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’.
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