Several squirrels ran in the Hitchin Hard Half and 5k races. With the pleasant vibe and good weather - it made for a lovely morning. There were lots of familiar faces both spectating and taking part.
Karen Townsend won the 5km race on a lovely route up the Gosmore hills - she came home first, finishing the race in 21:06 ahead of the rest of the field.
Running the half were Rachel Arnott, Rhia Botha, Grace Cleary, James Dalton and David Weston.
Rhia commented afterwards - as the name suggests, it wasn’t an easy race. Rhia finished 5th lady and 1st in her age category with 1:41:33 and enjoyed seeing many squirrels supporting along the route and finish line.
Grace Cleary finished in 1:54 and described the course as picturesque - adding she’ll definitely be entering again.
Springfield Striders Friday Night 5 mile
Vincent Wright and his son ran the race near Colchester in Essex. The race included the Essex county championships for the distance. The course was advertised as flat, but that’s not how Vince would describe it. George completed the race in 40:26 setting an under 17 club record. Vince finished in 29:37 setting himself a new personal best time for the distance.
Richard and Georgina Barker continued their weekend of hills. After first running park run at Hamstead Heath, they ran the undulating course at Welwyn. With legs that hadn’t recovered yet and the conditions were warm and sunny and there were two significant hills. The more forgiving one being 1 in 9 gradient and lasted an age. Richard completed the run in 47 mins 54 seconds - followed by Georgina in 1 hour 5 mins, 56 seconds.
Elwyn Howell finished first in his age category at Stevenage, equalling his fastest run at the event and achieving his highest ever finishing place with 21:54 in 19th.
Andreea Weisl-Shaw was also there completing her 6th park run event. Proclaiming it was a great way to kick off the weekend and wearing her NHRR vest for the first time at park run. Considering Andreea wasn’t feeling her strongest, she was pleased to finish close to her personal best in 29:23.
Four squirrels travelled to Gunpowder for 'a brilliant morning of park run tourism’ to join Charlie at her local. Ran as a park run sandwich in their long run with a warm up along the canal path. Ian Datlen continued his strong steak with a time of 19:35 in 8th place. Matt Roberts ran well - as did Shaun Allin. Anna Greetham and Charlie Jones ran together.
Other results as follows…
Hamstead Heath: Georgina Barker (32:47), Richard Barker (32:51)
Leamington: John Russell (27:49)
York: Jo Sherry (22:46)
Stevenage: Elwyn Howell (21:54), Barbara Sayers (26:12), Andreea Weisl-shaw (29:23)
Gunpowder: Ian Datlen (19:35), Matt Roberts (21:55), Shaun Allin (23:20), Anna Greetham (24:58), Charlie Jones (24:58)
Stratford-upon-Avon: Ed Price (17:26)
Letchworth: Tracy Pitcairn, 1st (21:36), James Dalton (22:39), Dermal Downing (24:28), Steve Brenton (24:56), Tim Banting (26:22), Andy Grudzinski (28:30), Bob Davis (28:35), Geoff Pettengell (34:01), Philip Flack (36:07)
Great Denham: James Poulton (22:27)
Amsterdamse Bos: Karen Shaw (31:16)
Henlow Bridge Lakes: Stewart Overton (17:57), Jane Clarke (23:54), Rachel Annetts (28:21), Lucy O’Connor (29:40), Anna Gibson (29:40), Brian Judkins (34:35)
On Sunday 19th June, the North Herts Road Runners hosted their popular 5k and 1 mile Run Round the Garden races in Letchworth Garden City, for the first time since 2019.
The fast and flat course through Letchworth town centre is a popular event for those seeking a new 5k personal best time or trying out the 1-mile distance, but also attracts runners of all abilities, with the 1-mile fun run in particular enjoyed by club runners, novices, and children alike.
The squirrels turned out in force on the day, organising, marshalling, and running. It was a beautiful sunny morning with perfect running conditions. In the 5k event, Ian Datlen was first male squirrel home and fifth overall in a new PB of 18:46, closely followed by Daniel Martin (18:56) and William Harrison (19:11), while Karen Townsend led the NHRR ladies home in 19:46, followed by Paula Holm (19:56, and third lady overall), and Rhia Botha (19:59). In the 1 mile event, Ian Datlen was again the first squirrel to cross the line in a speedy 05:39, with Rhia Botha first NHRR lady (06:03) and second overall.
Many squirrels also achieved impressive personal bests in the 5k race, including Tracy Pitcairn (20:15), Elwyn Howell (21:24), Andrew Weisel-Shaw (27:18, which was about a minute quicker than she’d hoped for), and Rhia Botha, whose time of 19:59 secured her first official sub-20 minutes 5k. Botha explained “Today was my first opportunity since joining the club to actually run this race and I couldn’t be happier with my new PB! Such a fantastic atmosphere and so well organised. Today I am a very proud squirrel!” Paula Holm, who also ducked under the 20 minute mark for the first time, agreed: “It was fabulous to work with such a great bunch of squirrels, pushing each other on and to be encouraged by such amazing marshals along the route.” Jon, Sue, and Jillian Boys attended the race as a family and by all accounts it was a successful morning out. Jon, for whom the race was his third 5k event since a heart attack in 2020, was pleased with his time of 42:17, while Sue won her age category in 36:06, and Jillian sped home in 24:31. Meanwhile, Linda Aird also ran the “tough but enjoyable” 5k event – her first proper race for nearly 3 years – and was very happy to finish well under 30 minutes in 27:35, adding “It was so lovely to be able to wear my NHRR vest again in an actual race!”
NHRR will now look ahead to their annual flagship race, the iconic Standalone 10k, this autumn. The 35th Standalone 10k is on Sunday 25th September starting from Standalone farm in Letchworth, Herts. Entries are now open at http://www.nhrr.org.uk/standalone-10k.html
Meanwhile, in a busy weekend of running for the club, on Friday, Stewart Overton travelled down to Walthamstow for the annual Fast Friday 10000 event that doubles up as the English National 10000 championships. He took part in the fourth race of the evening, and even though this did not start until 8:30pm the high temperatures on the track (30 degrees Celsius) meant that any time goals had to be readjusted. He was pleased to finish in an impressive 36:02, and said he would recommend the race as either a participant or spectator, with “lots of supporters taking advantage of the trackside bar with ice cold beer and wine!”
On Saturday, a team of six NHRR ladies piled into a campervan and headed to Leighton Buzzard for the annual Greensand’s Ridge Relay: a relay race comprising 6 segments and covering a total distance of 34 miles in Bedfordshire. Paula Holm ran the first leg, which she completed speedily despite getting a bit lost and seeking help from some local youths, and successfully handed the baton to Jo Harbon. Katie Harbon, Helen Harbon, Sue Vaughan, and Jane completed the team, and despite having to contend with pouring rain and a tough uphill ridge climb (taken on expertly by Helen Harbon), the ladies did brilliantly, winning the silver medal and a very well-deserved podium finish!
Five squirrels made the journey to Wales on Saturday to run in the Coed y Brenin train half marathon. Adam Wilson said ‘it’s the best half marathon I’ve ever done in the glorious Welsh mountains. Well done to Katherine Burr, Helen Cromack, Andy Grudzinski, Dawn Power, Caroline Thrussell and Adam Wilson.
The full NHRR parkrun results for this week are: STEVENAGE Vincent Wright 19:15, James Poulton 22:51; QUEEN’s PARKRUN BELFAST Joseph Sherry 22:53; CLACTON SEAFRONT John Russell 25:10; LETCHWORTH James Dalton 21:48; Tim BANTING 26:13; Brenton 26:40;Geoff Pettengell 34:54; HENLOW BRIDGE LAKES Mike Phillips 21:24, Dave Braybrook 23:25, Jillian Boys 26:00, Matt Roberts 26:54, Rhia Botha 27:53, Andrew Coates 27:57, Natalie Phillips 28:42; AKROTIRI Alice Noakes 23:30.
The third midweek league race was at Chingford on Wednesday evening. On a tough course with two challenging hills, 19 ladies and 31 men ran - with others there in support. Both teams were missing a few regular scorers, but the ladies managed another great result - holding onto 3rd spot, behind Trent Park and St Albans. The vet men finished 2nd again, closely behind St Albans. The full men's team finished 5th, giving the combined NHRR team 4th place overall on the evening. This leaves us nicely in 3rd place overall after 3 races. Katie Harbon was first sow squirrel and also won the ladies race. Stewart Overton was first boar squirrel home. For full results see Midweek Road Race league results (runherts.com)
After competing in Wednesdays midweek league race, John Auld went on to compete in the Silkstone shuffle series on Thursday night. It was the 22nd time he had run the shuffle and it was tough, with harder course conditions than in April - hotter, longer grass and more boggy. He finished 7th on the day. However, because there were a few missing from the first race, he is now placed 1st overall in the series! 14 seconds ahead of 2nd place and 19 seconds ahead of 3rd.
St Alban’s Half Marathon
Elwin Howell raced in the 5K at this event finishing in a time of 24:10 on another challenging hilly course. This meant he was first in his age category and 31st overall. The hills of Epping forest midweek league match stood him in good stead for this race and he finished the midweek league race in 49:47.
Also in St Albans, taking part in the Half marathon was Dan Mallett who described the conditions as “hot and hilly” which affected the speed of his performance a little. He finished in a time of 1:57:48. Steve Tracey also competed and completed the course in a time of 1:46:55.
Hull Half Marathon
Rachel Arnott ran the Hull 1/2 marathon in 1:34:47 making her the 2nd Vet lady and 8th female. It was a very flat course which she was grateful for after Wednesdays MWL 10km! She commented that it was, “Not the most scenic race but great atmosphere and incredibly well organized for quite a big field.”
Shuttleworth 10K Hoohah
Brian Judkins and Lucy Hurley travelled the short distance to the picturesque Shuttleworth Park to take part in the 10K Hoohah. Lucy finished in a time of 1:10:30 and Brian in 1:12:48.
Saturday saw North Herts Road Runners celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in true Royal Style as a carnival atmosphere descended upon our much loved Norton Common. Ladies Captain Tash Pitman exclaimed “I’ve never seen such an array of Royal Pageantry, from Royal Squirrel to Queen Bee, Freddie Mercury to the Queen’s Guard and Boudicca to the Dancing Queen”. There were royal masks and union jacks a plenty with bunting and scones to greet all runners and spectators.
The race was won by North Herts Road Runner’s own Stewart Overton dressed in red, white and blue, finishing in a time of 17:58. Katie Harbon was first lady (and second overall) in a time of 18:11 with her very own Corgi (Collie) Daisy accompanying her!
The 5km was followed by a children’s Fun Run for all the Princesses and Princes with chocolate corgis for all finishers.
Donations for the seasonal scone feast, cakes and hot drinks were collected for the club’s Charity of the year – the Stevenage and North Hertfordshire Child Contact Centres.
Sunday 19th June sees the return of Run Round The Garden - Letchworth Garden City’s 5km race, go to http://www.nhrr.org.uk/run-round-the-garden.htmlto book your place in this fabulous closed road event.
Squirrels were also representing the club at Parkruns across the Globe; LETCHWORTH – Bob DAVIS 27:45, Steve BRENTION 28:40, Jegan SIMON 30:16, HENLOW BRIDGE LAKES – James, POULTON 23:35, Rob MILBURN 24:04, LEAMINGTON - John RUSSELL 32:21, ST ALBANS – Danielle LISTER 27:42, MERSEA ISLAND – William Harrison 20:07, LOUIS TRICHARDT – Chloe LUCAS 25:23, BERKELEY GREEN – Lorna CHAMBERS 26:59, MARKSHALL – Jane CLARKE 24:29
News, Notifications and Race Results