Weekend Results, highlighting: Barcelona Marathon, Inter-counties Cross Country Championship, Vet's Cross Country, Silverstone Half Marathon and Saturday Park Run
Like winter, the 2015 – 2016 cross-country (XC) season has begun to draw to a close, replaced with the signs of spring fast approaching and the road-running season gathering momentum.
Mark Vaughan was selected to run for the Herts County senior team at the Inter Counties XC championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham. The Herts team competed against 45 other county teams drawn from the UK, with runners drawn from respective top county finishers including GB International runners. On a perfect day for running Mark was third scorer out of 6 for the county, finishing in a time of 44.36.
The Vets County XC, was hosted at Cassiobury Park, Watford. Illness, injury and the road-running season limited the NHRR presence; however Ian Sutcliffe was rewarded with a 3rd place country medal finishing in 38.34. Johnny Spinks finished in 50.48 over the 8km distance. Over the 6.5km distance Linda Aird finished in 37.56 and Brian Judkins in 45.49.
Five Squirrels migrated south and swapped the spring like conditions for some Mediterranean sunshine at the Barcelona Marathon. Unlike the unfinished Sagrada Familia Basilica, all 5 completed the course including notching up some notable personal achievements. Running in Spain obviously agrees with Darren Matussa, as yet again Darren improved over the marathon distance and set a new personal best of 3.15.39, 6214th overall; an improvement by 30 minutes from his previous best at the Valencia marathon, November 2014. In less than 18 months and over 4 different marathons Darren had whittled down his marathon PB from 3.52.54 to 3.15.39, an impressive improvement by almost 40 minutes. Next home was Steve Williamson finishing seconds behind Darren in 3.15.57, however the large field and starting procedure allowed Steve to actually finish ahead of Darren in 5719th overall. Following the boys home was in form Caroline Thrussell smashed the iconic sub-4 hour barrier in a time of 3.46.51 and 15813th overall. A due of marathon debutants followed Caroline. New coach Ellie Scott, just missed out on a sub-4 hour finish, but still ground out a great effort to sneak under the 4.10 window, finishing in 4.07.18 and 15806th overall. Ashley Murray-Rochard completed her marathon debut in a creditable 4.34.08 and 15477th overall. The rain in Spain is found mainly on the plain, but NHRR reigned in Barcelona for the weekend.
Nick Malpeli, enjoyed a very welcome return from injury, that will boost the NHRR men’s team for the forth coming Midweek League starting in May. Recovering from a lengthy injury incurred during the summer of 2015, Nick enjoyed a pain free and positive return at the Silverstone Half Marathon finishing in 01.21.00.
A review of parkruns saw Steve Lummis enjoying Panshangar for the first time finishing in 23.46 and 45th overall. On a revised Wimpole Hall course, Richard Harbon was first Vet 50 in a time of 20.43 and 6th overall. Daughter Katie was first lady, finishing in 15th in 21.35, with Gary Cook 11th in 21.14.