32 North Herts Road Runners put in some great performances in the second race of the Three Counties Cross-Country League on Sunday in Wing. The best performance, however, was that of the whole team, with the club sweeping the board with 1st place for the ladies‘ team, 1st for the men’s team and 1st overall, which leaves the club top of the leader board in all three categories with three races to go, extending their lead in the combined category. Mark Vaughan said “It was a great team performance by all today. Thanks to all the supporters and runners who helped to put us firmly in the driving seat in this year's 3CXC league.”
Ed Price was first home for the club, in 2nd position overall, closely followed by James Fox (5th), Adam Bowller (6th), Wayne Bell (9th), Mark Vaughan (11th), Matt Sayers (16th), Nathan Pask (17th) and John Auld (20th), who all scored for the team. In the ladies’ race, Squirrel Ladies captain Katie Harbon was the 1st lady across the line. Other scorers were Astrid McKeown (10th), Paula Adams (11th) and Rhia Botha (21st).
Other finishers for the club were Vincent Wright (37th), Steve Mckeown (40th), Peter Sibbett (51st), Ian Datlen (54th), David Weston (83rd), James Walsh (84th), Oliver Brady (129th), Andrew Coates (154th), Lucy O’Connor (44th), Jo Harbon (49th), James Poulton (193rd), Andrew Cooper (203rd), Geoff Murray-Rochard (204th), Karen Dodsworth (67th), Sue Vaughan (78th), Georgina Quayle (84th), Brian Bailey(223rd), Carina Quayle (101st), Helen Govey (106th) and Brian Judkins (230th).
At almost the same time, 10 Squirrels ran in the Hatfield 5m Road Race, which incorporated the Veterans’ Hertfordshire 5 Mile Championships. Clare Holley said, “this is a nice flat course - the antithesis of XC! It’s also super well marshalled.” There were many notable results amongst the team. Adam Wilson ran a PB in 39:26. Elwyn Howell claimed a 41:10 PB, having completed the Stevenage Parkrun the day before. Abbie Haskell finished in 43:19. Ian Sutcliffe finished in 43:36 and was 2nd V70 in the Veterans’ Championships. Lorna Chambers notched up a 46:48 PB, Hailey Batson secured another PB, finishing in 47:50, and Lindsay Lucas powered to a 57:08 PB. Clare Hooley finished in 55:56, 2 minutes faster than her time on the course last year. First home for the club was Carol Haskell in 32:57. While not PB-ing, Vanessa Rolfe finished in 50:41 and Natalie Williams crossed the line in 51:23.
There were several parkruns on Saturday. Chris Poole travelled to Darlington South, finishing in 23:35 while John Russell finished in 33:24 in Leamington Spa. The Haskell family ran at Salcey Forest, where Carl finished in 23:23, Abbie in 56:01 and Vicky in 56:02. Closer to home, there were 12 Squirrels at the Stevenage parkrun: Ian Harvey finished in 18th place, Dervla Downing was 35th (3rd lady), Andrew Coates was 48th, with other finishers including Darren Matussa (75th), Naomi Parkinson (84th), Elwyn Howell (115th), Claire O’Sullivan (123rd), Philip Flack (134th), Georgina Quayle (178th), Carina Quayle (208th), Helen Giffin (227th) and Pat Norris (284th). In Letchworth there were 8 Squirrel runners. James Dalton was first home for the club in 3rd place, followed by Ian Datlen (10th), Steve Brenton (12th), Christian Allen (37th), Lucy Hurley, storming home in 51st place, Angeliki Shearstone-Strathopoulous (52nd), Jennie Fraser (54th) and Glyn Blakey (109th).
On Saturday Andrew Leach won the M55 race at the British and Irish Masters International at Aintree. Representing England, he finished the 8km course in 26:58 - over half a minute ahead of the second placed runner - in a performance that helped to ensure that England took the team win. Andrew is the current European M55 10,000m champion, and his run at Aintree comes just a few weeks after he ran the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k in 32:04, putting him second on the UK all-time list for M55 runners.
Adam Bowller and John Auld competed at the Eastern Counties Cross Countries Championships at Keysoe, the race also incorporates the Eastern Masters championships. The course for senior men was 12km and included three crossings of a very large 'water feature'! John Auld particularly enjoyed the challenge saying, ‘personally I had a great race, the weather was beautiful and I had the best fun.’ It was a successful afternoon for the duo with Adam finishing 3rd overall and John finishing in 19th and claiming 2nd Eastern Masters v35.
On Sunday Andrew Porter, Jo Summers and Sue Foot ran the Steppingley Step Marathon. The off road 26.2 mile course started and finished at Barton-le-Clay village hall. Sue described it as, ‘a lovely route with lots of muddy fields and leaf-filled tracks that took us out to Westoning, Millbrook, Ampthill park, Flitwick and Pulloxhill.’ Jo finished on 5.03 with Andrew and Sue finishing in 6.29.
The very popular St Neots Half Marathon saw a strong contingent of squirrels taking the sort trip up the A1 for the race. Vincent Wright was first home for the club in 52nd place in 1:23:33 a PB by 4 seconds beating his previous best set on the same course in 2017. Men’s team captain Pete Sibbett was delighted with a personal worst time for a half marathon as it was the first time that he’d been injury free and able to run a HM since 2011! Pete achieved his aim, ‘Sub 1.30 was my target so looking forward to working hard to get closer to 1.25 next year.’
The full results for St Neots Half Marathon are below.
Pos Name Cat Pos Cat Gun Chip Pace (min/mile) Age %
78 Adrian Sherwood 8 MV50 01:26:38 01:26:34 06:36 78.00%
133 Peter Sibbett 17 MV50 01:29:24 01:29:15 06:48 78.00%
181 Brent Lloyd 77 MS 01:32:37 01:32:25 07:02 64.00%
190 Carl Haskell 74 MV40 01:33:17 01:33:05 07:06 67.00%
40 Caroline Thrussell 2 FV55 01:36:05 01:35:41 07:17 84.00%
237 Chris Stokes 97 MV40 01:35:51 01:35:41 07:17 65.00%
82 Rhia Botha 33 FS 01:42:19 01:41:35 07:44 65.00%
83 Dervla Downing 31 FV35 01:42:22 01:41:58 07:46 68.00%
84 Helen Cairns 17 FV45 01:42:37 01:42:11 07:47 69.00%
156 Jennifer Fraser 56 FV35 01:50:06 01:49:16 08:20 63.00%
523 Chris Poole 168 MS 01:51:18 01:50:33 08:25 53.00%
182 Lucy O 'Connor 14 FV55 01:52:42 01:52:17 08:33 74.00%
560 Adam Wilson 219 MV40 01:53:27 01:53:00 08:37 58.00%
254 Lucy Hurley 72 FS 01:57:06 01:56:36 08:53 57.00%
255 Naomi Parkinson 73 FS 01:57:06 01:56:37 08:53 56.00%
336 Barbara Duncan 101 FV45 02:03:16 02:02:43 09:21 63.00%
708 Alan Hazlehurst 183 MV50 02:06:51 02:05:27 09:34 54.00%
440 Allison Blunt 147 FV45 02:10:23 02:09:39 09:53 60.00%
442 Vicky Haskell 157 FV35 02:10:26 02:09:43 09:53 53.00%
768 Paul Bowal 286 MV40 02:18:23 02:17:19 10:28 44.00%
604 Ali Mottram 210 FV35 02:28:27 02:25:53 11:07 46.00%
805 Jim Marvell 295 MV40 02:32:14 02:29:38 11:24 43.00%
Bushy: Carl HASKELL 24:33, Abbie HASKELL 32:00, Vicky HASKELL 32:03
Norwich: Ellie SCOTT 24:40
Stevenage: Eva MCCABE 21:20, Danielle LISTER 28:59, Jane CLARKE 37:07
Wimpole Estate: Ian DATLEN 20:47, Angeliki SHEARSTONE STATHOPOULOU 27:01
Letchworth: James DALTON 21:49, Steve BRENTON 23:34, Andrew ROBSON 24:29, Jennie FRASER 26:10, Carl GOODRUM 29:25, Carina QUAYLE 33:11. Georgina QUAYLE 34:04, Hayley COCKS 35:00, Carol GOODRUM 35:16, John O'GORMAN 40:14
Great Dehnam: Ian HARVEY 19:38
Victoria Dock: Brian JUDKINS 31:14
Salcey Forest: Chris POOLE 26:03
This week saw two Squirrels hitting major parkrun milestones. Ellie Scott chose the Stevenage course to run her 200th parkrun. Reflecting on her parkrun memories she reminisced about running her first ever parkrun at Norwich in an “exhausting 26:39, and I was hooked straight away”. Since that day she has run 24 different courses and has got her personal best (PB) down to 22:18. For Ellie it hasn’t just been about running the Parkruns herself, but encouraging her family to get involved. Ellie’s Dad is now a Run Director for Norwich, Ellie’s Mum has beaten her by achieving her 250th milestone t-shirt and even her sister who refused to run outside has earned her 100 milestone t-shirt! Ellie’s parkun highlight was marshalling at the Norwich Christmas Day Event where they had 1100 runners and some of the most fantastic costumes! Ellie credits parkrun entirely for getting her into running and it was the need to get a faster parkrun time that led her to join North Herts Road Runners!
Jennie Fraser celebrated the 50th time she had remembered her barcode this week at Letchworth Parkrun, finishing as 2nd Lady! Describing her parkrun journey Jennie said “I love how friendly and versatile parkrun is, whichever one you go to you meet lots of smiley faces. Everyone is there to run their own way: be it for speed work, parkrun tourism or for a social chatty run.” Her most memorable one was in Inverness the day before the Loch Ness Marathon as it was full of International runners all using it as shake out run! Jennie particularly enjoys there being a course in Letchworth so she can build parkrun into her long run either to end it with a strong finish or in the middle and run there and back. Particularly as it’s a cross country course, so it means that she gets to run through all the deep puddles and splash everyone who is trying to avoid them!
Kat Gourd took part in the Remembrance Run Essex 10k race in Saffron Walden on Saturday. It was a fairly flat 2-lap course around the former Debden Airfield, which is now used as a British Army base. The chilly morning spurred Kat on to run her fastest 10k in a new PB of 47:24.
Elwyn Howell travelled to Walton on the Thames to complete the Poppy Day half marathon, taking 7 minutes off his previous time, finishing in 2:03:24.
Jim McConnel went west to a very soggy Cirencester Cross Duathlon on Remembrance Sunday. McConnel raced the technical off road course of run (2 miles), bike (10 miles), run (2 miles) and managed to pull away to take the victory by over 30 seconds in a time of 1:07:00. He described the day as “a short but super hard day out, testing every undertrained core muscle I possess.”
PARKRUN RESULTS: Stevenage: Naomi PARKINSON, 25:09, Ellie SCOTT, 25:10, Jane CLARKE,35:14, Sarah MITCHERSON, 38:38 Letchworth: Matthew SAYERS, 21:41, James DALTON, 22:39, Ian HARVEY, 23:34, Rhia BOTHA, 25:42, Jennie FRASER, 26:15, Philip FLACK, 29:20, Carl GOODRUM, 30:16, Alan HAZLEHURST, 30:26, Carol GOODRUM, 35:25, Glyn BLAKEY, 36:05 Upton Court: Brian JUDKINS 35:31 Clare Castle: Patrick NORRIS, 33:28, Steve BRENTON 2:25 Exeter Riverside: Andrew COATES 21:58 (PB) Panshanger: Chris POOLE, 27:48 Great Denham: Vincent WRIGHT, 19:20 Dunstable Downs: Helen GIFFIN, 32:10 Irchester Country: Carl HASKELL, 23:41
Sunday saw 38 squirrels travel north to Wellingborough for the start of the Three Counties Cross Country League. As defending champions North Herts Road Runners were hoping for a strong start to this year’s campaign and they weren’t disappointed.
A strong team performance saw six squirrels finish in the first twelve with both the men’s and ladies’ teams finishing 2nd in their respective competitions. The combined result put North Herts Road Runners on top spot after the first race in the league. The scoring teams were Jim McConnell, Wayne Bell, Ed Price, Adam Bowller, Stewart Overton, Matt Sayers, Mark Vaughan, John Auld, Katie Harbon, Paula Adams, Rhia Botha and Kat Gourd.
Not a fan of cross-country Clare Hooley decided to race the Bonfire Burn 10k in Cambridgeshire instead. She finished the multi terrain course in 1:12:17. Richard Webber was also running and was very happy to finish with a new 10k PB of 49.41, over a minute faster than his previous effort over the same course.
Caroline Thrussell enjoyed perfect running conditions for the Harlow Half Marathon. Caroline described it as a ‘really hilly course everything is either up, very up or very down, but also really scenic.’ She knocked 2 minutes off her time from 3 years ago and was pleased to finish in 1:44:11.
David Annetts caught an early train with his bike south from Amsterdam to Rotterdam for the first of the Rotterdam Winterserie (winter series) hosted by the Rotterdamse Wandelsport Vereniging Club. A 10k racewalk which consisted of 10 laps around a park on a bright autumn morning. He finished 2nd with a new personal best of 47:51.
The First Saturday of the Month 5k started an hour earlier than usual due to the Rugby World Cup final. 56 runners took advantage of the early start. James Fox finished first in a time of 17:44 and Eva McCabe was first lady to finish in 21:44.
Norwich: Ellie Scott, 26:40. Eglinton: Christine Sharp, 32:26. Cannon Hill: Glyn Blakey, 29:48. Stevenage: Helen Giffin, 32:51, Patrick Norris, 34:14. des Dougnes, Cubnezais: Chris Poole, 22:43. Wimpole Estate: Ria Botha, 24:14, Naomi Parkinson, 26:12. Letchworth: Stewart Overton, 19:15, James Dalton, 22:09, Ian Harvey, 22:58. Frickley: Andrew Robson, 24:47.
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