North Herts Road Runners enjoy success on the roads and in the mountains
Wednesday saw the Midweek League’s ‘Mob Match’, which brings together all of the participating clubs across the divisions for a closing 10k event. Following up their success in Division 1, the North Herts Road Runners produced another show of strength, with the women’s team finishing first in both the open and the Vet categories. They were led home by Paula Adams who finished in 4th place overall with a time of 41:56. The men also produced a strong display with three men, Jim McConnel, Mark Vaughan and Tom Webb, finishing in the top 10. It capped an end to what has been a breakthrough season for the Squirrels in the league’s highly competitive top flight. At the awards presentation after the race, Team NHRR picked up prizes for the second team overall in Division 1, the first Vets’ team overall and the first Vets’ Men’s team. The Squirrels also bagged a clutch of individual trophies: Katie Harbon was first female overall, and Astrid McKeown was second. Sarah Mitcherson was first V35, while Paula Adams was first V45. For the men, Mark Vaughan won first V40, and Matt Sayers won second V40.
There was plenty more hard running to come for the Squirrels, and not just on the roads. Jim McConnel and Michelle Grudzinski both travelled to Snowdonia at the weekend. Michelle took part in the Trail Half Marathon, which included seven brutal miles up Snowden, and finished in 3.15.23. Jim took on the full marathon, and in his very first attempt at the distance, finished in 11th position out of 698 entrants. Despite battling some punishing climbs, the dreaded cramp, dehydration and hunger, Jim posted a time of 4 hours and 23 minutes, and even ended up with a smile on his face. “Appetite whetted, I might just try another,” he said after the race. “Maybe a flat road one next time!”
Sue Foot took on the Lulworth Cove Challenge, and enjoyed stunning scenery as well as a total elevation of no less than 2351 metres. Sue was one of 60 runners who ran along the coast from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and back, crossing MOD land and taking in some amazing views, and she was very pleased to finish with a time of 8 hours 37.
In Northamptonshire, Jo Summers ran the Hannington Hike. This new, gently undulating route took in numerous beautiful villages. She completed the full distance, which turned out to be 28.5 miles in total, “even without making any mistakes,” in 5 hours 28.
Closer to home, Lucy Hurley and Naomi Parkinson ran the Fairlands Valley Challenge Ultra, a 50k event, which in fact was closer to 55k in length. On a blisteringly hot day, the temperatures topped 29 degrees. Their verdict of the race: “Definitely would recommend if you want a challenge!” Other Squirrels taking part on the day were Katherine Burr, Caroline Thrussell and Paul Bowel.
North Herts Road Runners have various training groups for different abilities and levels of experience. The Purple Group is billed as a good place to start if you’re new to running, and seven members of the group showed what massive strides they have made since joining the club, by running the British 10k in London. Kelly Hanlon, Jo Kenlin, Shani Fielding, Joanne Sopala, Hayley Cocks, Monica Cullin and Shirley Calcutt were joined by fellow Squirrel Stuart Cocks in posting fantastic times, and in doing so raised £1700 for MS Trust.
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