North Herts Road Runners’ Helen Giffin had an incredible weekend, winning five medals at the British Transplant Games in North Lanarkshire. On the track Helen took Gold in the 3km run as well as Bronze in both the 800m and 1500m. Not content with three medals, Helen got into the pool and took Silver in the 50m Backstroke and then got out of the pool to take a third Bronze in Table Tennis.
Elsewhere at the Doug Anderson Memorial 5k two Squirrels were in action, with Darren Matussa finishing 26th in a spritely 18:55 and Michelle Grudzinski clocking a huge personal best time of 24:55.
At the Fairlands Valley Relays in Stevenage, the Squirrels fielded 5 women's teams and 5 men’s teams. The Women’s A team (Astrid McKeown, Katie Harbon and Chloe Lucas) finished 2nd and were crowned Herts County Champions, while the men’s team (Mark Vaughan, Adam Bowler, Stewart Overton, John Auld and Darren Sunter) finished in 7th place and were second in the County Championship.
Squirrels were out in force in Parkruns. At Bedford Darren Sunter won the race in a speedy time of 16:51. At the inaugural Heartwood Forest Parkrun Ollie Garbas was 16th in a time of 20:06 while Matthew Davies was 40th in 23:23. In Cambridge James Keogh finished 22nd in 19:18, Ellie Scott was 84th lady in 29:18 and Clare Hooley 159th in 36:45. Chris Poole continued his travels, running at Westmill Parkrun finishing in 33rd place in 25:23. At the Kettering run Steve Williamson finished 23rd in 22:24 and at the Stevenage Parkrun a pack of Squirrels finished: Vincent Pasturel was 26th in 21:06, Stephen Lummis 43rd in 22:14, Chloe Lucas 4th lady in 22:48, Paul Phasey 79th in 24:34, Joseph Sherry was 81st in 24:37, Sheila Leavy was 40th lady in 29:31 and Patrick Norris 258th in 37:39.
Wednesday evening was the Panshanger 5M, a race in the NHRR Grand Prix. A dray of Squirrels were in attendance. Darren Matussa was first home for the club in 34:12. Other Squirrels running were Steve Tracey (35:58), Phil Hunt (38:08), Chloe Lucas (39:34), Chris Poole (41:42), Naomi Parkinson (41:49), Adam Wilson (42:36), Jo Harbon (42:41), Miranda Morgan (46:37).
Friday evening saw a scurry of Squirrels in the Bedford 10k. A great night for a run around a flat course and off road organised by Beds AAA. Darren Sunter was first home for the club, finishing with a new PB of 34.55, Adam Bowler was close behind with a new PB just over the 35 min mark with 35.01. Stewart Overton also managed a new PB with 37.24. Astrid McKeown was the 2nd lady in the race, just dipping under 40 mins with 39.52. Pete Sibbett helped Astrid round and managed a time of 40.01. Other Squirrels running were Claire O'Sullivan (50.04), Ian Sutcliffe (52.34) who was the 1st MV70 and Joy Stroud (1.05.47).
Once again, colony of Squirrels were parkrunning. At Stevenage Chloe Lucas was 2nd lady with a time of 22:23, also running was Ellie Scott (23:42) and Patrick Norris (35:33). Brian Judkins ran Edinburgh finishing in 32:00. Helen Griffin ran Bedford 29:51. Ollie Garbas ran Westmill in 21:32. Chris Poole ran 23:05 at Croxteth.
Thursday witnessed the Mid Week League finale in Welwyn. The Mob Match was an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic results for NHRR in this year's league. Not only was the club promoted to the top division as champions but the squirrels were also winners of the Men’s Team, Woman’s Team, Men’s Vet Team and Women’s Vet team. There were lots of individual winners taking home trophies for the club with Jim McConnel 1st and Mark Vaughan 2nd in the Open Men’s competition. Nick Malpali won the MV50 category. The women’s overall winner was Astrid Mckeown. Natasha Pitman won the FV35 and Barbara Sayers was 3rd FV45.
NHRR put in a fantastic effort for the Mob Match race and came in first for the men's team and the men's vet team with the ladies in second place in both the categories. Individually Katie Harbon and Astrid McKeown finished in second and third place in the ladies' race in 38:39 and 40:10 respectively and Mark Vaughan and Jim McConnel were fourth and fifth in the mens' race with 34:50 and 34:55.
Parkrun results: Stevenage: Yuko Gordon 22:53; Karen Dodsworth 26:39; Gladsone: Steve Lummis 23:11; Chris Poole 24:58; Wimpole Hall: Matthew Davies 25:16; Brian Judkins 37:25; Panshanger: Richard Harbon 20:50.
It was a clean sweep for NHRR in this year’s Mid-Week League. A true team effort not only meant promotion to the top division as champions but also winners of the Men’s Team, Woman’s Team, Men’s Vet Team and Women’s Vet team.
There were lots of individual winners taking home trophies for the club with Jim McConnel 1st and Mark Vaughan 2nd in the Open Men’s competition. Nick Malpali won the MV50 category. The women’s overall winner was Astrid Mckeown. Natasha Pitman won the FV35 and Barbara Sayers was 3rd FV45.
Massive well done to everyone who ran, helped and supported this year, it was a real team effort.
North Herts Road Runners’ marathon expert Jo Summers pulled off one of her greatest achievements yet by completing 10 marathons in 10 days at the Great Barrow Challenge in Suffolk.
With a different route to follow each day, Summers showed incredible consistency to finish each run in just a few minutes over four hours, with her fastest time of 4.01 on the final day. Her efforts were rewarded with the prize for 1st lady over the 10 day-day series.
Lindsay Cook tackled a very different challenge in the form of the Hitchin Triathlon and was delighted with her first attempt at the multi-discipline event. Cook completed the 400m swim / 20k bike / 5k run course in 1:28:32 and finished as 26th lady. Andy Green was the first Squirrel across the line with 1:06:17 for an excellent 5th place and Christine Sharp took first place in the 60+ category with 1:47:26. Simon Poole was 8th in 1: 08:05.
Alison Blunt and Monica Cullin both competed in the British 10k race in central London, finishing in 1:01:13 and 1:37:26 respectively. Jen Naisbitt finished the Stevenage Race for Life 5k in 25:42.
Michelle Grudzinski clocked up yet another hilly event in Wales, this time completing the Chirk Half-marathon on the English border in 2:16.
Wednesday evening was the final race of the Midweek road race league and was hosted by NHRR. The weather was much more pleasant and perfect racing conditions. On the night, NHRR continued their dominance over the division winning all 5 categories once again. The final positions after 4 races have NHRR in a commanding lead overall. We also won the men, the vet men, the women and the vet women. Despite many of the club looking after the race organisation and marshalling, we still turned out 34 runners in total.
The scoring team for the ladies were Katie Harbon 1st (38:50), Astrid McKeown 2nd (40:39), Helen Nuttall 3rd (42:00), Paula Adams 11th (44:24), Tash Pitman 12th (44:24), Jane Clarke 20th (46:20). Scoring for the men were Jim McConnel 1st (34:45), Mark Vaughan 2nd (35:15), Darren Sunter 4th (35:36), Andy Mutton 9th (36:14), John Rayner 12th (36:39), Stewart Overton 17th (37:57), John Auld 19th (38:07), Steve McKeown 28th (39:01), Nick Malpeli 32nd (39:13), Daren Matussa 34th (39:16), Vincent Wright 35th (39:21), Ryan Smith 36th (39:26).
The 2nd race of the week hosted by NHRR was the First Saturday of the Month 5K in Norton Common. 79 runners took part. It was won by Hitchin RC's Peter Males. The first Squirrel home was James Keogh 5th (19:51). Jane Clarke was the first lady finishing in 14th overall (23:04). Other runners were John Cooper 8th (20:48), Manvir Parmer 13th (22:10), Lucy O'Connor 27th (24:48), Sarah Mitcherson 31st (25:08), Paul Bowal 39th (26:46) and Dawn Power 55th (29:16).
Barbara Sayers and Ollie Garbas ran the Bassingbourn Half marathon. Barbara finished the 2nd V45 in 1:48 and Ollie finished with his best time of recent years in 1:30:48.
Jim McConnel headed to the Peak District for the Great Hucklow Fell race where he finished 3rd V40.
Chris Poole at al1 ran 11 parkruns in one day, running every parkrun in Hertfordshire, raising money for Alzheimers research UK. Starting with Gadebridge at 7:30 in the morning. The route passed onto Tring, Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Cassiobury, Aldenham, Barclay, Panshanger, Stevenage, Ellenbrook, St Albans and Beehive.
Several squirrels ran at a few Parkrun venues. Most appeared at Stevenage. First squirrell home was Pete Sibbett, smashing the 20 min mark with 19:18. Simon Poole 15th (20:29), Jen Naisbitt got a new PB by 70 seconds finishing with 28:28, Patrick Norris (33:57). Chloe Lucas ran at Norwich, finishing 8th lady in 22:57. Brian Judkins ran 36:13 at Wimpole. Stewart Overton ran 18:22 at Keswick. Phil Hunt ran 22:06 at Hastings. Chris Poole and Steve Lummis both ran at Tring finishing in 25:29 and 26:13 respectively.
Last week several Squirrels headed down to Finsbury Park to take part in the Stag Golden Mile hosted by Barnet and District Athletics club. First to run was Simon Poole in race 11 who finished 7th in 5:13. Race 12 had several squirrels targeting a sub 5 min mile. This race was very tight for 3 laps and had most athletes all in a pack until the back straight of the last lap where Darren Sunter made a break for it. Darren finished 2nd in 4:57. Another sub 5 time was John Auld, finishing 4th in 4:58. Finishing 9th and 10th was Adam Bowller and Jim McConnel with 5:02 and 5:03 respectively. The last race had Mark Vaughan in, who finished 13th with 4:57.