far one of the best organised events I’ve been part of. I’d highly recommend it to anyone.”
Elsewhere,. Matt Davies and Jodie Brumhead competed in the Mountain Yomp Challenge in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. Matt commented “We did the Half Yomp, so 11.5 miles with ~1850ft elevation gain. Rain all day on Saturday meant it was about 90% humidity and the path turned to knee high bog in parts. The weather cleared for the race, however, to give us some great views and it was a lovely day with most of the locals out on the hills.” Matt finished 6th in 1hr 48:15 and Jodie was 39th in 2hrs 27:31.
Hayley Cocks and her daughter Abbi took part in a Cancer Research UK “Pretty Muddy” 5k in Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City, which, apart from lots of mud, included a number of uphill and downhill slops and a shallow river. Hayley said “I’d never imagined so much mud!”.
There were a posse of Squirrels travelling to various Parkruns. Ellie Scott ran in Norwich, finishing 102nd lady (30:54). Also in Norfolk, Jillian Boys finished 7th lady in Kings Lynn (23:43). Rachel Annetts ran in Bedford, finishing 20th lady (26:35). In Leamington John Russell finished 81st (22:53). Three Squirrels ran in Stevenage, with Naomi Parkinson leading them home as 7th lady (24:05). Bob Davis was 131st (27:05) and Pat Norris 252nd (33:39). At Mount Edgcumbe, Simon Poole finished 4th (21:28) and at Erddig Chris Poole was 53rd (25:06)
This week saw a scurry of 72 Squirrels take on the 2nd Midweek League Division 1 race at Highfield Park St Albans. Overall NHRR finished 4th with the men 4th, the women 2nd whilst the Vet man and women finished 2nd and 1st respectively. After two races NHRR are now 4th in the league, a single point behind 3rd and everything to play for in the remaining two races.
Squirrels running were Darren Sunter (34:10), Edward Price (34:18), Mark Vaughan (34:57), Matthew Sayers (35:30), John Rayner (36:29), Andy Mutton (36:54), John Auld (37:29), Darren Matussa (37:48), Katie Harbon (38:04), Adrian Sherwood (38:04), Oliver Brady (38:23), Steve McKeown (38:31), James Walsh (38:59), Lee Hayes (39:53), James Keogh (40:05), Astrid McKeown (40:53), David Weston (41:16), Matt Davies (41:35), Paula Adams 41:39), Sarah Mitcherson (42:12), Richard Foster (42:59), David Frampton (43:40), Helen Cairns (43:45), Kat Burr (44:16), Stuart Cocks (44:39), Phil Hunt (44:54), Marcus Farnfield (45:34), Sophie Thrussell (45:44), Sam Barry (46:00), Daniel Mallett (46:40), Chris Poole (46:56), Steve Lummis (47:17), Naomi Parkinson (47:39), Jane Clarke (47:50), Niamh Barry (48:31), Jillian Boys (48:58), Alice Noakes (48:58), Colin Calcutt (49:13), Lucy Hurley (49:39), Andrew Robson (49:40), Paul Bowal (49:57), Claire O'Sullivan (50:09), Ellie Scott (50:20), Helen Harbon (50:41), Adam Wilson (50:55), Hannah Keeble (50:57), Angeliki Shearstone (50:58), Linda Aird (51:59), Lucy O'Connor (52:07), Jason Davis (53:07), Andrew Cooper (53:25), Jodie Brumhead (53:52), Jo Harbon (54:40), Jenny Andrews (54:44), Ian Sutcliffe (54:52), Sue Vaughan (55:10), Brian Bailey (55:35), Karen Dodsworth (55:57), Matt Ankers (56:08), Helen Govey (56:41), Cara Sutton (56:44), Johnny Spinks (57:17), Geoff Murray-Rochard (58:30), Shiela Leavy (59:33), Christine Sharp (1:01:20), Lindsay Cook (1:04:02), Helen Cromack (1:04:06), Eleanor Williams (1:05:24), Brian Judkins (1:06:19), Shani Fielding (1:08:42), Hayley Cocks (1:13:10).
A couple of squirrels ran the Hatfield Broad Oak 10k. Ryan Smith ran a new PB of 37:02 and Sarah Mitcherson finished 3rd V40 in 42:47. Ryan said that he must have been the only one hoping that the sun stayed behind the clouds on the bank holiday, but was was delighted with a PB considering the weather forecast.
Andy and Michelle Grudzinski travelled to Canada for a couple of races. The first race was Woody's RV World Trial Marathon which had wildlife warnings about bears and aggressive beavers. A week later they ran the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon to which Andy completed the marathon in 5:19 and Michelle completed the 50km Ultra in 5:49.
Others running were Chris Poole who ran the London 10,000 in a time of 46:03 and Miranda Morgan who ran the Edinburgh marathon in 4:54.
Several Squirrels ran Parkruns. Ed Price ran 17:29 at Basingstoke. Steve Williamson ran 21:11 at Kettering. Seven finishers at Stevenage include Chris Stokes (21:36), Chris Poole (23:00), Steve Lummis (23:14), Sam Berry (26:21), Helen Giffin (30:49), Simon Poole (32:27) and Patrick Norris (34:11). Brian Judkins ran 33:27 at Wimpole Estate. Vincent Wright (21:46), James Dalton (22:45), Jullian Boys (24:39) and Bob Davis (29:17) all ran at Letchworth.
News, Notifications and Race Results