North Herts Road Runners sent a squad of 4 men to compete at the prestigious Eastern Region Masters Cross Country Championships nestled in the rolling countryside at Horseheath, Cambridgeshire on Saturday. John Auld men’s team captain commented, “the organisers went to great lengths to make the course as challenging as possible”. The 3 lap course included a tough uphill section, before being sent straight back down it to confront a 30-metre stretch of freezing, knee high water 3 times. This was the most popular spectating spot, so the runners tried hard not to fall in! To add insult to injury they were directed straight back up the steep hill.
Tom Webb was first finisher for the club in 6th place, followed by Andrew Leach in 9th place, 1st in the veteran 55 age category and also 1st in the Eastern Masters Athletics Club (EMAC). Next was Adam Bowler in 12th place, and John Auld 24th and 1st finisher in the EMAC veteran 35 age group.
Left to right Tom Webb, Adam Bowler, Andrew Leach and John Auld
Mike Roberts fancied an even longer cross country course, so headed down to Epping Forest, Essex to run the legendary Orion 15 race (15 miles!) on Saturday. It’s renowned for being a tough cross country race and Mike justified this saying "there was plenty of mud, even more hills, fallen trees and hard to spot directions including patches of sawdust and spray painted arrows on the ground to make sure you were still actually on the course". Only the fittest, strongest athletes take on this beast of a race and Mike finished had a podium finish in 3rd place overall in 1hr 41mins.
Sue Foot stayed closer to home to complete the Shillington Shuffle, a local 26.8 mile off road course with a written route description, starting and finishing at Barton Village Hall. She covered the rolling hills of Barton Nature Reserve, Lilley, Great Offley, Pirton and then back via Holwell. A lovely run with three fully stocked checkpoints.
The always popular St Neots Half Marathon, marketed as a fast course encouraged 9 squirrels to head up the A1 and the course didn’t disappoint with lots of personal best (PB) times for the half marathon distance. Lucy O’Connor "enjoyed the blue skies and sunshine" and Richard Weber "found the biting cold wind on the last 3 mile stretch interesting". Vince Wright was first home for the club in 1:26:51, followed by Adrian Sherwood 1:29:13, Ian Harvey 1:35:04 (PB), Steve Brenton 1:41:43 (PB), Richard Weber 1:43:04 (PB), Lucy O’Connor 1:52:03, Russ Hagan 1:53:14 (PB), Charlotte Coles 1:59:09, Lorna Chambers 2:07:36. Lucy was also pleased to be presented with her Trophy for 1st FV60 from the Thorney 5 mile race, which took place back in September but the awards were not given out due to Covid restrictions at the time.
Even closer to home was the Stevenage Half Marathon, with the 2 lap course starting and finishing on the track of Ridlins Athletics Stadium. New club member Phil Hawkes laid down a very quick debut time of 1:32:52 and our experienced long distance club member Jane Chappell showed her pedigree in her first race in over six years completing the course 1:48:21 which she was chuffed to bits with!
25 Squirrels took part in parkruns in 9 different parks yesterday!
Letchworth parkrun: James Dalton 20:57, Chloe Lucas 25:26, Philip Flack 30:02, Steve Brenton 43:40
Stevenage parkrun: Ellie Scott 24:49, Jane Clarke 28:52, Kat Hinitt 35:20 (pacing her husband to his first ever 5km!)
Henlow Bridge Lakes parkrun: Dave Braybrook 22:34, Dervla Downing 25:32, Caroline Thrussell 25:35, Rob Milburn 26:01, Adam Wilson 27:10, Jennie Fraser 28:00, Michelle Grudzinski 30:22, Andrew Grudzinski 30:28, Paul Bowal 30:32
Wimpole Estate parkrun: Matt Roberts 23:00, Richard Harbon 23:27, Anna Greetham 23:56, Andrew Coates 24:44
Bury Field parkrun, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes: Carl Haskell 28:28
Wendover Woods parkrun: Tim Banting 26:44
Gunpowder parkrun: Darren Matussa 20:17
Cannon Hill parkrun, Birmingham: Eva McCabe 21:28
Keswick parkrun: Glyn Blakey 33:48
Written by Tash Pitman
News, Notifications and Race Results