On a weekend in which the world was amazed by the record-breaking achievements of Brigid Kosgei and Eliud Kipchoge, the Squirrels took note, laced up their running shoes, and produced some inspirational performances of their own. Dave Braybrook for one, was taking part in his first ever half marathon at Oxford. “The weather was far from ideal with torrential rain for the first 10k,” said Dave. “The race was going well up until the 9-mile marker but then I just ran out of legs.” In the end, Dave was pleased with his effort and very glad to finish in a time of 2.07:54. Kat Gourd was in the same race, and also commented on the ‘ridiculous’ weather, but added: “despite the conditions and dodging puddles, rivers, lakes, and oceans, and simultaneously dealing with a slight wardrobe malfunction (note to self: buy some better shorts that don’t threaten to fall down when they get wet!) – I was very pleased to get a new post-injury PB of 1:49:13.”
On Saturday morning, while the running world watched intently as Eliud Kipchoge ran the marathon distance in under 2 hours, at the Great Denham parkrun, Sue Vaughan was attempting to break her own club age group record of 27:56 at the parkrun distance. Paced round the fast flat course, in perfect running conditions by an England International athlete (her husband Mark), Sue started off well inside her target pace, slowed a bit in the middle of the race, but then with some fairly vocal encouragement from her pacer, rallied in the final mile to finish in a new Personal Best, and new club record of 25:35, which placed her first in her age group.
Unlike Kipchoge’s run, Sue’s time is an officially recognised record and when interviewed after the race, Sue commented “No Human Is Limited”, before retreating to the local café for a celebratory breakfast. Stuart Cocks was similarly inspired and ran the 3-lap course at Haverhill parkrun in 22.19. He finished in 7th place and he first in his age category, describing himself as ‘very pleased’. See below for all parkrun results.
The previous week, NHRR’s leading race walker, David Annetts, had taken part in a 20k race walk in Tilburg in the Netherlands – 12 and a bit laps of a cycle track on a very wet afternoon. A mix up from the officials’ lap counting meant David was asked to race an extra lap, but he continued and saw his time adjusted afterwards, finally finishing second in the men’s race in a new PB of 1:43:34. And the following week, David was back in action closer to home, when he raced at the Enfield Race Walking League 5 Miles event. After a close race with a competitor who got away over the last half-mile, David finished 2nd in 38:20.
Having run Warsaw Marathon only two weeks previously in very warm conditions, Nessa Rolfe was racing again at the weekend, this time at the Sofia Half Marathon in Bulgaria, also in glorious sunshine. The temperature reached 25/26 degrees for the run but the route was ‘kind’, and Nessa was happy to finish in 2.24.36. Dani Lister was another Squirrel to take on the half marathon distance at the weekend. She completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon today in 2.22 – a PB! “Great support around the course,” said Dani. “Even Extinction Rebellion stopped their protesting to give us all a great big cheer!”
Amy Murch took her club vest on its first outing today to run in her first 10k race at Victoria Park in London. “I was aiming to get under an hour and ended up finishing in 57.04 mins,” said Amy. “I’m happy with that! It was nice and flat and the rain eased off after the first 3k.”
This weekend’s parkrun results in full:
Letchworth parkrun : 3 John O'GORMAN 20:12, 4 James DALTON 21:21, 5 Richard HARBON 21:44, 14 Rhiannon BOTHA 24:06, 15 Ian DATLEN 24:08, 18 Jillian BOYS 24:31, 27 Richard WEBER 25:25, 52 Carl GOODRUM 28:16, 63 Amy JONES 29:24, 65 Philip FLACK 29:31, 66 Siobhan WALSH 29:32, 93 Lucy HURLEY 32:38, 112 Glyn BLAKEY 34:42, 116 Laura PRESTON 34:57
Stevenage parkrun: 45 Dervla DOWNING 23:13, 52 Andrew COATES 23:32, 58 Katherine GOURD 23:45, 62 Lucy O'CONNOR 24:02, 206 Helen GIFFIN 31:44, 232 Patrick NORRIS 33:22,.
Great Denham parkrun: 76 Sue VAUGHAN 25:35,
Haverhill parkrun: 7 Stuart COCKS 22:19, 13 Chris POOLE 24:43
Kettering parkrun: 40 Steve WILLIAMSON 22:29
Roding Valley parkrun: 4 Darren MATUSSA 19:50
Norwich parkrun: 61 Helen CAIRNS 22:19
Plean parkrun: 39 Brian JUDKINS 34:52
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