Mark Vaughan and John Auld made the short trip to Biggleswade to compete in the open 10,000 on the track. The race was also the Herts County and EVAC Championship. Vaughan won the race in 34:02 with John Auld in his first track 10k finishing 3rd in 36:40. Vaughan’s win secured him a clean sweep of golds as County Champion in both Open and Vets competition and EVAC champion. Auld took the silver in the Open County competition.
On Sunday 13 squirrels hit the streets of Hitchin to race the town centre 5k. Katie Harbon was the 2nd lady to finish in a time of 18:16. Andrew Green was 5th in a time of 17:54 followed by 18th David Weston 20:39, 27th Richard Harbon 19:43, 67th Claire O’Sullivan 23:06, 70 Naomi Parkinson 23:30, 81 Richard Fox 23:59, 82 Helen Harbon 24:02, 85 Jo Harbon 24:26, 93 Matt Ankers 24:41, 173 Lindsay Cook 28:31, 203 Geoff Pettengell 31:28, 231 Shani Fielding 36:27 and 232 Hayley Cocks in 36:39.
David Annetts took part in the Enfield League 1 hour Badge Race Walk, completing 11.243km on the track for 3rd place.
Michelle Grudzinski ran the Berlin Marathon completing the 26.2 miles in 4 hours 47 minutes while Patrick Norris tackled Kings Forest Trial Marathon in 7 hours and 26 minutes.
Enjoying Parkruns at Stevenage finishing in 3rd was Simon Poole in 18:32 (PB), 10th John Cooper 20:36, 22nd Oliver Garbas 21:22, 86th Paul Bowal 26:03, 203rd Patrick Norris 33:20. At Heartwood Forest Stephen Lummis was 28th in 22:19 and Chris Poole finished 51st in 24:26. Helen Giffin finished 111th in 27:33 at Luton Wardown.
How many runners does it take to run around Norfolk?
17 if they were taking part in this weekend’s Round Norfolk Relay along with the North Herts squirrels of support crew who helped transport, feed and accompany the runners.
Each runner ran one leg of 17 leg race with the 198 mile route starting in Kings Lynn through Hunstanton to Cromer, great Yarmouth, Breckland and Feltwell, before making its way back to Kings Lynn.
Katie Harbon was the first Lady home on Stage 9 in a new Category Record Time! And with the total time of 26 Hours, 48 minutes and 3 seconds the team came in 30th out of 61 teams in something less than ideal running conditions.
Sticking with the relay theme, the Annetts Family took part in the Hercules Sprint Triathlon Relay. Rachel completed the 400M swim in around 7 min 40 secs followed by a run to transition to hand over to David for the bike ride. The 20K route took him to Redbourn and back with a long run at each end at the transition areas. David’s time was 38:40. Martyn took over for the last leg; a 5K run through the park at Verulamium, finishing in 20:58. The total time was 1:11:26 giving them first place in the Team Relay event.
In the HSV Triathlon on his own Simon Poole was 9th but 1st in his category
Jane Clarke was further afield starting the Copenhagen Half Marathon is blazing sunshine and ending in thunder, forked lightning, and from two miles out rain when the heavens opened and let loose with everything including hail stones the size of golf balls. It’s a race she is unlikely to forget and wants to do again.
Phil Hunt was quelling his demons in the Richmond Marathon by breaking the 4 hour barrier at his 5th attempt finishing in 3:56:06, taking nearly 9 minutes off his personal best.
We were also out in numbers for the Hatfield 5K series on the 13th of September :
Pos. No. Name Cat. Chip time
3. 245 Mark VAUGHAN MV40 0:16:27
10. 192 John RAYNER MS 0:17:15
12. 16 John AULD MS 0:17:23
13. 216 Matthew SAYERS MV40 0:17:26
17. 177 Stewart OVERTON MS 0:17:45
20. 107 Katie HARBON FS 0:17:51
30. 95 Andrew GREEN MS 0:18:22
31. 184 Simon POOLE MS 0:18:25
36. 151 Darren MATUSSA MV40 0:18:32
53. 250 James WALSH MV40 0:19:10
68. 221 Peter SIBBETT MV50 0:19:38
69. 8 Martyn ANNETTS MV50 0:19:41
76. 108 Richard HARBON MV50 0:19:52
93. 48 Jane CLARKE FV35 0:20:57
121. 41 Katherine BURR FV35 0:22:34
127. 178 Naomi PARKINSON FS 0:23:01
128. 174 Claire O'SULLIVAN FV35 0:23:00
148. 85 Richard FOX MS 0:24:20
153. 3 Linda AIRD FV55 0:24:35
159. 232 Ian SUTCLIFFE MV70 0:25:12
163. 9 Rachel ANNETTS FV55 0:25:28
185. 246 Sue VAUGHAN FV45 0:27:06
A number of individual awards went our way with the vet men's team of Mark Vaughan, Matthew Sayers, Darren Matussa and James Walsh winning silver in the county vets champs. Mark Vaughan was 3rd man overall, and 2nd MV40. Katie Harbon was first lady. County medals went to Mark Vaughan for 2nd MV40, Ian Sutcliffe for second MV70 and Linda Aird for 3rd FV55. There were also Personal Bests for Naomi Parkinson and Claire O’Sullivan.
Keeping up the Clubs ‘End’ at Parkruns this week:
Bedford: John Auld 2nd in 00:17:52, Chester: Chris Poole 136th in 00:30:04, Stevenage Oliver Brady 5th in 18:43, Bob Davis 93rd in 26:21, Helen Giffin 111th in 27:13, Sarah Millhouse 131st in 27:57 and Patrick Norris 207th in 32:44, Gladebridge Stephen Lummis 20th in 24:44, Wimpole Estate John Cooper 46th in 22:52 and in Kings Lynn Richard Harbon 6th in 19:45 and Darren Matussa 8th in 19:54 (not bad for two people also taking part in the round Norfolk relay!) and Brian Judkins 185th in 30:38
Two NHRR members, John Auld and Simon Poole, travelled to Newcastle to compete in the Great North Run. Both ran at a blistering pace in blustery weather and finished in 127th and 611th positions respectively. Auld had set himself a target of 79 minutes and had achieved it with 8 seconds to spare in a fantastic 1:18:52 with Poole close behind in a brilliant 1:27:57.
A little closer to home Sue Foot took on the Thetford Iceni Marathon, a self guided trail route running on various surfaces. Despite the lack of recent training and a trip only a few miles in, the resilient Foot clocked an amazing total of 26.5 miles in 5:15.
Darren Sunter took on the Swineshead 10 Mile race and finished in second place with a superb time of 00:58:02.
Earlier in the week Darren Matussa and David Annetts went to Woodford for the Open Meet. Matussa ran in the 1 mile (00:05.12.89) and 3K (00:11:04.51) races. Annetts took part in the 3K walk and finished in second place in 00:15:26. The next day Matussa raced in the Watford Open Meet and took part in one of the 800m races (00:02:25.09) and also a 3K race (00:10:22:01).
Several squirrels ran Parkruns at the weekend. At Stevenage were Richard Harbon 20:21, John Cooper 20:52, David Weston 22:09, Lewis Green 23:27, Sheila Leavy 29:17 and Patrick Norris 33:04. Wimpole Hall: Vince Wright 22:03, Matthew Davies 26:10 and Lucy O'Connor 27:25. Chris Poole ran the Queen Elizabeth Parkrun in 26:03 and finally in Jersey James Keogh and Claire Hooley ran the 5K course in 19:41 and 35:08 respectively.
In the first race in the 3-race Hatfield 5k series the Squirrels were in impressive form. The men’s team of Mark Vaughan, Adam Bowller, John Auld and John Rayner were crowned Herts Champions, a title the club has won for the last 3 years. The ladies also ran superbly with Astrid McKeown, Jane Clarke and Yuko Gordon also on the podium winning county bronze. Full results were: In 2nd place Mark Vaughan (16:20 - a new club record), 5th Adam Bowller (16:33); 9th John Auld (17:00)l 14th John Rayner(17:26); 20th Matthew Sayers (17:48); 23rd Nick Malpeli (17:51); 32nd Simon Poole (18:30); 39th Andrew Green (18:53);44th Astrid McKeown (19:06); 50th Darren Matussa (19:17); 55th James Walsh (19:25); 61st Peter Sibbett (19:48); 62nd Martyn Annetts (19:53); 82nd Jane Clarke (21:30); 96th Yuko Gordon (22:43); 105th Naomi Parkinson (23:18); 109th Claire O’Sullivan (23:23);110th Matt Ankers (23:26);120th Linda Aird (24:22);129th Richard Fox (24:53);137th Ian Sutcliffe (25:27);141st Karen Dodsworth (25:47);145th Rachel Annetts (26:05)
In half-marathons Nick Malpelli finished 24th (3rd MV50) (1:22:10), picking up Bronze Medal in the British Masters Athletics Federation Championships. Helen Nuttall was first lady over the line at the Bedford half-marathon (1:28:11). At the same race, Steve Lummis (1:46:00, just shy of his PB) and Claire O’Sullivan (1:48:00) also ran well.
At the St. Albans Stampede, a 12-hour endurance event, a team of Lindsay Cook, Linda Aird, Jo Harbon, Jo Summers, Sue Foot, Paul Bowal, Gary Cook and Miranda Summers-Prithcard ran twenty laps of a 4 mile course, storming to victory for teams of 8, which included a thrilling final lap where they secured the victory.
Katie Harbon finished 1st in her age category at the final St Neots Triathlon. She competed in the Sprint Triathlon, her result including a PB in the 5k run of 17:42.
Mark Vaughan ran the Wilne 10K, finishing 18th overall (33:57), which placed him 2nd in his age category. At the Letchworth Duck n Dash, where competitors swim 400m and run 5k. NHRR results were; 9th - James Keogh (29:18); 24th- Richard Harbon (31.56); 51st - Jo Harbon (37.21); 70th - Petra Grosse-Hull (40.03); 95th - Lindsay Cook (44.08).
In Parkruns Darren Matussa finished in 6th position (21:22) at Roding Valley; Brian Judkins ran in Cambridge and finished 529th (34:59); Patrick Norris finished 189th (34:02) at Stevenage; At Wimpole Estate, Vincent Wright finished 54th (22:45) with Joe Sherry 137th (26:06); At the Barclay race, Ollie Garbas finished 2nd (21:36).
Saturday saw the club’s First Saturday of the Month race around Norton Common in Letchworth, while there were many impressive results from club members, it was also the end of the club’s current couch to 5k beginners’ programme, and 20 of the beginners completed the race. There were tears of elation and applause all round for these amazing individuals, many of whom did not think they could run, let alone complete a 5k race just 10 weeks previously. The group received completion certificates and NHRR key rings to mark their achievement and celebrated with cake and fizz. Around half of the group have joined the club on a permanent basis following this programme. Congratulations to all concerned!
A few squirrels made the journey to Watford on Wednesday evening for the penultimate Open track Meet of the year hosted by Watford Harriers. With a few supporters to cheer them on Darren Matussa and John Auld were running. Darren raced in the earlier 1500m race 3 of 15 and finished first in a winning time of 4:56.50. Later on in the evening, both John and Darren raced in the 3000m race 1 of 2. John Auld finished his first race as a V35 in under 10mins having had his birthday the day before - finishing in 2nd with a new PB of 9:52.12. Darren Matussa finished 10th in 10:37.50.
After recently joining 2nd claim for the London based Vets AC, David Annetts competed in the Battersea Park VAC 5 mile race walk where he finished 1st with a new PB of 43:15.
The bank holiday seemed to get the Squirrels out on tour at Parkrun. Linda Aird ran 26:49 at Guildford. Ellie Scott (23:48) at Norwich. Darren Matussa 22:51 at King's Lynn. Brian Judkins (33:58) at Sedgefield. Vincent Wright (21:13) at Ganavan Sands. Jo Sherry (24:19) at Weymouth. Closer to home, in Stevenage. Richard Harbon was first squirrel home in 20:18 followed by Steve Lummus (22:53), Oli Garbas (23:37), Matthew Davies (25:22), Sheila Leavy (28:17) and Pat Norris (34:37).
North Herts Road Runners ‘ Andrew Leach confirmed his status as one of the country’s leading veteran athletes with second place in a superb time of 1:13:30 at the Kimbolton Half-marathon. Leach’s scorching performance places him second in the national rankings for the 50-55 age-group.
Adam Wilson and Alan Hazelhurst used the same event as part of their marathon training and enjoyed the route around quiet Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire lanes, finishing in 2:01:00 and 2:01:04 respectively. Both are planning to return to this well-organised event next year.
Matt Davies chose Reykjavik for his debut marathon and found the cool Icelandic conditions, impressive coastal scenery and absence of major hills to his liking as he clocked an excellent 3:44:34 for 289th place.
Steve Lummis was delighted to record a new 5k personal best with 21:58 at the St Albans Parkrun.
Jo Summers tackled the 27-mile Leila’s Run in Welwyn Garden City, completing the four-lap course in 4 hrs 41 minutes.
Thursday witnessed the Mid Week League finale in Welwyn. The Mob Match was an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic results for NHRR in this year's league. Not only was the club promoted to the top division as champions but the squirrels were 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.
NHRR put in a fantastic effort for the Mob Match race and came in first for the men's team and the men's vet team with the ladies in second place in both the categories. Individually Katie Harbon and Astrid McKeown finished in second and third place in the ladies' race in 38:39 and 40:10 respectively and Mark Vaughan and Jim McConnel were fourth and fifth in the mens' race with 34:50 and 34:55.
Parkrun results: Stevenage: Yuko Gordon 22:53; Karen Dodsworth 26:39; Gladsone: Steve Lummis 23:11; Chris Poole 24:58; Wimpole Hall: Matthew Davies 25:16; Brian Judkins 37:25; Panshanger: Richard Harbon 20:50.
Wednesday evening was the final race of the Midweek road race league and was hosted by NHRR. The weather was much more pleasant and perfect racing conditions. On the night, NHRR continued their dominance over the division winning all 5 categories once again. The final positions after 4 races have NHRR in a commanding lead overall. We also won the men, the vet men, the women and the vet women. Despite many of the club looking after the race organisation and marshalling, we still turned out 34 runners in total.
The scoring team for the ladies were Katie Harbon 1st (38:50), Astrid McKeown 2nd (40:39), Helen Nuttall 3rd (42:00), Paula Adams 11th (44:24), Tash Pitman 12th (44:24), Jane Clarke 20th (46:20). Scoring for the men were Jim McConnel 1st (34:45), Mark Vaughan 2nd (35:15), Darren Sunter 4th (35:36), Andy Mutton 9th (36:14), John Rayner 12th (36:39), Stewart Overton 17th (37:57), John Auld 19th (38:07), Steve McKeown 28th (39:01), Nick Malpeli 32nd (39:13), Daren Matussa 34th (39:16), Vincent Wright 35th (39:21), Ryan Smith 36th (39:26).
The 2nd race of the week hosted by NHRR was the First Saturday of the Month 5K in Norton Common. 79 runners took part. It was won by Hitchin RC's Peter Males. The first Squirrel home was James Keogh 5th (19:51). Jane Clarke was the first lady finishing in 14th overall (23:04). Other runners were John Cooper 8th (20:48), Manvir Parmer 13th (22:10), Lucy O'Connor 27th (24:48), Sarah Mitcherson 31st (25:08), Paul Bowal 39th (26:46) and Dawn Power 55th (29:16).
Barbara Sayers and Ollie Garbas ran the Bassingbourn Half marathon. Barbara finished the 2nd V45 in 1:48 and Ollie finished with his best time of recent years in 1:30:48.
Jim McConnel headed to the Peak District for the Great Hucklow Fell race where he finished 3rd V40.
Chris Poole at al1 ran 11 parkruns in one day, running every parkrun in Hertfordshire, raising money for Alzheimers research UK. Starting with Gadebridge at 7:30 in the morning. The route passed onto Tring, Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Cassiobury, Aldenham, Barclay, Panshanger, Stevenage, Ellenbrook, St Albans and Beehive.
Several squirrels ran at a few Parkrun venues. Most appeared at Stevenage. First squirrell home was Pete Sibbett, smashing the 20 min mark with 19:18. Simon Poole 15th (20:29), Jen Naisbitt got a new PB by 70 seconds finishing with 28:28, Patrick Norris (33:57). Chloe Lucas ran at Norwich, finishing 8th lady in 22:57. Brian Judkins ran 36:13 at Wimpole. Stewart Overton ran 18:22 at Keswick. Phil Hunt ran 22:06 at Hastings. Chris Poole and Steve Lummis both ran at Tring finishing in 25:29 and 26:13 respectively.
Last week several Squirrels headed down to Finsbury Park to take part in the Stag Golden Mile hosted by Barnet and District Athletics club. First to run was Simon Poole in race 11 who finished 7th in 5:13. Race 12 had several squirrels targeting a sub 5 min mile. This race was very tight for 3 laps and had most athletes all in a pack until the back straight of the last lap where Darren Sunter made a break for it. Darren finished 2nd in 4:57. Another sub 5 time was John Auld, finishing 4th in 4:58. Finishing 9th and 10th was Adam Bowller and Jim McConnel with 5:02 and 5:03 respectively. The last race had Mark Vaughan in, who finished 13th with 4:57.
‘Hills Make Us Stronger!’ ..is the phrase often uttered on repeat during training runs by Coach Karen to keep us all going, but the training paid off this weekend with Squirrels making good use of the extra stamina in the Hitchin Hard Half.
NHRR’s own Mark Vaughan was first past the post in just 1:16:36. Martyn, David, Helen, Niccol, Suzy, Jason, Naomi, Adam, Sarah, Jane, Alan and Micelle were chasing him down and Naomi clocked up her personal best time for a half marathon at under the 2 hours, not bad on a course that is renowned for its ‘bumpy bits’ ie it’s seriously hilly.
Dan, Jo Linda, Sue, Helen F and Helen G completed the 10K version which is still not an easy option as it still takes in some major hills!
Jo S did the Hertfordshire Hobble of 26.5 miles in 4:47, a bit faster than a hobble I think! Sue and Miranda took part and finished in 6 hours.
5 made it to the Welwyn 10K with Nick first home in 19th place in just over 39mins and taking the Mens Vets over 50’s followed by Steve, Christian, Nicky and Jennifer who finished in 419th place but still in a time only just over the hour.
Taking the NHRR running passion further afield was Caroline who was running the Midnight Sun Half Marathon in Iceland. She showed determination to finish in 2hours 4 mins despite carrying an injury.
The free Park Run movement was well supported with Chris P running in Lincoln. Oliver in Barclay, Lucy and Brian J in Wimpole as well as Ellie, Naomi, Paul. Amanda, Jon, Verity and Patrick who all ran in Stevenage with Ellie being the second woman home in just 22:11
On a hot and steamy evening last Wednesday, 66 North Herts Road Runners finished the 3rd Mid-week league race hosted by their friends at Hitchin Running Club. They have put the club on course for promotion back to Division 1. The squirrels took a clean sweep of first places in all 4 categories - women, men, vet women and vet men. Katie Harbon was first lady in a time of 39:33 with Astrid McKeown in second (41:12) and Helen Nuttall fourth (43:23). For the men, NHRR had 4 of the top 6 finishers, Jim McConnel leading the charge in a time of 35:13, closely followed by Ed Price (35:22), Mark Vaughan (35:41) and Darren Sunter (35:53) .
On Saturday NHRR also had 3 teams running in the Greensands ridge relay.
A team of Adrian Sherwood, John Auld, Mark Vaughan, Ed Price, Adam Bowller and Darren Sunter won the trophy for the quickest time in an impressive 3:37:35 for the 34 mile course. A team of Johnny Spinks, Matt Ankers, Stuart Overton, Peter Sibbett and Jon Hunt finished 11th in 4:48:18.A team of Miranda Morgan, Helen Ferguson, Katie Harbon, Jo Harbon, Sue Vaughan and Jane Clarke finished 23rd in 5:22:21
On a week of great results for the Squirrels, Katie Harbon also took part in the Box End triathlon, which she won.
Further afield, three Squirrels raced in Coad-y-Brenin in Wales. The half marathoners ran 609m of height gain, with Paul Power completing the course in 2:53:23 and Dawn Power in 3:11:13. Andy Grudzinski completed the full marathon, including 1222m height gain in 6:11:21
The club launched their latest “Couch to 5k” group last week. 36 new runners signed-up to train over ten weeks to complete NHRR’s First Saturday of the Month 5k race in September. All club member wish the runners the best of luck!
9 squirrels took part in 4 park runs on Saturday, at Bedfont Lakes, near Heathrow (Stephen Lummis (22:45) and Chris Poole (24:43)), Black Park, near Slough (Ollie Garbas (19:22)), Bedford (Steve Tracey (19:43) and Stevenage (Simon Poole (19:04), Oliver Brady (19:22), John Cooper (20:53), Amanda Keightley-Pugh (30:07- PB) and Patrick Norris (35:04))