The weekend started with North Herts Road Runners very own First Saturday of the month 5k with 41 finishers, including 13 squirrels. First squirrel home was James Dalton in 22:15 who stayed just ahead of Mike Over in 22:16, chasing him down in the finish straight the pair finished 5th and 6th respectively. Helen Harbon was first lady home finishing in 9th in 23:27. Other squirrels finishing were Katie Harbon 11th (24:13), Jill Tooley-Boys 12th (24:13), Jon Hunt 14th (24:43), Viv Lucas 21st (27:27), Grace Cleary 22nd (27:41), Niamh Madigan 23rd (28:33), Lorna Chambers 26th (29:49), Dawn Power 32nd (32:01), Cara Sutton 33rd (32:01), Tracey McCreath 35th (35:14).
Sunday saw a superb scurry of 35 squirrels running the Cambridge half marathon. The flat course attracts a very strong field of 14,000 runners and with fantastic weather conditions its was set up for some great times and the squirrels delivered!
Squirrels setting new personal bests for the distance were Tom Webb, Adam Bowller by 34 seconds, Adam Wilson broke his by 1 minute. Michelle Grudzinski was hoping to get under 2 hours but ended up beat her previous best by 8 mins. Ian Datlen by over 5 mins, Stewart Overton, Darren Sunter, Ben Ryan, Kyle Stout, Sophie Thrussell, Julie Taylor, Anna Greetham, Matt Roberts, Rhia Botha by over 8 mins and Steve Brenton by almost 4 mins.
Tom Webb was first home for the club, finishing 10th overall in the race with 1:08:50. Running with fellow squirrel, James Fox, they made a sensible call to drop off the lead pack after the first mile and work together through to 10 miles. Competing for his first claim club, Belgrave, James finished in 1:09:12. Webb described those last few miles as tough, but mentioned that the downhill from Trumpington and the support coming back into Cambridge kept him going. Most notably, an ecstatic head coach, Karen and both his wife and daughter at miles 5 and again at 11.
Darren Sunter set a new club record for male aged above 40 category finishing 28th in 1:11:00. Along with many others, Adam Bowller said it was great to see so many other squirrels both running and supporting - with the fast course and favourable conditions, Bowller finished in 1:12:02. Sophie Thrussell was first Lady home for the squirrels, finishing in 1:26:42 - achieving her goal of London Marathon championship start qualification.
Elwyn Howell ran 1:41:31. Elwyn also noted afterwards that is was lovely to see so many squirrels at the event. Kat Burr ran her first race in over 3 and a half years, finishing in 1:40:13. Ben Ryan was gutted to miss out on breaking 1 hour 40 mins by only 6 seconds. He gave thanks to Elwyn for all the pacing advice during the race and for setting the pace through the mid section of the race where he confessed to struggling.
Ian Datlen commented on the weather being perfect as was the course elevation. After getting a reasonable start after the initial congestion, the crowds pushed him to a slightly faster than planned first 5km - which bizarrely started to feel comfortable for him. Ian kept going with no idea how - but the crowds coming back not Cambridge made the last 5km fly by.
Julie Taylor ran here first half marathon in 2:25:48 - Julie commented that it made a big difference to her having the support of friends and family.
Enjoying the race was Kat Hinitt who ran back to back half marathon race weekends and with sore legs from last weekend, Kat took it more steady this week but was delighted to set her second best ever time for the course, and third fastest time for a half marathon distance. Also commenting on perfect weather conditions.
Rhia Botha said it was a wonderful course which was only made better by the sun shining down and the support received from the clubs brilliant coaches and fellow team mates. Rhia couldn’t be happier after beating her target by more than 2 mins.
Likewise, Steve Brenton mentioned the great support and conditions adding also that he beat his time before joining the club on the course by almost 20 mins.
Full list of finishers included at the end of report.
Ben Sewell ran in the Essex 20 mile finishing in 25th with 2:02:19. Ben said that the course was quite tough in sections because of the wind across an airfield but was happy with his performance.
Dave Braybrook ran the Wymondham 20 mile race as part of his Manchester marathon training. Dave finished in 2:50:09 and was really pleased with his time which had given him confidence and a much needed boost with his training.
Chloe Locas ran the Marakele 10km in Marakele National Park, South Africa. Home to the big 5 and usually only vehicle access is permitted. However, Chloe didn’t see any wildlife on route she finished 5th lady in a time of 52:15 in the high altitude and high humidity.
Park run results:
Stevenage: Jane Clarke 32:37
Rushmere: Brian Judkins 39:02
Northwich: Nick Nalpeli 1st 19:06
Henlow Bridges: Vince Wright 2nd 19:38
Storeys Field: Jo Sherry 25:26
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