Squirrels were out racing in force this weekend with some pushing for their Half Marathon PBS on the back of their marathon training, with Oxford and Cambridge battling it out to put on the most scenic and well supported races! While others dusted off their spikes and warm coats in preparation for the cross country season ahead.
The Cross Country season commenced this weekend with the first of five meets in the Sunday XC League. Twenty squirrels made the journey to Cheshunt to race the challenging course which was described as “quite tough terrain with thick grass and quite a bit of mud about. A lovely course with nearly 3 laps of the grassy muddy hills - which got more and more muddy each lap”. Cross Country representative for the club John Auld “really enjoyed running with team mates, competing as a team again and greatly appreciated the support from the cheer squad”. Positions for the club were as follows; 117 Astrid Mckeown, 133 Tash Pitman, 207 Paula Adams, 225 Helen Cairns, 282 Charlie Jones making the North Herts Road Runners Ladies A Team and 332 Lindsay Cook, 334 Karen Dodsworth, 361 Sue Vaughan completing the Ladies B Team. The Men’s Scoring Team were; 3 Tom Webb, 8 Andrew Leach, 13 Adam Bowller, 16 Mark Vaughan, 17 Stewart Overton, 18 Rob Harris, 41 Vince Wright, 49 John Auld with 86 Ian Datlen, 93 James Keogh, 200 Richard Harbon, 281 Kyle Stout completing the course.
Five squirrels headed to Ampthill for a local Cross Country race - the Ampthill Trophy 10k.
They described the day as “perfect conditions for racing and with a fairly small field there was a super friendly atmosphere and lots of encouragement from the marshals' and supporters.” Ryan had a cracking race and with only 30 seconds between 2nd & 5th place runners, he ran brilliantly to place 4th. Matt ROBERTS and Anna GREETHAM ran together and got lots of cheers for North Herts Road Runners. GREETHAM was very pleased to be the 3rd lady across the finish line.
Georgina & Carina QUAYLE (daughter & Mum) both had strong races and with GREETHAM, QUAYLE and QUAYLE being the only 3 ladies from the same club competing, they also won the Team Ladies medals! Results: 4th Ryan NICHOLL 41.38 24th Anna GREETHAM 50.48 (3rd lady) 25th Matt ROBERTS 50.49 45th Georgina QUAYLE 56.16 61st Carina QUAYLE 69.10.
Declaring similarly perfect weather and recommending the completely flat course, was Dan MALLETT who travelled to Portsmouth to compete in the 10 mile Great South Run. Favourable conditions enabled him to finish in 1:18:36 (a personal best for the distance).
Shaun ALLIN, Dave BRAYBROOK, Kat HINNIT, Lucy O'CONNOR and Arnie PARMAR visited Cambridge for the well organised, excellent, Half Marathon, which takes a varied and scenic route starting at Midsummer Common and heads through the centre of Cambridge, including a fun detour through the iconic King's College, then out to picturesque Grantchester, before returning back through the winding backstreets of the city centre. ALLIN was “super happy” with his PB performance of 1:36:21 and BRAYBROOK 1:41:03, HINNIT 1:43:54 and O’CONNOR 1:50:06 all recorded their second fastest half marathon times with PARMAR clocking a respectable 2:07:45. HINNIT spoke of her delight at being “rewarded with fab medals and an excellent jute goodie bag, filled with a range of much-needed culinary delights including a Twix bar, posh crisps, and a random but retro sachet of Horlicks, in case we need help getting to sleep tonight after all the excitement of the day!” While O’CONNOR (4th in her age category) enjoyed running “a race where there were so many competitors and crowds lining the streets while bands played around the course which gave it a real party atmosphere.” Ian HARVEY attended the Cambridge Town & Gown 10km race the previous day and was elated to smash his previous PB by over 2 minutes to finish in 41:21.
Elwyn HOWELL and Steve BRENTON journeyed West to race the Oxford half marathon - both enjoying the lovely run through the beautiful streets of Oxford. BRENTON completed the course in 1:43:01 – a personal best for the distance, just two weeks after completing his first marathon! And HOWELL clocked a 1:48:56 finishing 23rd out of 120 in his age category.
Jillian TOOLEY-BOYS and her faithful running companion Lulu travelled to Wales to participate in the Red Kite Cani-trail. With over 2,881ft of elevation over the distance, they completed the course in an incredible 4:54:20. TOOLEY-BOYS speaking after the event said “As always, Lulu was an absolute superstar – I couldn’t ask for a better running buddy to tackle those trails”.
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