In the first race in the 3-race Hatfield 5k series the Squirrels were in impressive form. The men’s team of Mark Vaughan, Adam Bowller, John Auld and John Rayner were crowned Herts Champions, a title the club has won for the last 3 years. The ladies also ran superbly with Astrid McKeown, Jane Clarke and Yuko Gordon also on the podium winning county bronze. Full results were: In 2nd place Mark Vaughan (16:20 - a new club record), 5th Adam Bowller (16:33); 9th John Auld (17:00)l 14th John Rayner(17:26); 20th Matthew Sayers (17:48); 23rd Nick Malpeli (17:51); 32nd Simon Poole (18:30); 39th Andrew Green (18:53);44th Astrid McKeown (19:06); 50th Darren Matussa (19:17); 55th James Walsh (19:25); 61st Peter Sibbett (19:48); 62nd Martyn Annetts (19:53); 82nd Jane Clarke (21:30); 96th Yuko Gordon (22:43); 105th Naomi Parkinson (23:18); 109th Claire O’Sullivan (23:23);110th Matt Ankers (23:26);120th Linda Aird (24:22);129th Richard Fox (24:53);137th Ian Sutcliffe (25:27);141st Karen Dodsworth (25:47);145th Rachel Annetts (26:05)
In half-marathons Nick Malpelli finished 24th (3rd MV50) (1:22:10), picking up Bronze Medal in the British Masters Athletics Federation Championships. Helen Nuttall was first lady over the line at the Bedford half-marathon (1:28:11). At the same race, Steve Lummis (1:46:00, just shy of his PB) and Claire O’Sullivan (1:48:00) also ran well.
At the St. Albans Stampede, a 12-hour endurance event, a team of Lindsay Cook, Linda Aird, Jo Harbon, Jo Summers, Sue Foot, Paul Bowal, Gary Cook and Miranda Summers-Prithcard ran twenty laps of a 4 mile course, storming to victory for teams of 8, which included a thrilling final lap where they secured the victory.
Katie Harbon finished 1st in her age category at the final St Neots Triathlon. She competed in the Sprint Triathlon, her result including a PB in the 5k run of 17:42.
Mark Vaughan ran the Wilne 10K, finishing 18th overall (33:57), which placed him 2nd in his age category. At the Letchworth Duck n Dash, where competitors swim 400m and run 5k. NHRR results were; 9th - James Keogh (29:18); 24th- Richard Harbon (31.56); 51st - Jo Harbon (37.21); 70th - Petra Grosse-Hull (40.03); 95th - Lindsay Cook (44.08).
In Parkruns Darren Matussa finished in 6th position (21:22) at Roding Valley; Brian Judkins ran in Cambridge and finished 529th (34:59); Patrick Norris finished 189th (34:02) at Stevenage; At Wimpole Estate, Vincent Wright finished 54th (22:45) with Joe Sherry 137th (26:06); At the Barclay race, Ollie Garbas finished 2nd (21:36).
Saturday saw the club’s First Saturday of the Month race around Norton Common in Letchworth, while there were many impressive results from club members, it was also the end of the club’s current couch to 5k beginners’ programme, and 20 of the beginners completed the race. There were tears of elation and applause all round for these amazing individuals, many of whom did not think they could run, let alone complete a 5k race just 10 weeks previously. The group received completion certificates and NHRR key rings to mark their achievement and celebrated with cake and fizz. Around half of the group have joined the club on a permanent basis following this programme. Congratulations to all concerned!
A few squirrels made the journey to Watford on Wednesday evening for the penultimate Open track Meet of the year hosted by Watford Harriers. With a few supporters to cheer them on Darren Matussa and John Auld were running. Darren raced in the earlier 1500m race 3 of 15 and finished first in a winning time of 4:56.50. Later on in the evening, both John and Darren raced in the 3000m race 1 of 2. John Auld finished his first race as a V35 in under 10mins having had his birthday the day before - finishing in 2nd with a new PB of 9:52.12. Darren Matussa finished 10th in 10:37.50.
After recently joining 2nd claim for the London based Vets AC, David Annetts competed in the Battersea Park VAC 5 mile race walk where he finished 1st with a new PB of 43:15.
The bank holiday seemed to get the Squirrels out on tour at Parkrun. Linda Aird ran 26:49 at Guildford. Ellie Scott (23:48) at Norwich. Darren Matussa 22:51 at King's Lynn. Brian Judkins (33:58) at Sedgefield. Vincent Wright (21:13) at Ganavan Sands. Jo Sherry (24:19) at Weymouth. Closer to home, in Stevenage. Richard Harbon was first squirrel home in 20:18 followed by Steve Lummus (22:53), Oli Garbas (23:37), Matthew Davies (25:22), Sheila Leavy (28:17) and Pat Norris (34:37).
North Herts Road Runners ‘ Andrew Leach confirmed his status as one of the country’s leading veteran athletes with second place in a superb time of 1:13:30 at the Kimbolton Half-marathon. Leach’s scorching performance places him second in the national rankings for the 50-55 age-group.
Adam Wilson and Alan Hazelhurst used the same event as part of their marathon training and enjoyed the route around quiet Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire lanes, finishing in 2:01:00 and 2:01:04 respectively. Both are planning to return to this well-organised event next year.
Matt Davies chose Reykjavik for his debut marathon and found the cool Icelandic conditions, impressive coastal scenery and absence of major hills to his liking as he clocked an excellent 3:44:34 for 289th place.
Steve Lummis was delighted to record a new 5k personal best with 21:58 at the St Albans Parkrun.
Jo Summers tackled the 27-mile Leila’s Run in Welwyn Garden City, completing the four-lap course in 4 hrs 41 minutes.
Sunday saw three North Herts Road Runners test out the new Stopsley 10 mile off road race which took the runners over a lovely rural course, with some challenging hills. The squirrels were successful in tackling the off road terrain with Chloe Lucas winning the open women’s race and Linda Aird first FV55 with Miranda Morgan 2nd FV55.
A break in the weather meant there was a scurry of squirrels enjoying parkrun’s at the weekend with most heading to Stevenage where James Keogh lead them home in 19:20, Richard Harbon 20:30, Vincent Wright 22:52, Joseph Sherry 24:04, Claire O’Sullivan 24:31, Lucy O’Connor 25:42, Helen Giffin 27:43, Carina Quayle 30:23, Geoff Pettengell 33:21, Clare Hooley 35:21 and Naomi Parkinson 36:15. Wimple Estate parkrun Matthew Davies 24:43, Norwich Ellie Scott in 23:48 and Rodding Valley Darren Matussa 20.40, Cleethorpes Lucy Sinclair 27:18, Ellenbrook Fields Chris Poole 24:10. Adam Bowller clocked up the fastest time of the day at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun finishing 2nd in 17:08.
David Annett’s took part in Centurions Bury 20 Race Walk on Saturday 5th August. He finished the 20 mile course in 4th place with a time of 3:32:17 and was 3rd in the men’s race.
This last Saturday was of course the first Saturday of the month so it saw 137 runners competing in the ‘First Saturday of the Month’ 5k NHRR race around Norton Common, Letchworth. The race was won by Peter Males of Hitchin running club in 17min 59 seconds, with his Club Mate Anna Fake coming home as the first listed female in 39th place in a time of 22:30.
23 NHRR Squirrels took part (only possible once all the marshalling posts are covered) with Stuart Overton finishing as the first NHRR man in 18:14, Andy Mutton18:31, Nick Malpeli 19:06, James Keogh 19:26, John Cooper 20:49, Vincent Pasturel 20:59, Manvir Parmer 22:08, Lewis Green 23:15, David Baker 24:12, Naomi Parkinson finishing as the first NHRR female in 25:01, Lucy O'Connor 25:21, Paul Phasey Paul 25:34, Nicole Barker 26:05, Lucy Hurley 26:08, Paul Bowal 26:23, Ian Sutcliffe 26:42, Adam Wilson 27:30, Helen Giffin fresh from Transplant Games successes in 27:34, Allison Blunt 28:15, Lucy Sinclair 29:09, Shiela Leavy 29:15, and Ali Mottram 33:35.
The final places were taken by Alison Parker and Ruth deNoojer who both posted a time of 43:30. That might be some minutes behind the first place but it’s a ‘race for everyone’ and they were clapped and cheered home having made it around the course. Everyone starts somewhere and the only really hard part about running is getting to the start line in the first place, We hope to see them again.
Elsewhere Chris Poole finished the York Parkrun in 23:26, Oliver Garbas finished the Westmill Parkrun in 21:14, in Kettering Steve Williamson finished in 21:24, Richard Fox ran Stevenage Parkrun in 26:01 and Linda Aird in Hereford ran 26:14 with Stephen Lummis running the very hilly Tring Parkrun in 24:19. Dickie and Jo Harbon took Part in a Loch Lomond Park Run and both finished first in their agegroup classifications with Dickie finishing in 21:22 with his wife Jo chasing him home in 24:24.
Jo Summers set herself a personal best time of 4 hours 54 minutes in her 7th entry to the 26 mile circular route of the Dovedale Dipper and finished as the second lady and the first female Vet home. With some big hills in there its some great running.
North Herts Road Runners’ Helen Giffin had an incredible weekend, winning five medals at the British Transplant Games in North Lanarkshire. On the track Helen took Gold in the 3km run as well as Bronze in both the 800m and 1500m. Not content with three medals, Helen got into the pool and took Silver in the 50m Backstroke and then got out of the pool to take a third Bronze in Table Tennis.
Elsewhere at the Doug Anderson Memorial 5k two Squirrels were in action, with Darren Matussa finishing 26th in a spritely 18:55 and Michelle Grudzinski clocking a huge personal best time of 24:55.
At the Fairlands Valley Relays in Stevenage, the Squirrels fielded 5 women's teams and 5 men’s teams. The Women’s A team (Astrid McKeown, Katie Harbon and Chloe Lucas) finished 2nd and were crowned Herts County Champions, while the men’s team (Mark Vaughan, Adam Bowler, Stewart Overton, John Auld and Darren Sunter) finished in 7th place and were second in the County Championship.
Squirrels were out in force in Parkruns. At Bedford Darren Sunter won the race in a speedy time of 16:51. At the inaugural Heartwood Forest Parkrun Ollie Garbas was 16th in a time of 20:06 while Matthew Davies was 40th in 23:23. In Cambridge James Keogh finished 22nd in 19:18, Ellie Scott was 84th lady in 29:18 and Clare Hooley 159th in 36:45. Chris Poole continued his travels, running at Westmill Parkrun finishing in 33rd place in 25:23. At the Kettering run Steve Williamson finished 23rd in 22:24 and at the Stevenage Parkrun a pack of Squirrels finished: Vincent Pasturel was 26th in 21:06, Stephen Lummis 43rd in 22:14, Chloe Lucas 4th lady in 22:48, Paul Phasey 79th in 24:34, Joseph Sherry was 81st in 24:37, Sheila Leavy was 40th lady in 29:31 and Patrick Norris 258th in 37:39.
Wednesday evening was the Panshanger 5M, a race in the NHRR Grand Prix. A dray of Squirrels were in attendance. Darren Matussa was first home for the club in 34:12. Other Squirrels running were Steve Tracey (35:58), Phil Hunt (38:08), Chloe Lucas (39:34), Chris Poole (41:42), Naomi Parkinson (41:49), Adam Wilson (42:36), Jo Harbon (42:41), Miranda Morgan (46:37).
Friday evening saw a scurry of Squirrels in the Bedford 10k. A great night for a run around a flat course and off road organised by Beds AAA. Darren Sunter was first home for the club, finishing with a new PB of 34.55, Adam Bowler was close behind with a new PB just over the 35 min mark with 35.01. Stewart Overton also managed a new PB with 37.24. Astrid McKeown was the 2nd lady in the race, just dipping under 40 mins with 39.52. Pete Sibbett helped Astrid round and managed a time of 40.01. Other Squirrels running were Claire O'Sullivan (50.04), Ian Sutcliffe (52.34) who was the 1st MV70 and Joy Stroud (1.05.47).
Once again, colony of Squirrels were parkrunning. At Stevenage Chloe Lucas was 2nd lady with a time of 22:23, also running was Ellie Scott (23:42) and Patrick Norris (35:33). Brian Judkins ran Edinburgh finishing in 32:00. Helen Griffin ran Bedford 29:51. Ollie Garbas ran Westmill in 21:32. Chris Poole ran 23:05 at Croxteth.
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.
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