Several Squirrels throughout the weekend commented on how beautiful Sunday morning was with the crisp Autumn sunshine compared to the rain of Saturday. Leeds was among them. There were three personal bests ran at the famously stacked field of Leeds Abby Dash. Tom Webb was first squirrel home finishing in 31:55. He was closely followed by Andrew Leach who narrowly missed the British V55 record by 2 seconds, finished in 32:04. Mark Vaughan was next squirrel over the line. With a diving finish, he crossed the line in 32:40, a new PB and a bloody knee. Sue Vaughan finished in 55:04, 51 seconds quicker than last time on the same course. Andrew was 1st V55 on the day and Mark was 2nd V45.
Two squirrels ran the Snowdonia Marathon. Rob Harris finished 15th in 2:56:31 and Adam Wilson finished in 5:05:02. The incredibly scenic and hilly/mountainous course was very wet underfoot. The rain mostly stayed away for the race its self. Rob crossed the finish line slightly slower than he’d hoped, a bit bloody, quite muddy but smiling!
Three squirrels ran Stort 30, a 30 mile ultra marathon race along the river Stort toe path. Angeliki described the course as very muddy, but absolutely beautiful. Stopping on the way to eat at the check points, Jennie Fraser, Angeliki Shearstone and Dan Mallet finished in 5:41:40, 6:00:30 and 6:16:36 respectively. Jennie said the event was extremely well organised and great for a natter with a lovely finishers medal.
Five squirrels ran the Ricky Road run, a 10 mile race around Rickmandsworth and Chorleywood. Dervla Downing was first squirrel home in 1:18:54, followed by Andrew Coates in 1:21:07, Kat Gourd in 1:21:17, Lucy O'Connor in 1:26:09 and Alison Blunt in 1:41:44. Despite fears about the infamously hilly course with two particularly challenging hills – they really enjoyed the event. For Andrew, this was his first 10 mile race. Dervla ran a course PB. Lucy was 2nd V55 and was frankly amazed with her time. Kat achieved a new 10M Personal Best after a park run PB (23:05) from the day before at Great Denham.
Dave Braybrook ran the undulating course at Love Luton 10km. Dave was really pleased with the result as he ran a new Personal best, finishing in 50:27. The only scenic part of the course was interrupted by a dog that gave its owner the slip and proceeded to chase Dave through Wardown Park.
Several Squirrels ran the Bedford Autodrome 10km. Laura Preston ran her first 10km in other 12 months. However she finished with a new personal best in a time of 1:05:10. Elwyn Howell finished in 55:04. Vincent Wright finished in 38:39, 8th overall and 2nd in the V40 category. It was also a personal best by 42 seconds.
Lucy Hurley ran the Worksop Half Marathon through Clumber Park. Lucy was pleased with her result given not much training and finished in 2:01.
Very envious of the Snowdonia Marathon, Jo Summers settled with the Bury St Edmunds Marathon. Jo finished 1st lady in 3:51.
The leaves have turned golden, the smell of wood fires fill the air and the gentle knocking sound of runner’s knees waiting in the cold can only mean one thing...the XC season is upon us. There is no better way to welcome this season then to head over to Ampthill and run the Ampthill Trophy. A full 10k course without a single blade of grass that isn’t pointing downhill at 45 degrees or uphill at 45 degrees. Many a runner has been taken hostage by this course. Not for the fainthearted or sensible of mind - nonetheless the course was visited by a number of squirrels. Oliver Brady stormed into 1st place in the Men’s Under 20 category with a time of 41.11 which also placed him 9th Overall. Not to be outdone Andrew Porter also won his age category of V70 in a time of 62.59. Also running were the President (of the club) Dickie Harbon in 47.11, Miranda Morgan in 66.19, Hannah Keeble in 70.12 and Brian Judkins in 75.13.
Adam Bowller sought a different challenge to the Ampthill Trophy and decided to represent the East of England XC team in Bury St Edmunds racing against Cambridge Uni and the RAF who put up a tough flight but ran out of fuel towards the end. Adam finished the 6 mile course in 30th place in a time of 35:25.
John Rayner continued his fine form by beating 19,923 people to finish 77th in the Great South Run. A race close to John’s heart as Portsmouth was where his grandparents lived as well as being the city where he went to uni and where he met his wife. The city obviously remembered John as the weather played nice and offered a tail wind for the final 2 miles of this 10 mile course enabling John to set a new PB of 58.13. A superb time. Sheryl Chatfield also ran the race and finished in a fine 1:30:42.
Stewart Overton and Darren Sunter continued their targeting of the marathon distance by running the Yorkshire Marathon. Stewart was aiming to finish in 2hrs 45 mins. Stewart finished in 2hrs and 45 mins...which I guess means the training plan worked… This was a new PB for Stewart and as all runners know he enjoyed this achievement for 20 minutes before setting himself a new target for his next marathon. Darren Sunter used this a training run(!) for the Valencia marathon and finished in 2:53:25. Jim Marvell was pleased to set a new post-injury PB in this race as well with a time of 5:07:58. In other marathon news Jo Summers ran the Chelmsford marathon in an excellent 3hrs 46mins. This is only the 50th time Jo has run a marathon in under 4 hours. A brilliant achievement considering the ridiculous amount of Gummi bears she consumed on her way round.
Clare Hooley and James Drew ran the Cambridge Town and Gown 10k. Clare was pleased to be able to take part having missed out on the race last year due to injury. Clare finished in 1:10:09 having enjoyed the beautiful scenery running alongside the river Cam past King’s College.
130 9 Rhiannon BOTHA North Herts RRC 00:21:33
25 22 Darren MATUSSA North Herts RRC 00:23:54
31 28 Steve WILLIAMSON North Herts RRC 00:22:01
37 5 Paula HOLM North Herts RRC 00:22:24
45 7 Dervla DOWNING North Herts RRC 00:22:52
99 14 Sarah MILLHOUSE North Herts RRC 00:25:12
146 117 Philip FLACK North Herts RRC 00:27:30
195 51 Sarah MITCHERSON North Herts RRC 00:30:22
199 55 Helen GIFFIN North Herts RRC 00:30:36
265 95 Jane CLARKE North Herts RRC 00:34:49
269 173 Brian JUDKINS North Herts RRC 00:34:55
On a weekend in which the world was amazed by the record-breaking achievements of Brigid Kosgei and Eliud Kipchoge, the Squirrels took note, laced up their running shoes, and produced some inspirational performances of their own. Dave Braybrook for one, was taking part in his first ever half marathon at Oxford. “The weather was far from ideal with torrential rain for the first 10k,” said Dave. “The race was going well up until the 9-mile marker but then I just ran out of legs.” In the end, Dave was pleased with his effort and very glad to finish in a time of 2.07:54. Kat Gourd was in the same race, and also commented on the ‘ridiculous’ weather, but added: “despite the conditions and dodging puddles, rivers, lakes, and oceans, and simultaneously dealing with a slight wardrobe malfunction (note to self: buy some better shorts that don’t threaten to fall down when they get wet!) – I was very pleased to get a new post-injury PB of 1:49:13.”
On Saturday morning, while the running world watched intently as Eliud Kipchoge ran the marathon distance in under 2 hours, at the Great Denham parkrun, Sue Vaughan was attempting to break her own club age group record of 27:56 at the parkrun distance. Paced round the fast flat course, in perfect running conditions by an England International athlete (her husband Mark), Sue started off well inside her target pace, slowed a bit in the middle of the race, but then with some fairly vocal encouragement from her pacer, rallied in the final mile to finish in a new Personal Best, and new club record of 25:35, which placed her first in her age group.
Unlike Kipchoge’s run, Sue’s time is an officially recognised record and when interviewed after the race, Sue commented “No Human Is Limited”, before retreating to the local café for a celebratory breakfast. Stuart Cocks was similarly inspired and ran the 3-lap course at Haverhill parkrun in 22.19. He finished in 7th place and he first in his age category, describing himself as ‘very pleased’. See below for all parkrun results.
The previous week, NHRR’s leading race walker, David Annetts, had taken part in a 20k race walk in Tilburg in the Netherlands – 12 and a bit laps of a cycle track on a very wet afternoon. A mix up from the officials’ lap counting meant David was asked to race an extra lap, but he continued and saw his time adjusted afterwards, finally finishing second in the men’s race in a new PB of 1:43:34. And the following week, David was back in action closer to home, when he raced at the Enfield Race Walking League 5 Miles event. After a close race with a competitor who got away over the last half-mile, David finished 2nd in 38:20.
Having run Warsaw Marathon only two weeks previously in very warm conditions, Nessa Rolfe was racing again at the weekend, this time at the Sofia Half Marathon in Bulgaria, also in glorious sunshine. The temperature reached 25/26 degrees for the run but the route was ‘kind’, and Nessa was happy to finish in 2.24.36. Dani Lister was another Squirrel to take on the half marathon distance at the weekend. She completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon today in 2.22 – a PB! “Great support around the course,” said Dani. “Even Extinction Rebellion stopped their protesting to give us all a great big cheer!”
Amy Murch took her club vest on its first outing today to run in her first 10k race at Victoria Park in London. “I was aiming to get under an hour and ended up finishing in 57.04 mins,” said Amy. “I’m happy with that! It was nice and flat and the rain eased off after the first 3k.”
This weekend’s parkrun results in full:
Letchworth parkrun : 3 John O'GORMAN 20:12, 4 James DALTON 21:21, 5 Richard HARBON 21:44, 14 Rhiannon BOTHA 24:06, 15 Ian DATLEN 24:08, 18 Jillian BOYS 24:31, 27 Richard WEBER 25:25, 52 Carl GOODRUM 28:16, 63 Amy JONES 29:24, 65 Philip FLACK 29:31, 66 Siobhan WALSH 29:32, 93 Lucy HURLEY 32:38, 112 Glyn BLAKEY 34:42, 116 Laura PRESTON 34:57
Stevenage parkrun: 45 Dervla DOWNING 23:13, 52 Andrew COATES 23:32, 58 Katherine GOURD 23:45, 62 Lucy O'CONNOR 24:02, 206 Helen GIFFIN 31:44, 232 Patrick NORRIS 33:22,.
Great Denham parkrun: 76 Sue VAUGHAN 25:35,
Haverhill parkrun: 7 Stuart COCKS 22:19, 13 Chris POOLE 24:43
Kettering parkrun: 40 Steve WILLIAMSON 22:29
Roding Valley parkrun: 4 Darren MATUSSA 19:50
Norwich parkrun: 61 Helen CAIRNS 22:19
Plean parkrun: 39 Brian JUDKINS 34:52
Undeterred by weather forecasts of torrential rain, record numbers took part in the North Herts Road Runners-organised Standalone 10K, and as always, the event saw some incredible performances from local runners.
In the women's race, Lizzy Janes of Herts Phoenix took her 6th Standalone victory, with Rebecca Newstead of Beds & County taking second place. Katie Harbon (3rd) 38:05 was the first female North Herts Road Runner to finish, also taking the bronze in the County Champs and led the NHRR ladies team home to silver county medal position. Caroline Thrussell (11th) 44:02 described her nerves before the race but said they soon turned to excitement. Despite a tricky 5th mile, she still managed a PB, and won the Over 55s (open race and county). She was also delighted to be awarded a county team medal along with her niece Sophie Thrussell (20th) 44:49 who completed the team.
The male Squirrels were led to victory by Andrew Leach who finished first overall in a time of 33:14. He was closely followed by Tom Webb (2nd) 33:32, Mark Vaughan (4th) 33:56 and Stewart Overton (6th) 34:19 to make up the winning men’s team for both the race and the County Champs. Second in the men’s team competition were Darren Sunter (7th) 34:25, Nathan Pask (8th) 34:32, Jim McConnel (9th) 34:39 and Matt Sayers (12th) 35:22.
As always, Standalone Eve saw the First Saturday of the Month – perfect for those looking to loosen the legs ahead of Sunday’s event or for those club members who would be busy marshalling the 10K. The event saw 49 runners enjoying Norton Common with NHRR’s own John Auld coming in 1st position with 18:47. The field included another 14 Squirrels James Keogh (3rd) 19:56, James Dalton (4th) 20:18, Paula Holm (8th) 22:49, Kat Gourd (13th) 23:48, Alice Bates (16th) 25:26, Adam Wilson (18th) 26:25, Carl Goodrum (20th) 26:51, Chris Stokes (26th) 27:59, Gladys Cheng (30th) 28:23, Phil Flack (35th) 29:00, Dawn Power (40th) 31:18, Helen Giffin (41st) 32:08, Clare Hooley (46th) 37:18, Lorna Chambers (47th) 37:18.
Jillian Boys travelled to Wales to compete in the first ever Canicross Long Distance event – the Red Kite Cani Trail. Boys described the day as “amazing and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Twenty-two miles of the most challenging trails across the Welsh mountains, taking in bogs, streams, fallen trees and angry cows and some of the steepest ascents I have even seen”. She paid tribute to her running partner Lulu who “took the whole thing in her stride and is the best teammate anyone could ask for”.
Closer to home, Elwyn Howell took on the Willow 10K at Hatfield House and was pleased to finish in 54:40 while raising money for such a worthwhile cause.
Vanessa Rolfe journeyed to Poland to participate in the Warsaw Marathon. Rolfe enjoyed the route, the plentiful toilets, well stocked drink/feed stations and the local bands playing along the course. She completed the course in 5:14.
Sue Foot competed in the Great Barrow Challenge marathon, taking in four laps of 6.55 undulating miles of road and trail with a fantastic finishing time of 4:43.
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