Sunday was the final race in the Three Counties Cross-country league. After some superb performances in the previous races, North Herts Road Runners were in a great position. The ladies team championship was really tight and it was down to a last race shoot-out with Wellingborough and District. Whoever won this race would win the league overall.
On the day, the ladies' performance was heroic. They stormed round Delapre Estate to take the victory on the day and overall title. In total, a scurry of 29 Squirrels headed to Wootton and came back with the overall combined team champions plus the ladies team champions, while the men’s team finished as runners up. Ladies team captain, Katie Harbon described the feat as “a season long effort supporting each other and backed up by the rest of the team who may not have scored directly but helped us score points. Everybody ran strong and gave it everything they had. The dedication and passion is what makes us the best team in the league.”
Andrew Porter was the first 70-year-old in the league after 5 races. Speaking to Andrew afterwards, he described the event as a “fantastic run - the course was demanding but there was plenty of support from NHRR and others.” He also said that he “was surprised to receive the age category award” and thanked the organisers for an excellent race series.
Andrew's wasn't the only individual championship title won by a North Herts Road Runner. Natalie Lawrence was the winner of the ladies open and Astrid Mckeown was the first V45. Amongst the men, the first in the 30-35 category was Tom Webb while Matt Sayers was the first V40.
On Saturday, five squirrels made the trip to Parliament Hill in London for the South of England Cross-country championships. Over 1100 runners start at the bottom of the hill and charge up to the top before completing three laps of a challenging course. Adam Bowller had a great run and was delighted to finish 92nd. Not too far behind was Darren Sunter finishing in 197th and Matt Sayers in 281st. Matt Sayers was running the infamously tough course for the first time and was pleased with his run. Speaking with Adam afterwards he said it was humbling to run in the 125th edition of the prestigious championships, adding: "I'm delighted to finish in the top 100. Fifteen kilometres of challenging terrain can feel daunting but the great support on the course helps inspire you to push on."
Chris Poole ran his 250th parkrun at Severn Bridge near Newport, the only parkrun in the world that is completely on a bridge. The race starts in England before heading into Wales and then returning. Chris' first parkrun was in July 2013 at Heaton Park, Manchester. Reflecting on the run, Chris said: “With a belly full of vodka red bull I trotted round the course and was instantly hooked”. Chris has now run 250 parkruns at 164 different venues around the world in five different countries. His time has improved from 32 minutes to 21 minutes. A group of friends from all over Hertfordshire made the journey over to South Wales the night before, completing the incredibly friendly and windy parkrun at the Severn Bridge. “An excellent setting with cracking views across the estuary”. It’s an out and back course, where Chris and friends got blasted by the wind in both directions.
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