Northampton’s Delapre Park was the venue for the third fixture of this year’s Three Counties Cross-Country League, and the North Herts Road Runners were again victorious! Both the women’s and men’s teams took first place, ensuring that the Squirrels won the combined prize, as they have in each of the previous races, cementing their position at the top of the league.
“This is an amazing result that really sets us up for a great last couple of races,” said the club’s XC secretary John Auld. “There's a lot of work still to do in the remaining two events. But we do have the treble in sight.”
In total, twenty-four Squirrels took on the unforgiving terrain and strong winds to produce another dominant display. Leading from the front was women’s team captain Katie Harbon, who won the women’s race for the third time this season, heading a scoring team that also included Astrid McKeown (8th), Paula Adams (10th) and Lucy O’Connor (41st).
The star for the men’s team was young Oliver Brady, who showed great courage to bounce back from a tough first experience of the 3CXC league two weeks earlier. He produced an impressive run and finished strongly in 17th position, taking his place as one of the eight men in the NHRR scoring team, all of whom finished inside the top 20. The other scorers were Ed Price (2nd), Stewart Overton (6th), Mark Vaughan (9th), Wayne Bell (10th), Nathan Pask (11th), John Auld (14th) and John Rayner (19th).
The cross-country came just a day after the Santa Canta, the special Christmas edition of the NHRR-organised First Saturday of the Month at Letchworth’s Norton Common. Over 320 runners took part, almost all of them in fancy dress, helping to raise money for Garden House Hospice Care. The first festive finishers were Freedom Tri’s James Parsons (19:11) for the men and Hitchin Running Club’s Anna Bruce (22:38) for the women. North Herts Road Runners’ first finishers were James Dalton (21:09) and Katie Harbon (23:20).
On Sunday, Ali Mottram ran the MK Winter Half in a time of 2:29:27. “It was a really lovely route on footpaths along canals, round fishing lakes and through lovely green spaces,” said Ali. “Though the first mile or so was incredibly busy with little room to manoeuvre.”
The weekend’s parkrun results:
Stevenage parkrun 81 Russell HAGAN 25:39
Wimpole Estate parkrun 67 Naomi PARKINSON 25:14
Hillsborough parkrun 191 Jillian BOYS 28:52
Letchworth parkrun 37 Carl GOODRUM 31:25
Sunny Hill parkrun 15 Chris POOLE 24:49
Darren Sunter finished the Valencia Marathon with a new personal best time 2:35:21 and in 290th place overall. Pleased with his run, Darren said afterwards that it was a great course and really brilliant event. He enjoyed the superb course even though his hamstrings took a hammering on the flat.
Several squirrels ran the Bedford Half marathon. Described as a lovely undulating single lap course through rural Bedfordshire with a great down hill after mile 9. Ryan Nicholl (1:23:48) was the first squirrel home closely followed by Adrian Sherwood (1:29:22). Other squirrels running were Lucy O'Connor (1:55:41), Sue Foot (2:00:15), Andrew Porter (2:04:19), Tom Brownlee (2:05:24), David Braybrook (2:06:20), Miranda Morgan (2:14:46) and Vanessa Rolfe 2:23:55. Sue was 2nd in her age category. It was the first time running this race for Lucy and she really enjoyed it. Linda Aird and Kat Gourd were spectating on the 9 mile mark in Cranfield and reported how impressed they were with everybody looking strong. They were holding a big bowl of jelly babies for runners.
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.
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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