Weekend race results including: National Cross- Country Championships, Baldock Beast Half Marathon, Cambridge Half Marathon, Gade Valley, Belvoir Challenge and Saturday Parkruns
On Saturday, two North Herts Road Runners, England International Masters athlete Andrew Leach and Mark Vaughan took part in the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships, held in Donington Park. Over a muddy, undulating mainly grassland course, and competing in a field of over 1700 top class athletes, Andrew Leach finished the 8 mile course in 107th position in a time of 0:46:46 and Mark Vaughan finished in 308th position in a time of 0:50:30. Cold but still conditions made for good running, and with a field of quality runners it was 3 laps of shoulder to shoulder racing all the way.
Spring training, particularly those training for a marathon, reached a new peak with the undulating Baldock Beast half marathon; NHRR not only tamed the Beast but sent it packing with a number of top finishes. First home for NHRR was John Auld in 7th overall, in 1.25.22, a new course best by almost 2 minutes. Adrian Sherwood was first Vet50 and made the top 10 in 9th overall in 1.27.16. Richard Harbon just missed out on a top 10 finish, by finishing 11th in 1.28.56, but claimed second Vet50. Daniel Williams easily made the top 50 in 1.38.11 and 43rd overall. However the joint effort of all 4, attributed to NHRR men securing the team award. Vincent Wright just missed out on breaking the sub 1.40 barrier, by finishing in 1.40.19 and 56th. Richard Foster just sneaked in under the 1.43 barrier in 1.42.38 and 83rd followed by Colin Calcutt 164th in 1.53.24. John Stow just beat the 2 hour window with 1.59.56 and 209th, with Tony Llewellyn 231st in 2.03.44 and Adam Wilson 262nd in 2.11.44.
Not to be outdone by the men, NHRR ladies kept the achievements coming. Barcelona marathon bound and Friday night award winner Caroline Thrussell claimed third FVet45, finishing in 1.48.27, 128th overall. Ellie Scott, another Barcelona runner, must have been sitting on Caroline’s shoulder all the way around the course and finished 129th overall in 1.48.25 and just missed out on a top 3 senior woman’s finish, with 4th position. Claire O’Sullivan set a massive new half marathon personal best by over 2 minutes and a course best by over 5 minutes, finishing in 1.50.37 and 138th; followed home by Verity Stow 180th in 1.56.11 and Michelle Grudzinski 2.05.12 and 242rd overall.
Four Squirrels avoided the Beast and strayed across the border to the Cambridge Half Marathon. In a big field, Dave Frampton followed on from his NHRR awards success as ‘Most Improved Male’ to be first home in a time of 1.25.26 and 179th overall and set a new club V55 record. Perennial park runner Ollie Garbas took a big step up in distance and finished 463rd in 1.31.56, with Lucy Goff 2585th in 1.56.57 and Brian Judkins 4859th in 2.27.37.
Additionally putting in the marathon training mileage were Barbara Sayers, Darren Matussa and Steve Lummis at the Gade Valley 17mile marathon training race.
One of 2 NHRR ladies who know all about marathon running is Sue Foot, and Sue inched ever closer to a her target of a 100 marathons with her 89th outing at the Belvoir Challenge; an off-road run around the Vale of Belvoir and Belvoir Escarpment in NE Leicestershire. Even though the ground at long last is starting to dry, Sue still had to deal with a plethora of stiles and of course obligatory muddy farmland and finished the 26.3 mile course in 5hrs 9 mins.
With February almost over and March beckoning, Martyn Annetts enjoyed the last Friday of the Month 5 km in Hyde Park. In a tight finish where 5 seconds separated 4 positions, Martyn was second MV50 in 18.25 and 30th overall.