Thursday witnessed the Mid Week League finale in Welwyn. The Mob Match was an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic results for NHRR in this year's league. Not only was the club promoted to the top division as champions but the squirrels were also winners of the Men’s Team, Woman’s Team, Men’s Vet Team and Women’s Vet team. There were lots of individual winners taking home trophies for the club with Jim McConnel 1st and Mark Vaughan 2nd in the Open Men’s competition. Nick Malpali won the MV50 category. The women’s overall winner was Astrid Mckeown. Natasha Pitman won the FV35 and Barbara Sayers was 3rd FV45.
NHRR put in a fantastic effort for the Mob Match race and came in first for the men's team and the men's vet team with the ladies in second place in both the categories. Individually Katie Harbon and Astrid McKeown finished in second and third place in the ladies' race in 38:39 and 40:10 respectively and Mark Vaughan and Jim McConnel were fourth and fifth in the mens' race with 34:50 and 34:55.
Parkrun results: Stevenage: Yuko Gordon 22:53; Karen Dodsworth 26:39; Gladsone: Steve Lummis 23:11; Chris Poole 24:58; Wimpole Hall: Matthew Davies 25:16; Brian Judkins 37:25; Panshanger: Richard Harbon 20:50.
It was a clean sweep for NHRR in this year’s Mid-Week League. A true team effort not only meant promotion to the top division as champions but also winners of the Men’s Team, Woman’s Team, Men’s Vet Team and Women’s Vet team.
There were lots of individual winners taking home trophies for the club with Jim McConnel 1st and Mark Vaughan 2nd in the Open Men’s competition. Nick Malpali won the MV50 category. The women’s overall winner was Astrid Mckeown. Natasha Pitman won the FV35 and Barbara Sayers was 3rd FV45.
Massive well done to everyone who ran, helped and supported this year, it was a real team effort.
North Herts Road Runners’ marathon expert Jo Summers pulled off one of her greatest achievements yet by completing 10 marathons in 10 days at the Great Barrow Challenge in Suffolk.
With a different route to follow each day, Summers showed incredible consistency to finish each run in just a few minutes over four hours, with her fastest time of 4.01 on the final day. Her efforts were rewarded with the prize for 1st lady over the 10 day-day series.
Lindsay Cook tackled a very different challenge in the form of the Hitchin Triathlon and was delighted with her first attempt at the multi-discipline event. Cook completed the 400m swim / 20k bike / 5k run course in 1:28:32 and finished as 26th lady. Andy Green was the first Squirrel across the line with 1:06:17 for an excellent 5th place and Christine Sharp took first place in the 60+ category with 1:47:26. Simon Poole was 8th in 1: 08:05.
Alison Blunt and Monica Cullin both competed in the British 10k race in central London, finishing in 1:01:13 and 1:37:26 respectively. Jen Naisbitt finished the Stevenage Race for Life 5k in 25:42.
Michelle Grudzinski clocked up yet another hilly event in Wales, this time completing the Chirk Half-marathon on the English border in 2:16.
Wednesday evening was the final race of the Midweek road race league and was hosted by NHRR. The weather was much more pleasant and perfect racing conditions. On the night, NHRR continued their dominance over the division winning all 5 categories once again. The final positions after 4 races have NHRR in a commanding lead overall. We also won the men, the vet men, the women and the vet women. Despite many of the club looking after the race organisation and marshalling, we still turned out 34 runners in total.
The scoring team for the ladies were Katie Harbon 1st (38:50), Astrid McKeown 2nd (40:39), Helen Nuttall 3rd (42:00), Paula Adams 11th (44:24), Tash Pitman 12th (44:24), Jane Clarke 20th (46:20). Scoring for the men were Jim McConnel 1st (34:45), Mark Vaughan 2nd (35:15), Darren Sunter 4th (35:36), Andy Mutton 9th (36:14), John Rayner 12th (36:39), Stewart Overton 17th (37:57), John Auld 19th (38:07), Steve McKeown 28th (39:01), Nick Malpeli 32nd (39:13), Daren Matussa 34th (39:16), Vincent Wright 35th (39:21), Ryan Smith 36th (39:26).
The 2nd race of the week hosted by NHRR was the First Saturday of the Month 5K in Norton Common. 79 runners took part. It was won by Hitchin RC's Peter Males. The first Squirrel home was James Keogh 5th (19:51). Jane Clarke was the first lady finishing in 14th overall (23:04). Other runners were John Cooper 8th (20:48), Manvir Parmer 13th (22:10), Lucy O'Connor 27th (24:48), Sarah Mitcherson 31st (25:08), Paul Bowal 39th (26:46) and Dawn Power 55th (29:16).
Barbara Sayers and Ollie Garbas ran the Bassingbourn Half marathon. Barbara finished the 2nd V45 in 1:48 and Ollie finished with his best time of recent years in 1:30:48.
Jim McConnel headed to the Peak District for the Great Hucklow Fell race where he finished 3rd V40.
Chris Poole at al1 ran 11 parkruns in one day, running every parkrun in Hertfordshire, raising money for Alzheimers research UK. Starting with Gadebridge at 7:30 in the morning. The route passed onto Tring, Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Cassiobury, Aldenham, Barclay, Panshanger, Stevenage, Ellenbrook, St Albans and Beehive.
Several squirrels ran at a few Parkrun venues. Most appeared at Stevenage. First squirrell home was Pete Sibbett, smashing the 20 min mark with 19:18. Simon Poole 15th (20:29), Jen Naisbitt got a new PB by 70 seconds finishing with 28:28, Patrick Norris (33:57). Chloe Lucas ran at Norwich, finishing 8th lady in 22:57. Brian Judkins ran 36:13 at Wimpole. Stewart Overton ran 18:22 at Keswick. Phil Hunt ran 22:06 at Hastings. Chris Poole and Steve Lummis both ran at Tring finishing in 25:29 and 26:13 respectively.
Last week several Squirrels headed down to Finsbury Park to take part in the Stag Golden Mile hosted by Barnet and District Athletics club. First to run was Simon Poole in race 11 who finished 7th in 5:13. Race 12 had several squirrels targeting a sub 5 min mile. This race was very tight for 3 laps and had most athletes all in a pack until the back straight of the last lap where Darren Sunter made a break for it. Darren finished 2nd in 4:57. Another sub 5 time was John Auld, finishing 4th in 4:58. Finishing 9th and 10th was Adam Bowller and Jim McConnel with 5:02 and 5:03 respectively. The last race had Mark Vaughan in, who finished 13th with 4:57.
‘Hills Make Us Stronger!’ ..is the phrase often uttered on repeat during training runs by Coach Karen to keep us all going, but the training paid off this weekend with Squirrels making good use of the extra stamina in the Hitchin Hard Half.
NHRR’s own Mark Vaughan was first past the post in just 1:16:36. Martyn, David, Helen, Niccol, Suzy, Jason, Naomi, Adam, Sarah, Jane, Alan and Micelle were chasing him down and Naomi clocked up her personal best time for a half marathon at under the 2 hours, not bad on a course that is renowned for its ‘bumpy bits’ ie it’s seriously hilly.
Dan, Jo Linda, Sue, Helen F and Helen G completed the 10K version which is still not an easy option as it still takes in some major hills!
Jo S did the Hertfordshire Hobble of 26.5 miles in 4:47, a bit faster than a hobble I think! Sue and Miranda took part and finished in 6 hours.
5 made it to the Welwyn 10K with Nick first home in 19th place in just over 39mins and taking the Mens Vets over 50’s followed by Steve, Christian, Nicky and Jennifer who finished in 419th place but still in a time only just over the hour.
Taking the NHRR running passion further afield was Caroline who was running the Midnight Sun Half Marathon in Iceland. She showed determination to finish in 2hours 4 mins despite carrying an injury.
The free Park Run movement was well supported with Chris P running in Lincoln. Oliver in Barclay, Lucy and Brian J in Wimpole as well as Ellie, Naomi, Paul. Amanda, Jon, Verity and Patrick who all ran in Stevenage with Ellie being the second woman home in just 22:11
On a hot and steamy evening last Wednesday, 66 North Herts Road Runners finished the 3rd Mid-week league race hosted by their friends at Hitchin Running Club. They have put the club on course for promotion back to Division 1. The squirrels took a clean sweep of first places in all 4 categories - women, men, vet women and vet men. Katie Harbon was first lady in a time of 39:33 with Astrid McKeown in second (41:12) and Helen Nuttall fourth (43:23). For the men, NHRR had 4 of the top 6 finishers, Jim McConnel leading the charge in a time of 35:13, closely followed by Ed Price (35:22), Mark Vaughan (35:41) and Darren Sunter (35:53) .
On Saturday NHRR also had 3 teams running in the Greensands ridge relay.
A team of Adrian Sherwood, John Auld, Mark Vaughan, Ed Price, Adam Bowller and Darren Sunter won the trophy for the quickest time in an impressive 3:37:35 for the 34 mile course. A team of Johnny Spinks, Matt Ankers, Stuart Overton, Peter Sibbett and Jon Hunt finished 11th in 4:48:18.A team of Miranda Morgan, Helen Ferguson, Katie Harbon, Jo Harbon, Sue Vaughan and Jane Clarke finished 23rd in 5:22:21
On a week of great results for the Squirrels, Katie Harbon also took part in the Box End triathlon, which she won.
Further afield, three Squirrels raced in Coad-y-Brenin in Wales. The half marathoners ran 609m of height gain, with Paul Power completing the course in 2:53:23 and Dawn Power in 3:11:13. Andy Grudzinski completed the full marathon, including 1222m height gain in 6:11:21
The club launched their latest “Couch to 5k” group last week. 36 new runners signed-up to train over ten weeks to complete NHRR’s First Saturday of the Month 5k race in September. All club member wish the runners the best of luck!
9 squirrels took part in 4 park runs on Saturday, at Bedfont Lakes, near Heathrow (Stephen Lummis (22:45) and Chris Poole (24:43)), Black Park, near Slough (Ollie Garbas (19:22)), Bedford (Steve Tracey (19:43) and Stevenage (Simon Poole (19:04), Oliver Brady (19:22), John Cooper (20:53), Amanda Keightley-Pugh (30:07- PB) and Patrick Norris (35:04))
Inspired by the scurry of Squirrels running the London Marathon, John Rayner picked the Yeovill marathon as an attempt to gain Good For Age entry to 2018. With only 7 weeks to prepare, a half charged watch and first introduction to hitting the wall, John finished 10th in 3:02:11 to successfully achieve the Good For Age goal.
The St Albans Half marathon had a few squirrels in the sunshine. The pollen count was high, but this didn't stop Yuko Gordon winning the V55 category for the 4th year. Other squirrels finishing were Ellie Scott (1:53:52) and Joe Sherry (2:10:54).
A few squirrels ran the Stotfold challenge. The challenge is a 5km race completely off road. Claire O'Sullivan finished in just over 25min. Ian Sutcliffe (26.15) also running was Monica Cullin and Jen Nesbitt.
Jo Summers ran the 27.5 mile Farthingstone Foot Fest in the Northamptonshire undulating countryside. Jo finished with 3 others which were the first male and equal first ladies in a time of 5:10.
Several parks run venues were ran this week. Stevenage had the most squirrel appearances, John Cooper was first Squirrel home finishing in 21:06. Others running were Sheila Leavey (28:45), Amanda Keightley-Pugh (31:05) and Patrick Norris (33:44).
Else where some individuals popped up. James Laing ran 25:52 at Brockwell. Darren Matussa ran 18:34 at Roding Valley. Chris Poole ran 22:57 at Southend and Steve Lummis ran 22:41 at Conons Park.
Intrepid adventurers Michelle and Andy Grudzinski travelled to Norway for the Spitzbergen Marathon - the most northerly land marathon in the world and also the only marathon with polar bear guards. Through stunning scenery and with a two mile hill which had to be run twice the pair finished in 5:16:12.
Squirrel John Auld went to Barnsley to compete in the 50th Silkstone Shuffle. On a hilly 4.5 mile off road course Auld won the event setting a new PB of 27:38.
Jeni Spurr-Jones ran the Richmond Park 10 mile race in 1:42:31 whilst David Annetts took part in his first walking race, the Moulton Open 5 Miles Road Walk in Suffolk which he completed in an impressive 45:56.
The popular First Saturday of the Month 5K race celebrated its 6th birthday on Saturday 2nd June. With 102 runners competing the race was won by squirrel Rob Harris in 18:06.
Parkrun: Stevenage; Peter Sibbett 20:06; Chris Poole 23:45; Jeni Spurr-Jones 26:27; Karen Dodsworth 27:20; Patrick Norris 33:55. Sheringham; Ellie Scott 24:48.
Wimpole Hall; Ollie Garbas 20:29
North Herts Road Runners strengthened their promotion push with an emphatic victory in the second Midweek League race of the summer season.
A two-lap course in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage, proved to the Squirrels' liking as wins for the men and ladies gave NHRR overall victory on the night. The Letchworth-based club now has a commanding seven-point lead at the top of Division Two, halfway through the four-race series.
North Herts also head the veteran men’s standings, with the vet ladies a close second behind Harlow Running Club.
Ed Price ran a storming second half of the 9.9k course to lead the whole field home in 34.05 and Club Chairperson Astrid McKeown made light of the warm conditions to win the ladies’ race in 41.12.
Other NHRR finishers:
Paula Adams 7th, 44:11
Tash Pitman 11th, 45:54
Ellie Scott 14th, 46:47
Jo Summers 16th , 47:01
Barbara Sayers 17th, 47:07
Yuko Gordon 21st, 47:52
Jane Clarke 23rd, 48:02
Caroline Thrussell 24th, 48:14
Chloe Lucas 26th, 48:26
Helen Harbon 28th, 48:47
Claire O’Sullivan 33rd, 49:43
Jo Harbon 48th, 53:22
Lucy Hurley 50th, 53:33
Rachel Annett 57th, 55:26
Miranda Morgan 62nd, 56:05
Helen Giffin, 72nd, 57:16
Lucy O’Connor 74th, 57:39
Rachel Pounder 80th, 59:03
Sheila Leavy 86th, 1:00:07
Michelle Grudzinski 90th, 1:01:27
Dawn Power 91st, 1:01:38
Carina Quayle 94th, 1:01:55
Christine Sharp 98th, 1:04:31
Lindsay Cook 99th, 1:05:20
Jane Tyler 102nd, 1:06:43
Mark Vaughan 3rd,34:30
Jim McConnel 4th, 35:12
John Auld 9th, 35:42
Andy Mutton 11th, 35:46
John Rayner 14th, 35:53
Rob Harris 17th, 37:02
Nick Malpeli 22nd, 37:39
Darren Matussa 27th, 38:00
Steve McKeown 31st, 38:31
Andy Green 33rd, 38:39
Stewart Overton 34th, 38:40
Adrian Sherwood 37th, 38:47
James Keogh 42nd, 39:32
Vincent Wright 48th, 39:51
Martyn Annetts 63rd, 41:55
Richard Foster 72nd, 43:23
Greg Pounder 74th, 43:29
Richard Harbon 79th, 44:14
Dave Frampton 87th, 45:17
Niccolo Bassani 89th, 45:30
Christian Allen 99th, 45:58
Rob Milburn 108th, 47:08
Steve Lummis 110th, 47:35
Colin Calcutt 114th, 48:02
Chris Poole 126th, 49:22
Jason Davis 140th, 51:26
Matt Ankers 141st, 51:42
Ian Sutcliffe 147th, 54:13
Brian Bailey 157th, 56:50
Geoff Murray-Rochard 170th, 1:05:36
Brian Judkins 173rd, 1:06:46
Geoff Pettengell 174th, 1:12:27
Pat Norris 175th, 1:12:31
Andrew Leach turned in a superb performance at the Vitality London 10,000m road race, knocking 16 seconds off his own V50 club record to finish in 32:59 and first in his age category. Adam Bowller and John Rayner also recorded new bests, with 35:12 and 35:23 respectively, and Helen Nuttall finished in 43:19.
After missing the Midweek race with illness, Simon Poole was delighted to bounce back with a personal best in the Liverpool Half-marathon. Poole's strategy of running strictly to heart rate and not worrying about pace paid off as he crossed the line in 1:29:20.
Plenty of North Herts runners packed a second race into their week by taking part in Parkruns across the country. Steve Lummis ran at Luton Wardown, finishing in 23;13; Steve Tracey recorded 19:57 at Bedford; and Chris Poole travelled to Penrhyn, finishing in 24:45.
Four Squirrels competed at Panshanger Parkrun: Richard Harbon, 20:59; Helen Harbon, 23:24; Matt Ankers, 23:54; Jo Harbon, 26:37.
The largest NHRR Parkrun contingent was at Stevenage: Vincent Wright, 18:54; Ollie Garbas, 20:01, John Cooper, 21:16; Chloe Lucas, 23:05; Ellie Scott, 23:50; Bob Davis, 26:06; Jeni Spurr-Jones, 27:09; Pat Norris, 34:25.
Finally, four Squirrels took part in the Wimpole Estate Parkrun: Lucy O’Connor, 27:01; Helen Giffin, 29:03; Sheila Leavy, 31:11; Lisa Laundy, 31:37.
It was a weekend of marathons and parkruns for North Herts Road Runners.
In great form was Darren Sunter who took part in the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon. Sunter finished the 3 lap course in 2:51:16 which placed him 23rd in a field of over 6000. Also running was Jennie Fraser who clocked 4:03:57, finishing in 1578th.
Experienced marathoner Jo Summers took on a Derbyshire double this weekend. On Saturday she took part in the White Peak Marathon, a point to point marathon along the Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail. She finished in 3:46 (2nd FV50). On Sunday she took on the challenging “Leaden Boot”. This tough self-guided marathon has over 6000 feet of ascent. Summers battled the hills to finish in a course PB of 5:32 (3rd lady).
In parkrun action were: Stevenage – 25th Richard Harbon 21:04, 45th Ollie Garbas 22:21, 48th (and 2nd lady) Chloe Lucas 22:29, 51st (and 3rd lady) Ellie Scott 22:42, 69th Helen Harbon 23:32, 73rd Matt Ankers 23:54, 99th Joe Sherry 25:30, 107th Bob Davis 25:57, 128th Helen Giffin 26:49, 149th Linda Aird 27:44. Luton Wardown Park – 142nd Lindsay Cook 29:59. Plymvalley – 14th Simon Poole 20:30. Hatfied Forest – 60th Steve Lummis 23:42, 73rd Chris Poole 24:14. Wimpole Estate – 199th Lucy O’Connor 27:43.
Last weekend Yuko Gordon took part in the Starfish Bexhill Marathon. Aiming for a London Marathon qualifying time, Gordon completed the 4 lap coastal course in 4:12:05, successfully achieving her aim.