The North Herts Road Runners have been selected as the East region’s Club of the Year in the England Athletics’ 2019 Volunteer Awards. The Letchworth-based club was chosen in recognition of its results and for the opportunities given to everyone involved in the club. The award was received by Club Chair Astrid McKeown, Club President Richard Harbon and Head Coach Karen Dodsworth at Bedford International on Sunday 1st September.
“This award is for all of our members,” said Astrid McKeown. “It was not just based on strong and improved performances in leagues and championships, but also how over the last 12 months we have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to the sport and the opportunities we have provided.”
The criteria for the award included adopting a pro-active approach to the recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as providing a friendly and supportive environment in which they can develop. North Herts Road Runners organise many running events in the local community, including the First Saturday of the Month, a monthly free 5k race, the ‘Greenway challenge’, a self-guided half marathon that for many is their debut HM, and the always over-subscribed Standalone 10k. These events are staffed entirely by volunteers from the club.
North Herts Road Runners also play an important role in promoting fitness in the local community. The club’s couch to 5k scheme introduced 40 people to running, many of whom joined NHRR as a result, and now regularly take part in races and other local running events.
The award’s criteria also included strong or improved club performances in leagues, championships and other club competitions through the development of club athletes. This year has been exceptional for the Squirrels in terms of performances and team success. In 2019, the North Herts Road Runners have won both the Three Counties (Herts, Beds, Bucks) Cross Country League and the Herts Midweek League, results which demonstrate the quality of coaching provided by the club.
And the Squirrels are continuing to produce strong performances. The Club of the Year award was presented at the end of a week in which North Herts Road Runners won the men’s Hertfordshire County 5km championships at Hatfield, and had members, Adam Bowller and Mark Vaughan, competing for the England Masters team at the Maidenhead half marathon.
Places are selling out fast for this year's Greenway Challenge. Organised by North Herts Road Runners, this year’s event will be held on Sunday 12th May at 9am, starting and finishing at the family-friendly venue of Standalone Farm.
“The Greenway Challenge provides a delightful step up to the half marathon challenge,” says race director, Karen Dodsworth. “Whilst it is self-guided the paths are well marked and the map and instructions are excellent. Helpful and encouraging marshals will be positioned at key points along the route, so there’s no danger of getting lost!"
The Greenway Challenge is an ideal race to run as a group with friends or family, plus there will be water stations and jelly beans provided on the route. Running the Greenway Challenge is also a great way to support local charities, as profits from the race will go to North Herts Road Runners’ club charities Jackie's Dropin and Tracks Autism. Finishers will receive a medal and there will be plenty of delicious home-made cakes (including gluten free options) for all.
Just a few weeks to go to this fabulous event and there are fewer than 80 places remaining so enter today to secure your place.
Good luck to all the squirrels running a spring marathon hopefully the training has gone well and you’re now enjoying your taper.
Those that were lucky enough to get a club place in London and Brighton are fundraising for our club charities TRACKS autism and Jackie’s Drop In.
You can support them and our charities by making a donation to one of their fundraising pages below just click on the photo to donate:
London Marathon runners:
Brighton Marathon runners:
We are looking forward to this year's Comet Sports Awards after three NHRR entries made it onto the final shortlists.
Nick Malpeli is among the four-strong list of contenders for the 'Veteran Achievement' prize in recognition of his exploits over the marathon distance. Nick enjoyed an outstanding year in 2018, winning his second England vest, twice improving his already very impressive best time to a superb 2.43.16 and being selected for an elite-level England Athletics training camp.
Nick is joined on the shortlist by an entry for the NHRR veterans teams, which highlights our success in wining both ladies' and men's Hertfordshire Veterans' Championships over the 5k distance.
The NHRR list of contenders is completed by joint publicity officer James Walsh, whose photo of team-mate Jim McConnel at the County Cross-country Championships is shortlisted for 'Sports Photograph of the Year'.
The awards evening takes place at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on 1st March.
Let’s get Christmassy with NHRR Santa Canta on Saturday 1st December. It’s your regular First Saturday of the Month 5k but with an added festive sparkle.
It’s the perfect way to start December and is suitable for everyone including children to take part. Dig out the Christmas jumper or dust off that Rudolf onesie and run, jog or canta around Norton Common (fancy dress is optional but there will be prizes and you might look like a bit of a grinch if you don't).
It’s free to enter just register at 8am on the day or pre-register at www.firstsaturday5km.org.uk
If you already have a FSOTM barcode there is no need to register again for the Santa Canta.
This year NHRR are fundraising to support Tracks Autism, all donations on the day are very welcome.
There will be medals and mince pies for all finishers, so come and join us for some festive fun with bells on.
NHRR are hosting their next #RunAndTalk event on Tuesday 6th November, 19:00-21:00 at Spirella Building in Letchworth. The aim of the event is to encourage people to #RunAndTalk to improve their mental health and wellbeing through running.
Naomi will be giving a short talk introducing the role of Mental Health Champion and share some of her story on "Mental Health, Running and Me".
Then there will be groups heading out on an easy social run/jog/walk, giving everyone a chance to chat to friends and make new ones too. Afterwards we'll be heading back to Spirella for hot drinks and biscuits.
This July, the First Saturday of the Month will be held at both dawn (9am) and dusk (7.30pm), with the dusk runners encouraged to bring family, friends, food and drink.
Run hard in the morning and unwind with a social run in the evening, or use the morning's run as a warm up, and blast the 5k at sundown, or you could even just do one and not the other. Whichever you choose, it's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the best that midsummer has to offer in the picturesque setting of Norton Common.
Bring the kids, or make it a date night – the Midsummer Dawn & Dusk Double 5k is another example of NHRR's well-loved social events. Free entry. All welcome. Sign up on our First Saturday of the Month page
Letchworth's only town centre running event is back by popular demand.
The races - over distances of 5k, 1 mile, plus a 1-mile fun run for all ages - will be held on Sunday 17 June. Roads including Leys Avenue, Eastcheap and the Broadway will be closed to traffic, providing a unique opportunity for runners of all abilities to race in the heart of the Garden City.
The event, billed as the Run Round the Garden, was first held in 2016 and is again being organised by North Herts Road Runners. The events will start at 10.00 with the 5k, followed by the 1-mile event at 11.00 and the fun run closing a great morning of running at 11.30.
The fun run will be free to enter, the 5k will cost £8 and the mile event will be £4. There is even a discount price of £10 for those keen enough to enter the 5k and 1-mile double challenge.
Race Director Richard Harbon said 'Run Round the Garden was a big hit when we put it on two years ago and people kept asking when we would be doing it again - so we are! You don't need to be fast - these events offer something for everyone. It will be a fabulous morning of running in the iconic heart of our Garden City'.
Full details and online entry is now open
It was a clean sweep for NHRR in this year’s Mid-Week League. A true team effort not only meant promotion to the top division as champions but also winners of the Men’s Team, Woman’s Team, Men’s Vet Team and Women’s Vet team.
There were lots of individual winners taking home trophies for the club with Jim McConnel 1st and Mark Vaughan 2nd in the Open Men’s competition. Nick Malpali won the MV50 category. The women’s overall winner was Astrid Mckeown. Natasha Pitman won the FV35 and Barbara Sayers was 3rd FV45.
Massive well done to everyone who ran, helped and supported this year, it was a real team effort.
Thanks to our social secretaries Ashley and Verity for last night’s superb awards evening. A chance to dress up and celebrate all the successes of the last year.
Congratulations to all our winners, for those of you that weren't able to make the dinner here is the list of winners for 2016:
Club Runners of the Year: Linda Aird and Mark Vaughan
Most Improved: Jo Summers and Darren Matussa
Short Course Champions: Yuko Gordon and David Annetts
Long Course Champions: Caroline Thrussell and Nick Mapeli
Overall best Runners: Yuko Gordon and Mark Vaughan
Yellow Group: Helen Govey
Green Group: John Cooper
Blue Group: James Keogh
Club Personality of the Year: James Walsh
101% Award: Richard Harbon
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