North Herts Road Runners were well represented at a very wet Perkins Great Eastern Half Marathon through the centre of Peterborough. Despite the weather, in a competitive race incorporating area championships, the Squirrels put in some stunning performances: Andrew Leach finished in 25th in a new V50 course record of 71:59. He was followed by Darren Sunter in 30th with a London Championship qualifying time of 73:25 and a PB and Adam Bowller with a sub 3 minute PB was just 1s behind in 31st with 73:26. Also setting a PB in 69th was Matt Sayers stopping the clock at 76:13. Stewart Overton again smashed the 80 min barrier with 78:57 and John Rayner ran 83:40. V50 Lee Hayes set a PB of 87:46 followed by Niccolo Bassini 92:07, Martyn Annetts 95:02, John Auld 96:00, Suzy Trott 97:45, James Drew 1:38:09 and Luke Callan 1:56:28.
Tom Webb finished 8th overall at the ITU World Championship qualifying event for the Standard Distance Duathlon at Bedford Autodrome. Tom finished the 10k run, 40k bike and 5k Run in 1:56:29 and has qualified for the world championships in Spain in 2019.
Ed Price and Lindsay Cook ran in the Manchester half marathon. Ed finished in 1:15:40 on a great (flat) course, with really good support throughout. Lindsay surprised herself by finishing in 2:13:53, her best time for a couple of years. Lindsay said,“After doing lots of cycling and swimming this summer and not much running I didn't feel very confident and was expecting around 2:30 but once I got going I felt strong, despite it being very wet.”
In another half marathon, this time at the Royal Parks in London in the pouring rain, Jim Marvell ran his first full race since an accident last year. Expecting to finish in 3 hours, hoping for 2:45, Jim actually finished in 2:30:26 with a negative split (faster second half)! So far he has raised over £1000 for Alzheimer's Research.
Lucy O’Connor and Miranda Morgan ran the challenging Ridgeway 15km Trail Run in the scenic Chilterns Hills. Lucy said, “Despite the drenching rain, glorious & slippery mud, dodging rabbit holes and those HILLS, we both thoroughly enjoyed it.” Lucy crossed the finish line in 1:26:23 (4th VF55) and Miranda in 1:40:20 (12th VF55).
Three Squirrels and a dog ran at the Hatfield House 10K. It was a lovely course around the grounds of Hatfield park in the relentless rain, but was lots of fun! Helen Marson-Smith ran the distance for the first time, finishing in 1:08:29. Lindsey Lucas nearly pulled out when she woke to the rain, thinking that having to keep her hearing aids dry would make a valid excuse but realised that would be letting her disability win! Linsey stormed across the line in 1:17:38. Jillian Boys also ran the race and canicrossed with her pooch Lulu. It was Lulu’s first ever race and she was a little superstar. Jillian and Lulu finished 2nd canicross with a time of 52:47.
David Annetts competed in the Enfield Race Walking League, 5 Mile race at Picketts Lock. In unseasonably warm and windy weather on quiet roads David continued his stunning performances, finishing 1st in 40:37.
Finally, the Squirrels were also present, as usual, at local parkruns: in Letchworth, Ian Datlen finished 5th (22:11); James Dalton was 6th (22:12); Jillian Boys was 21st (2nd lady) (25:24); Jennie Fraser finished 39th (27:31); Ellie Scott was 42nd (27:51); Naomi Parkinson was 43rd (27:52); Bob Davies was 43rd (29:49) and Brian Bailey was 53rd (32:11). In Stevenage Dervla Downing finished 2nd lady (23:34); Helen Giffin was 184th (31:13) and Pat Norris was 205th (32:29). At the Pocket Parkrun in St Neots, Chris Poole finished 35th in 23:18
Sunday was host to NHRR’s esteemed Standalone 10k. The weather was as cheerful as the amazing NHRR marshals. Whilst the majority of the club volunteer to help on race weekend, a team is selected to compete in the event and county championships.
North Herts Road Runners men won the open team competition with a team of Andrew, Adam, Darren and Mark. The ladies team also won the open with Katie, Astrid and Paula. In the Hertfordshire 10km veteran county championships, NHRR men of Andrew Mark, Ed and Matt won the county gold. Likewise the ladies won the veteran county champs with Astrid, Paula and Sarah.
Squirrels also won individual gold with Mark Vaughan winning the V40 category gold. Andrew Leach was 3rd overall in the race and the 1st V50 in the county. The gold kept coming for the ladies with Paula Holm wining 1st V35 and Astrid Mckeown winning V45. Oliver Brady was 2nd U20 and set a new club record. Sarah Mitcherson was 2nd in the V35 county champs and Jane Clarke was 3rd V35.
In the race, first home for the club was Andrew Leach who finished 3rd overall in 33:23. Other members of the team were right behind him meaning that after the first two in the race, NHRR had 5 squirrels in the top 7 - finishing continuously from 3rd to 7th. Adam Bowller (4th) with a new PB of 33:33 said afterwards that it was “An absolute honour to represent the club when so many others are working hard to make the wonderful event happen. Thanks so much for the fantastic support out on course”. Others finishing for the men were Darren Sunter (5th) 33:37 (PB), Mark Vaughan (6th) 34:09, Ed Price (7th) 34:42, Matt Sayers (11th) 35:07 (PB), Oliver Brady (21st) 36:42 (PB) (CR). Darren said after the race that following his PB at Hatfield 5km earlier in the week and another at Standalone - he’d was looking forward to cracking open a bottle of Drambuie to celebrate.
The ladies team was fantastic too. First home was Katie Harbon (65th) 39:34 followed by Astrid Mckeown (88th) 40:55, Paula Holm (101st) 41:23, Sarah Mitcherson (120th) 42:11, Jane Clarke (144th) 42:57 (PB), Sophie Thrussell (145th) 43:00 (PB), Helen Cains (169th) 44:00.
Standalone Eve was also the First Saturday of the month, and this day is always host to NHRR's own 5km in Norton Common. The event saw 47 runners in the morning sunshine before the rain started. NHRR's own Paul Jackson lead the way finishing in 17:51 whilst the first lady was NHHR's own Eva McCabe finishing 10th overall in 21:39. The field included another 12 squirrels including James Keogh (4th) 19:20, Ian Datlen (7th) 21:10, Declan McCabe (9th) 21:39, James Walsh (14th) 22:26, Caroline Thrussell (19th) 23:53, Geoff Murray-Rochard (28th) 26:51, Lewina Agius (30th) 27:08, Andrew Porter (34th) 27:55, James Dalton (36th) 28:24, Lindsay Cook (44th) 31:09 and Dawn Power (45th) 31:58.
Nick Malpeli ran in what he described as almost perfect conditions, chilly and dry, at the Chester Marathon. It was as good as day as it could get, said Nick, finishing in 41st overall and 2nd MV50 with a time of 2:43:16. This was a PB by over 1 minute. Competing in the England vs Celtic nations challenge, Nick finished 1st MV50 and 2nd in the British masters MV50. Nick also achieved the 3rd highest age grading in the England masters marathon team. Other squirrels running at Chester were Lucy Hurley and Naomi Parkinson who finished in 4:18:41 and 4:07:20 respectively.
On Wednesday, a scurry of 35 squirrels participated in the 3rd and final race in the Hatfield 5k series. First home for the club was Tom Webb (4th) 15:58. Darren Sunter (5th) 16:15 (PB), Mark Vaughan (7th) 16:28, Matthew Sayers (10th) 16:38, Stewart Overton (12th) 16:40, Oliver Brady (22nd) 17:34 (PB), John Rayner (26th) 17:45, Nick Malpeli (37th) 18:21, Lee Hayes (46th) 18:38, John Auld (47th) 18:45, Astrid Mckeown (50th) 18:59, Vincent Wright (53rd) 19:28, Martyn Annetts (55th) 19:34, David Weston (60th) 19:42, Sarah Mitcherson (69th) 20:35, Jane Clarke (74th) 20:46, Peter Sibbett (75th) 20:46, Chris Poole (86th) 21:28, James Walsh (91st) 21:27, Andrew Underhill (98th) 21:49, Ellie Webb (103rd) 22:03, Rhia Botha (106th) 22:06, Lucy O'connor (110th) 22:12, Hannah Keeble (126th) 23:27, Russell Hagan (138th) 00:24:17, Geoffrey Murray-rochard (154th) 25:21, Nicky Tracey (157th) 25:36, Sue Vaughan (162nd) 26:18, Karen Dodsworth (168th) 27:00, Joy Stroud (185th) 30:09 , Brian Judkins (186th) 30:22, Helen Marson-smith (189th) 30:37, Hayley Cocks (190th) 30:45 (PB), Joanne Sopala (201st) 34:54, Jo Kenlin (202nd) 37:14.
Now in its fourth year running, the Hitchin 5k as organised by fellow running club the Hitchin Hares went off without a ‘hitch’. A fun community race, it involves two laps of the small market town both starting and finishing in the market square. There was quite a turnout from North Herts Road Runners in support of this excellent event. Superb individual performances also lent themselves to the club finishing in 3rd Team place overall. Mark Vaughan, Paula Holm, James Dalton and Niccolo Bassani all producing top results in order to win the team prize. Mark Vaughan finished 2nd Male in 17:01 whilst Paula was overjoyed at finally winning some money as second lady in an excellent time of 20:51.
Amongst others the Cocks family descended on the town with both mum and daughter achieving PBs. Hayley ran the race in 31:44 which was an improvement of 5 minutes and 6 seconds compared to last year which ‘goes to show that the training really does pay off’. Her daughter Abbi pushed herself to her limits finishing in 28:48 whilst Stuart finished first for the family in 22:13.
Other notable performances were Geoff Pettengell in 32:38 with this being his first competitive race for nearly a year; Ian Sutcliffe finishing 1st in the V70 category in a time of 26:55, Lewina Agius finishing with a PB of 26:40 in her first ever 5k race and Jillian Boys setting a new PB of 22:59.
In other races Vanessa Rolfe ran the MIlton Keynes Half in 2:22:52 and especially enjoyed the fact that it was on a Saturday with a late start time of 1pm! This being a week after sneaking in a quick Sheffield 10k in 65:15 on the way home from a holiday. True dedication!
Stewart Overton ventured up to Biggleswade for one last track race in the 3000 Open and finished 1st in an absolutely superb time of 9:40. A great finish to the summer season in prep for the upcoming glorious cross country.
Steve Foster surprised himself after bettering his time of 1:35 in the Great North Run at the Windsor Half in 1:31:44 whilst Andrew Robson continued his dedication to the Bedford Sprint Triathlon Series completing his 12th consecutive entry to this race (3 races a year for 4 years) in 1:31:16.
Also the England Masters Inter-area cross-country challenge was held on Saturday at Bury St Edmonds. There were two races, women (all ages) and men 65+ over 6km and then a third race which was all men aged 35-60 over 8km. It was a flat and fast course over varied terrain, in glorious sunshine. Andrew Leach was 8th in the men's race (first M50). Andrew was also a members of the winning East region team (this involves a rather complex scoring scheme, based on age-graded times, 10 men + 5 women per team). The race is also being used as a "selection guide" for the upcoming Britain/Ireland Masters cross-country international in November. We wish Andrew good luck in this endeavour!
It was a very successful week for the North Herts Road Runners' Vets teams. On Wednesday, the women's and the men's teams both finished first at the Hertfordshire Veterans' 5k Championships, which were being held as part of the Hatfield 5k series. (In road running, a vet is any man over 40, or any woman over 35). The County title-winning women's team was Astrid McKeown (19:16), Paula Holm (21:03), Sarah Mitcherson (21:06) and Jane Clarke (21:10), while the men's team was led by Mark Vaughan (16:37), with Ed Price (16:41), Matt Sayers (16:56) and Nick Malpeli (18:04). In total, 33 North Herts Road Runners took part in this, the second event of the series' three 5k races, including Hayley Cocks who ran 32.30, a time two-minutes faster than her previous PB.
The following Sunday, the club sent a men’s vets team to the hotly contested South of England Vets 4-stage Road Relay Championships, which was held at the iconic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Running hilly laps just short of 6km, Andrew Leach (19:01), Mark Vaughan (19:41), Matt Sayers (20:15) and Jim McConnel (19:30) made up the North Herts Road Runners' team, and competed strongly against some of the biggest clubs in the country, to finish in second place overall. “This is the second time in recent years that we have got silver at this race, and it is a special one,” said Mark Vaughan. “We took quite a few scalps of the larger, more established road running and athletics clubs on the way. The other teams certainly know who we are now!"
In other news, Tom Webb finished third at the Hever gauntlet 70.3 Castle series triathlon, which comprised a 1900 metre (chilly) swim, a 90km bike ride with 4500ft climbing, and an off-road half marathon for the run. Tom described it as a horrific day that was rescued by his first podium at a competitive triathlon, behind two professional triathletes.
David Annetts took part in Enfield Race Walking League's 1hr Badge Race at Picketts Lock track - a test to see how far the race-walkers can reach in exactly one hour. He went for an ambitious target of an unofficial 10000m PB, which he passed in 50:30, and at the hour he finished second in the race on 11.835km / 7.35 miles.
Adam Bowller finished second at the Leighton 10 on Sunday morning, a hilly 10 miler in Leighton Buzzard. His time was 57:21, a PB by 1:22.
James Keogh ran the Guernsey parkrun two weeks in a row having been marooned on the island by the ferry. The first week, he was 4th in 20:10 and second time round managed 3rd in 19:17.
Lucy O’Connor and Brian Judkins ran the Steeple Morden 10k, a very muddy and wet off road course. Lucy's time was 55:28 and Brian's was 1hr:13.
John Auld finished in eighth position at the third event in the Silkstone Shuffle series. The result puts him in third position overall in the ongoing series.
Finally, a group of Squirrels ran St Paul’s Walden 10K on Sunday, which is organised by the charity Autism Angels. Katie Harbon came home First Lady and first for the club, Richard Harbon second for the club, Jo Summers 3rd, followed in order by Jo Harbon, Helen Harbon, Matt Ankers, and Sue Foot.
It was a great weekend to take on the challenge and adventure that is the Round Norfolk Relay. It’s the third year North Herts Road Runners have taken part in the race which follows the county boundary over a distance of 198 miles, divided into 17 unequal stages. Unique in character and concept, the race presents not only a tough physical challenge, but also tests the club’s logistical abilities.
Run over 24 hours, without a break (and carrying a baton), the event requires careful planning and a dedicated support crew. Starting at 7.00am on Saturday our 17 runners successfully completed the race in 26 hours and 22 minutes. Supported by a crew of 15 people, including drivers, cyclists and timekeepers it was a fantastic team effort and a great accomplishment for the club.
Two Squirrels completed the Richmond Run fest Marathon, a mixed terrain course, starting in Kew Gardens and then out and back along the Thames to Hampton Court before finishing in the Old Deer Park. It was Matt Davies last race for North Herts Road Runners, as he is moving north. He finished 17th in 3:08 slower than his target time, but still a massive PB by 36 minutes from his first marathon in August last year.
It was David Weston’s first marathon and he was pleased to finish in 3:46. David said, ‘I didn’t really know what to expect and I was a bit nervous on the start line.’ Weston was running for the Royal Brompton Hospital raising around £1000 after both his parents had complicated surgery there this summer. ‘This certainly helped me round as I did begin to question what on earth I was doing at 18 miles.’ Monica Cullin ran the shorter 10k option in a time of 1:38:25.
Much closer to home North Herts Road Runners was well represented at the Harvest Trail quarter and half marathon at Royston Heath. The hilly course took runners across picturesque trails in the Hertfordshire countryside. Jillian Boys did the half marathon distance while Lucy O’Connor, Andrew Porter, Russ Hagen, Allison Blunt, Gladys Cheng, Helen Cromack, Anna Greetham, Jane Tyler, Brian Judkins, Sheila Leavy and Drew Norton all went for the quarter marathon distance.
Sue Foot ran the Ponton Plod, an undulating off road course run mainly over farmland and grassy trails. Foot finished the 28.4 miles in 6:08.
North Herts Road Runners turned out in force for Herts County 5k Championships with 36 Squirrels competing on the flat and fast course in Hatfield.
The star performers were the men’s team, who took the county title with superb performances from Tom Webb (15 mins 56 secs), Matthew Sayers (16.52), Stewart Overton (16.58) and Darren Matussa (17.38). Webb also won a silver medal in the individual county standings.
The Letchworth-based club’s ladies’ team almost matched the men with a set of silver medal winning performances from Jane Clarke (21.02), Ellie Webb (21.57) and Rhia Botha (21.59). Astrid McKeown was second female finisher and first in the F45 category in 18.55 and fast-improving Oliver Brady was among those recording new personal bests with a 17.52 finish. Chris Poole also recorded a new best with 21.35.
Further impressive performances came from Joy Stroud, whose new lifetime best of 31.00 was a new club record in the 70-plus age category, Lucy O’Connor with another best and a club record of 22.12 in the 55-plus group and Hayley Cocks, who knocked two minutes off her previous mark with 34.38. Cocks said she had been ‘worried about the two and a half laps course around an industrial estate but I really enjoyed it. I am already looking forward to the next race and looking to beat my time again – but possibly not by two minutes!’.
The inaugural Baldock Rat Run 5k provided a double triumph for the Squirrels, with Paula Holm first lady in 20.46 and Stewart Overton taking the men’s honours in 17.28. Jillian Boys ‘absolutely loved it’ as she finished 5th lady in a new best of 22.50. Boys reported ‘a wonderful, interesting off-road course consisting of multiple potential time-affecting obstacles, such as narrow tunnels, kissing gates and steps’.
North Herts runners had yet another good turnout at the Welwyn Garden City Half-marathon, with Lucy O’Connor 3rd W50 in 1.48.07, Vanessa Rolfe 3rd W60 in 2.23.20 and Andrew Porter 2nd M70 in 2.05.47. Other Squirrels finishing the 13.1 mile course were James Drew (1.43.00), Dervla Downing (1.51.25), Katrina Dixon (1.59.29), Cara Sutton in 2.11.30 and Allison Blunt (2.12.53).
John Auld continued his recovery from injury by running – and very much enjoying - the Great North Run in 1.31.27. ‘The atmosphere is great – fans on the street the whole way round’, he reported. Both John and sister Lucy were fundraising for Cancer Research UK. Chris Poole also completed the
course in 1.46.45 and Andrew Robson finished in 2.04, raising over £1,000 for Breast Cancer Now in the process.
Helen, Jo and Richard Harbon competed as a family in the Woburn team triathlon. In very challenging conditions they were delighted to finish 8th out of 17 teams in 2.47.10.
David Annetts competed in the Woodford Green 3000m Race Walk and was delighted to finish third in a new best of 13.54. Annetts has been travelling to Bury St Edmunds for specialist coaching and says he is starting to see the benefits: ‘As well as working on my own technique I’ve learned a lot from seeing others practising it’.
On a big weekend that demonstrated the strength, depth and breadth of the club’s membership, North Herts Road Runners took part in a large number of events across the region and brought back some fantastic results.
A group of Squirrels ran the Bedford Twilight 10k on Saturday evening. First home for the club was Astrid McKeown, who ran 40:15 and finished fourth woman. Also running were Lindsey Lucas and Jo Sopala, who ran together and spurred each other on to each achieve a PB, finishing in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Jillian Boys (51.55) and Ali Mottram (1:09:14) were among the club’s other participants. For Ali, it was her first 10k. “I’m pleased with my time,” she said, “and it was a lovely boost to have other club members there cheering me on.”
The following morning, saw even more North Herts Road Runners taking on the Bedford Half Marathon, described as a fast and flat course with scenic views across the river. First home for the club was Darren Sunter in 1:15.59, followed by Stewart Overton who ran a PB of 01:18.06. Also scoring PBs were sisters Linsey Ashley and Jennie Andrews, who ran together and finished together in a time of 2 hours and 19 minutes. Another of NHRR’s runners was Niccolo' Bassani, who finished in 01:36:26. He said that the last four miles proved really tough, and was not alone in commenting on the strength-sapping heat.
Back in Hertfordshire, six full and two honorary Squirrels joined forces to take part in the St Albans Stampede on Saturday. Sue Foot, James Drew, Gary and Lindsay Cook, Paula Holm, Linda Aird, Miranda Summers-Pritchard and Jo Summers made up a team of 8 to run as many of the 4 mile laps of Heartswood Forest/Nomansland Common as they could in 12 hours. Without wanting to waste a minute, they managed to strategically pick who to run when, and squeezed in 22 laps in 11 hours 55 minutes - winning the Team of 8 section by 3 laps.
It was also a busy weekend for the club’s multi-eventers. Eleven Squirrels swam and ran at the Freedom Tri-organised Duck N Dash event in Letchworth on Sunday. John Auld (30:28) was first home for the club, saying “it was the first aquathlon for a few of us, so we clubbed together and tried our best to copy what the tri club members did... I think we pulled it off, apart from looking down the line on transition- the only clothes in there were NHRR vests.” Other notable results include Katie Harbon and Sophie Thrussell, who finished second and fifth respectively in the female senior event; Lindsay Cook, who only the day before had been part of the St Albans Stampede team; and the two Squirrels who took part in the youth section: Eva McCabe was first in 30:08, and Oliver Brady was third in 30:11.
Tom Webb and Matt Sayers travelled to St Neots for the 2019 Standard Distance ETU (European) Triathlon Qualifying event. 450 competitors took part in the 1500m swim in the River Ouse, an undulating 45km bike course and 10km run. Tom Webb achieved a time of 2:11:22 for 12th place (6th in age group), while Matthew Sayers’ time was 2:23:23 (102nd place, 14th in age group).
Lucy Hurley and Naomi Parkinson ran the Dunstable Downs Challenge Marathon on Sunday morning in 5.15. “It was a hot day, but a stunning course (other than the 2 miles of uphill at the end)!” said Lucy, who described the event as friendly and well-organised.
Nick Malpeli ran the South Cheshire 20 on Sunday morning, coming first MV50 in 02:11:20. It was undulating with over 1000ft of elevation gain and warmer than expected towards the end. “Overall I’m very very happy,” said Malpeli. “I hadn't rested for this race as I was treating it more as a long training run.”
The weekend was also a milestone for Brian Judkins, who completed his 200th parkrun on Saturday. He ran at Wimpole and finished in around 33 minutes. “It’s a long haul from the first round a snow covered field in Basingstoke in Dec 2009,” said Brian. “There were only around a dozen in the country then and the finishing tokens were hand written on pieces of cardboard! I intend to keep going a while longer and get to those few local ones I haven't visited yet.”
Finally, the club hosted its regular First Saturday of the Month 5k run at Letchworth’s Norton Common on Saturday morning. Thanks to perfect weather, a convivial atmosphere, and friendly, supportive marshalling, the run proved as popular as ever, with 78 runners, including 23 Squirrels taking part. The next First Saturday of the Month will be on Saturday 6th October, followed the next day by the NHRR-organised Standalone 10k, one of the biggest events in the local running calendar.
Three Squirrels travelled up the A1M to compete in the Kimbolton Half Marathon on Sunday. The race also included the Eastern Masters Half Marathon Championships where Nick Malpeli enjoyed the cooler conditions and secured 1st MV50 in a season's best time of 01:20:45. Robert Harris came in second for the club in 01:29:14 and Caroline Thrussell finished the race in 01:50:55 to be 2nd FV55.
Further afield, Simon Poole gave his last performance for the club before moving to Bicester, a dramatic twist. While running the Riverside Half Marathon in Lancashire, he ended the race covered in blood with no memory of falling or of the last 3 miles at all, still finishing in a creditable 1:34:09! Simon is hoping for a less painful race next month when he, alongside club mates Jim McConnel and Katie Harbon are heading to Ibiza to represent Great Britain in the Duathlon European Championships.
Four Road Runners and a support crew made a worthwhile journey to the Thorney 5 mile race near Peterborough. Despite windy conditions, the fast and flat course made for some excellent performances. First home for the club and securing third place was Adam Bowller in a PB time of 27:28 closely followed by Mark Vaughan - in 4th and winning the MV45 category in 28:01. Pete Sibbett finished in 34:50 and Karen Dodsworth in 43:17.
Closer to home Sue Foot and Jo Summers ventured on their annual trip to Wheathampstead for the 'Leila's Run' Marathon. They both enjoyed 'the lovely undulating route, scenery and good company of other runners'. Jo completed the race in 4:12 and Sue in 4:41.
As always, Squirrels were out in force throughout the country at Parkruns; Ellie Scott (23:39) in Norwich. Chris Poole (23:48) at Clapham Common. Matthew Davies (19:13) and Jodie Brumhead (24:19) in Dulwich. Vincent Wright (21:40), James Dalton (21:58), Stephen Lummis (23:43), John Russell (24:39) and Adrian Sherwood (28:54) in Letchworth. Jillian Boys (25:03) at Great Denham . Chris Stokes (20:58) at Tamar Lakes. Steve Williamson (21:23) at Holkham. Ian Datlen (21:08) and Patrick Norris (31:05) in Stevenage.
Saturday saw a scurry of squirrels heading over to compete and support at the Milton Keynes for the MK5000 PB special. A night of 5000m track races graded by recent times & led by a pacer to 3000m made for some tight racing & excellent times with over 60% of participants achieving a PB. Supporters were allowed into lane 4, with plenty of food, an open bar & commentary on each race, there was a great atmosphere. First up for NHRR was Stewart Overton in Race G, finishing 3rd in a new PB of 16.53.13. In the next race Adam Bowller finished 2nd & another PB in 16:15.99. The action continued with Andrew Leach & Mark Vaughan finishing in 15:59.00 & 16.23.60 respectively.
Speaking to an elated Adam Bowller afterwards he proclaimed “It was a fantastic evening culminating in watching some fabulous racing in the mens & womens BMC races. I'd thoroughly recommend this for next year”.
Darren Sunter headed over to Newark for the Half marathon. Sunter finished in 6th place overall and 3rd V35 with a time of 1:17:28.
Five squirrels ran the St Albans 10k on Sunday morning. A fairly flat and fast course that followed the old railway line. “It was so nice to run in considerably cooler conditions” said Lucy O'Connor after finishing. This produced some great results. O'Connor was first home for the club, finishing in 50:27. Dervla Downing finished in 51:36. Russ Hagan finished with a new PB of 51:50. Andrew Porter was the 1st V70 finishing with 56:04. Sheila Leavy finished just over the 60 min mark with 1:00:06.
Matt Davies ran the Burnham Beeches Half Marathon on Sunday morning. The course was a two lap 'undulating' course through the Burnham Beeches Nature Reserve. Davies broke the 90 min mark for the first time and finished 27th with a new PB by over 5:30 of 1:26:22. Davies said afterwards “it was a lovely course. The trees provided lots of rain and wind protection and shade”.
16 Squirrels ran at 9 different Parkruns. Chris Poole (26:17) at Richmond. Jodie Brumhead (24:01) and Matthew Davies (24:01) at Cambridge. Michelle (27:11) and Andrew Grudzinski (29:11) at St Andrews. Cara Sutton (26:26) at Huddersfield. Stephen Lummis (22:45) and John Russell (30:18) Stevenage. Joanne Sopala (36:53) at Conwy. Andrew Underhill (22:47) at Holkham. Linda Aird (28:59) at Ludlow. Vincent Wright (21:57), James Dalton (22:24), Eva Mccabe (22:39), Jillian Boys (25:03) and Brian Judkins (32:58) at Letchworth
Seven Squirrels ran the St Neots Riverside Runners 10k. The race followed a stunning route, a mixture of tarmac paths, short road sections and lots of off-road. Linda Aird said, “It is quite ‘technical’, in that it twists and turns a lot and the constantly changing terrain underfoot meant you had to concentrate - add in the blistering heat and it made for quite a challenging morning's racing!” The team were very happy with the medals, t-shirts and the charity cake stand at the end which was very well stocked(!), in this well-organised race.
Linda Aird was first home for the club and 2nd in her age category in 53.35. Michelle Grudzinski was next home in 53:35, followed by Lucy O'Connor (57:34). Sue Foot then finished and was first in her age category in 57:45, winning a bottle of bubbly! Karen Dodsworth finished in 59:04, followed by Sheila Leavy (65:02) and Andy Grudzinski (65:48).
Tom Webb finished 6th overall in the Bewl Water Olympic Distance Triathlon in Kent on Sunday in 2 hours 10 minutes, just 1 minute off of the podium. It was a hilly bike and run course with a strong field including a couple of GB triathletes, and Tom had the fastest run leg of the day.
Elsewhere, on Saturday, it was the North Herts Road Runners First Saturday of the Month on Norton Common, Letchworth and among the many finishers were 19 Squirrels. First home for the club, in 5th place, was Matt Davies (19:29), with Sophie Thrussell finishing as first lady (22:11).
11 club members ran Parkruns. James Keogh (18:47) finished first at Poolbeg, followed by Clare Hooley (33:04). Pat Norris was at Gorleston Cliffs (35:47); Steve Lummis (25:15) and Chris Poole (26:57) travelled to Tring, while Brian Judkins (36:40) was at Wimpole Estate. Closer to home at Stevenage there were 4 Squirrels - Simon Poole (18:49); Pete Sibbett (22:00); Ellie Scott (24:01) and Jo Sherry (27:41), while at Letchworth Daniel Mallett finished in 24:02.
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