Pictured: John Auld with two fellow runners.
On Saturday four squirrels journeyed across to Oxford for the SEAA Masters XC Champs. Andrew Leach and Dickie Harbon ran in the earlier mens vet 50 race over approximately 5.8 miles. With firm ground and good running conditions, Andrew managed to pull away from the chasing pack in the first half a mile and by the second lap it appeared he was over half a mile ahead of the second placed runner. Dickie also put in a sterling performance and looked to be having a great run. Andrew finished first in 32:48 and Richard finished 65th in 39:48.
Jim McConnel and Mark Vaughan ran in the mens vet 40 race later in the afternoon. In deteriorating conditions Jim finished strongly in 17th place. Mark finished 20th in 34:12.
Six squirrels ran five different Park runs this week. Chris Poole ran Finsbury in 24:48. This was Chris' 85th UK parkrun event. Steve Tracey and Nicky Kemp ran at Bedford in 19:04 and 23:42 respectively. Steve ran a PB for the course and Nicky ran a 5K PB. Sheila Leavy ran a new PB at Stevenage in 29:06. Vincent Wright ran Wimpole in 20:58 and Brian Judkins ran his 50th different parkrun at Huntingdon, finishing in 35:12.
Michelle Grudzinski ran a new PB at the Milton Keynes Winter Half marathon in 1:57:54. Michelle was had a great start and was knew she was on for a PB. The last three miles were tough but she managed to hang in and dip under the 2 hour mark for the second time.
John Auld ran Roseberry Topping half marathon which is part of the Hardmoors Trail Series. Heading over the North York Moors to the Roseberry Topping, the route was very hilly and full of mud and was actually 14.5 hardmoor miles long. After running in a group exchanging 3rd to 5th positions, the hills eventually took their toll on the legs and John finished in 5th place.
NHRR hosted the Santa Canta at Norton Common on Saturday. The monthly first Saturday of the month 5K race took on a festive theme as runners and marshals donned special outfits and raised money for the MS Centre in Letchworth in the process. This year special Christmas medals were awarded to each finisher and this plus the lure of mince pies saw a record number of 186 people racing on the day. Oliver Brady was first to cross the finish in 00:19:19 whilst squirrel Kat Burr was first lady to finish in 00:22:33. The finishing times for the squirrels were; Spencer Bevan 00:20:37; Richard Harbon 00:20:40; Vincent Pasturel 00:21:10; John Cooper 00:21:43; Vincent Wright 00:23:04; Jane Clarke 00:23:06; Jon Stow 00:25:05; Jo Harbon 00:25:27; David Baker 00:25:54; Nicole Bates 00:26:49; Carolina Trujillo 00:27:31; Petra Grosse-Hull 00:27:46; Helen Govey 00:28:01; Greg Pounder 00:28:31; Rachel Pounder 00:28:32; Allison Blunt 00:29:37; Dan Martin 00:29:57; Darren Matussa 00:30:00; Sue Foot 00:30:14; Yuko Gordon 00:30:15; Oliver Garbas 00:30:18; Jeni Spurr-Jones 00:30:22; Helen Giffin 00:31:01; Carina Quayle 00:31:02; Sheila Leavy 00:31:03; Gina Joseph 00:32:29 and Rebecca Finch 00:36:49.
'Mr Consistent' John Auld raced in the final of the four Silkstone Shuffle 4.5 mile races held throughout the year. He travelled to Barnsley for the multi terrain course which starts with a brutal 2 mile ascent up in a trail hill. He finished fourth on the day in a time of 28:19. John's times through the series have differed by only 5 seconds and he deservedly finished third in the Series.
Three squirrels ran in Parkruns. Chris Poole at Worcester in 23:45, Simon Poole at Stevenage in 19:14 and Brian Judkins at Wimpole Hall in 33:54.