After a 2-year Covid enforced absence and 1015 days since the final race in the 2020 season, the Three Counties XC league returned with biblical weather conditions to welcome the runners to the first race of the 2022/2023 season in Wellingborough. The atrocious weather meant the regular course was changed to avoid the usual water crossing at the brook which is usually deep, still water but Brian Judkins described as "a raging torrent" today. The organisers had to reroute the course to ensure the runners safety and created a 4-lap route of Croyland Park, winding its way up and down the toughest climbs, much to the runner’s dismay!
Poor weather never puts off dedicated athletes defending their league championship. Twenty-five North Herts Road Runners ran in total, 9 sows and 16 boars!
In the team results, North Herts Road Runners were combined team winners with Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers finishing 2nd. The ladies finished 3rd, just 3 points ahead of the combined runners up. Whereas the men finished 2nd, just 11 points behind the same league rivals.
Cross country representative, John Auld was absolutely thrilled to see the team performance and results - it was a great team performance. Fantastic to see squirrels racing in the mud with fellow team mates. As far as I know, everyone absolutely loved it.
Scoring for the ladies was Astrid Mckeown, Hannah Ridley, Jane Clarke and Alice Carty. Whilst scoring for the men was Ben Hadman, Mike Roberts, Ben Sewell, Sam Coxon, Mark Vaughan, Vince Wright, Shahab Ahmad and Matt Sayers.
Others running were John Auld, Will Harrison, Ian Harvey, Dave Edwards, Steve Tracey, Matt Roberts, Ross Cook, Helen Carins, Mel Flynn, Karen Dodsworth, Lindsay Cook, Carina Quayle and Brian Judkins.
There were several debut cross country appearances and some really impressive individual performances.
Meanwhile up at the popular Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, one of the clubs fastest runners Darren Sunter was pleased that it was a "standard Yorkshire day with wet, dark and miserable!". Darren finished in 32 minutes and 51 seconds, a PB and first time under the 33-minute mark.
Kris Whitmore travelled back to his first half marathon course in Stroud, where he first toed the line in 1990. This was his ninth time and despite dire weather forecasts, just before the race start at 9am, the clouds parted and while damp underfoot the adverse weather kept at bay. Kris beat his target time of sub 90 minutes, finishing in 89:07 to claim 68th place. Kris said "Not back fully fit again I had a target of sub 90 which I just about managed despite falling apart somewhat during the last 5 miles." He put this down to not enough long Sunday runs.
Meanwhile over at the Abingdon Marathon in Oxfordshire. Tash Pitman did her first marathon since setting a Guinness World Record for fastest marathon female back in 2015. Today she loved completing the marathon distance in 3 hours 17 minutes and 7 seconds, and although not in an official outfit said she felt like she was in a drowned rat for the majority of the race.
Parkrun was very popular again this week with squirrels competing at Letchworth, Henlow Bridge, Stevenage, Gunpowder Park, Huntingdon, Weymouth, March, Exmouth, Amsterdam Bos,
Kettering parkrun: Steve Williamson 24:50
Stevenage parkrun: Andreea Weisl-Shaw 27:51; Sue Vaughan 29:05
Gunpowder parkrun: Darren Matussa 23:07
Huntingdon parkrun: Branka Moss 54:52
Weymouth parkrun: Scott Reed 25:12
March parkrun: Rhia Botha 21:41 (First female)
Exmouth parkrun: Tom Webb 15:52 (2nd male)
Letchworth parkrun: James Dalton 22:44; Philip Hawkes 24:41; Paul Bowal 27:25; Alice Noakes 28:44; Philip Flack 34:32; Geoff Pettengell 36:32; Aimee Flack 37:09
Amsterdamse Bos parkrun: Chole Lucas 22:50; Lindsey Lucas 35:31
Henlow Bridge Lakes parkrun:
Mike Phillips 22:23; Matt Roberts 25:12; Andrew Coates 25:53; Jane Clarke 26:00; David Edwards 26:01; Richard Barker 26:01; Tim Banting 26:23; Sarah Mitcherson 26:51; Natalie Phillips 28:32; Georgia Barker 31:17; Rachel Annetts 31:22
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