North Herts Road Runners claimed a full set of honours as they enjoyed the Mayday sunshine at their 2016 Greenway Challenge. 226 runners completed the half-marathon run around the borders of Letchworth Garden City and the host club had plenty to celebrate with first finishers in both the men’s and ladies’ standings.
Fresh from claiming a silver medal in the European off-road duathlon championships, Jim McConnel found the Greenway track to his liking as he led the field home in a superb time of 1.16.37. Taking part in her debut half-marathon, Katie Harbon had no problem in stepping up from shorter distances as she came home as first lady in 1.32.19. The Squirrels went on to take the first four places in the men’s results, with Rob Harris posting 1.22.47, Darren Sunter 1.24.56 and Spencer Bevan 1.25.31.
Also running for the Road Runners were John Auld (1.31.45), Adrian Sherwood (1.32.17), Ollie Garbas (1.37.41), Kat Burr (1.44.46), Chris Poole (1.47.27), Kieran Rayner (1.50.23), John Cooper (1.53.42), Ellie Scott (1.53.46), Jane Clarke (1.54.56), Lucy Hurley (1.55.37), Jo Summers (1.56.13), Sheena Cook (1.56.14), Julie Smith (2.06.36) and Jeni Spurr-Jones (2.23.43).
Caroline Thrussell ran as guide for visually impaired runner Louise Simpson and the pair finished the course in 3.43.38.
North Herts Road Runners use the Greenway Challenge to support good causes and this year £250 was raised for MacMillan Cancer Relief and a further donation will go to local charity the MS Therapy Centre.
Further afield, Martyn Annetts successfully tackled 4,500 feet of climbing in the Salcombe Coastal Marathon – a run along spectacular coastal terrain between Torcross and Bantham on the South West Costal Path. The route included cliff-top tracks, beaches, rock scrambles and even a ferry crossing at Salcombe. Despite injury issues with both legs, Annetts completed the scenic but ultra-demanding course in 4 hours 42.
John Rayner and Andrew Leach both took advantage of flatter terrain at 10k races in in Norfolk. Rayner set a new personal best of 35.51 at the Breckland 10k around Croxton, just snatching third place in a tight battle over the last half-mile.
Leach was on the flat roads of Kings Lynn for the Grand East Anglia Run – the ‘GEAR 10k’ – and finished a superb 8th out of 2500 competitors in 33.15 – a new personal best in his current 50-59 masters age-group.