A bumper weekend of Bank Holiday running saw North Herts Road Runners setting club records and personal bests galore.
The Squirrels turned out in force for the Hitchin 10k and came away with a sparkling set of results, new member Ben Hadman taking top spot on the podium with a superb 33:23 and Rhia Botha winning her V30 age category in a new personal best of 43.05. Karen Townsend and Laura Fairbanks also got in on the ‘PB’ party with new best times of 42:03 and 47:30 respectively – Townsend also making a podium appearance as third female finisher and Fairbanks hailing the ‘lovely race with great support’.
Super-vet Ian Sutcliffe had been ‘hoping to get under the hour again’ but finished in 1:00:49 for second place in his V70 age group.
Other NHRR finishers in Hitchin included Will Harrison in 40:34, David Weston, running ‘undercover having misplaced my club vest’ and finishing in 44:59, Kat Hinitt, who somehow ‘really enjoyed’ her 47:05 performance despite ‘very sore and grazed knees from a nasty tumble a couple of days beforehand’ and Lindsay Cook, ‘very pleased to finish’ in 1:01:48 despite ‘sore knees in the later part of the race’.
Shaun Allin was on pacer duties for two friends and came nicely under their 50-minute target in 49:32.
Vitality London 10k
Down in the capital, a scurry of Squirrels showed they can hold their own with the biggest running clubs in the land as North Herts placed as 14th team in the prestigious Vitality London 10k. There was a trio of scorching personal bests from Tom Webb – 37th out of 16,000 runners in 31:54, Mike Roberts in 33:30 and Stewart Overton in 34.05. Dervla Downing completed the mixed team with 46:02 to make it a fine day out – ‘great to be pounding the streets of London with Sir Mo’, as Webb reported.
Milton Keynes Marathon
Richard Weber was relieved to ‘finish upright and conscious’ after ‘the hardest race I’ve ever done’ as he made his debut over the 26.2-mile distance at the Milton Keynes Marathon. Lucy O’Connor was only minutes behind as she recorded an impressive new best time of 4:01:00 and Anna Gibson and Greg Bowie finished in 4:35:58 and 4:44:43 respectively.
Dave Braybrook tackled the accompanying half-marathon and just ‘enjoyed the run instead of racing, crossing the line in 1:51:04.
Great Denham Parkrun
The Road Runners had started the Bank Holiday weekend in style, with 17 members descending on Great Denham Parkrun near Bedford for a ‘Squirrels on Tour’ event in what Dan Mallett described as ‘sunny conditions and a great way to start the weekend’.
Katie Harbon set a new club Parkrun record as she crossed the line in 18:10 and first female finisher. Nick Malpeli (second finisher) and Adrian Sherwood also beat their previous Parkrun bests with 17:58 and 18:54 respectively, while Dan Mallett missed a new best time by just a second as he finished in 20:40.
Despite being ‘distracted at the start by finding a nice Labrador to stroke’, Tash Pitman still managed to set a new Club Record for the FV45 category with her 20:01 clocking at the Edinburgh Parkrun, taking full advantage of the ‘pancake flat out and back course with a brilliant view of the Firth of Forth on the return leg’.
More great results
Just to prove it really was a bumper Bank Holiday weekend of racing, Vince Wright knocked an amazing two and a half minutes off his previous best with 36:07 at the Gear 10k in Kings Lynn, Adam Bowller clocked a superb 16:08 PB at the MK Rocket 5k – ‘an enjoyable race on closed roads, starting in the centre of Milton Keynes and finishing in the stadium’ and Stewart Overton ‘capped off a busy two weeks of races’ with a speedy 16:22 at the Friday Night Under the Lights 5k in Battersea Park.
Finally, John Auld returned to his roots to tackle one his favourite races – the Silkstone Shuffle near Barnsley. He put in a ‘good honest effort’ on the ‘multi-terrain course of 3km up a trail hill followed by 4.5km back down, over fields and stiles’, clocking 30:13 for sixth place and just one second behind fifth – a great start as this was the first of a series of three races, with cumulative time deciding the overall standings.
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