Squirrels slay the Marathon dragon on Saint George's Day
The 43rd edition of the much loved London Marathon returned to its pre-pandemic April billing on Sunday, Saint George's Day with the weather offering the classic Spring mixed bag of heavy showers and bright sunshine. Sixteen North Herts Road Runners undertook the epic 26.2 mile challenge, many of them raising money for important charities as they notched up the miles. They were cheered round by the Super Squirrel Support Squad who were strategically dotted around the course. Sophie Thrussell thanked the team for their support, saying "It really does make the world of difference".
First female home for North Herts was Sophie Thrussell in her best ever time of 3 hours and 13 minutes which gives her a championship entry for next year's race. Rhia Botha "was dreading the cold and wet" but ran her best marathon time of 3 hours and 26 minutes. Lucy O'Connor looked in great form to finish in 3 hours and 57 minutes, with Eve Surridge close behind raising money for Dementia UK. Sue Foot finished almost less than a minute ahead of Dawn Power in 4 hours and 39 minutes. Dawn was running in a club ballot place and raising funds for our club charity Stevenage and North Hertfordshire Child Contact Centre. Andreea bolstered our female contingent in 4 hours and 57 minutes, and in typical Andreea fashion said yesterday evening "I can't wait to get training again and improve my time!"
First male home for the Squirrels was Ben Hadham in a time of 2 hours and 32 minutes in his debut marathon, and ranks 3rd in the all-time marathon list! He was closely followed by experienced marathoner Matt Sayers who was "both pleased and relieved" to finish in 2 hours and 38 minutes and Ben Sewell in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Tom Barclay ran a stunning debut marathon in 2 hours and 48 minutes. Stewart Overton also smashed the 3 hour barrier in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Casey Walker and Dan Mallet finished within seconds of each other in just over 4 hours and 13 minutes. Alan Hazlehurst had knee pain from around 19 miles, but battled on over the last 7 miles to finish in 5 hours and 25 minutes. Paul Forde supported the men home, breaking the six hour barrier in 5:59:52.
Runners were also able to take part in the London Marathon virtually if they wished, and we had one brave squirrel take on this challenge. James Dalton set off around the local towns and villages to complete his 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Also worth celebrating the performance of our North Herts friend Yuko Gordon who ran for Fairlands Valley Spartans. Yuko won the female 70-74 age category in an amazing time of 3 hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds, setting a new GB record and only 4 minutes off Jeannie Rice's world record set in Berlin in 2019.
Ben Hadman 2:32:18; Matt Sayers 2:38:42; Ben Sewell 2:45:03; Tom Barclay 2:48:48; Stewart Overton 2:50:45; Sophie Thrussell 3:13:22; Rhia Botha 3:26:04; Lucy O’Connor 3:57:45; Eve Surridge 3:59:17; Casey Walker 4:13:37; Dan Mallett 4:13:59; Sue Foot 4:39:37; Dawn Power 4:40:16; Andreea Weisl-Shaw 4:57:59; Alan Hazlehurst 5:25:06
Georgia and Richard Barker ran the Hoohaah Thetford 10k trail race - pleasant flat run in the forest with 246 other runners and 55 Canicrossers. Although rain had been predicted the sun was shining and conditions were dry leading everyone to agree they were over dressed. Georgia and Richard crossed the finish in 1 hr 2mins and 11 secs.
Jill Tooley-Boys and Lulu also completed the Canicross in 50 mins 18 seconds.
41 squirrels ran at 11 different Parkruns this week.
Leamington: John Russell (25:15)
Bedford: Mike Bullock (39:37)
Milton Country: Anna Klunika (19:41), Frances Stanton (29:35)
Stevenage: Ian Harvey (20:54), Mike Phillips (21:13), Mike Over (21:15), Elwyn Howell (21:40), Matt Roberts (22:27), James Poulton (23:07), Chris Stokes (23:27), Ian Datlen (24:51), Andrew Coates (24:56), Barbara Sayers (25:07), Angeliki Shearstone (28:07), Paula Holm (28:42), Natalie Philips (28:42), Amanda Greig (30:10).
Mile End: Kris Whitmore (18:55)
Sheringham: Richard Harbon (26:00), Jo Harbon (30:28)
Wimpole Estate: Jane Robson (33:12), Julie Taylor (33:13)
Shrewsbury: Andy Grudzinski (27:08)
Cleethorpes: Jon Hunt (22:33)
Letchworth: James Dalton (21:12), Steve Brenton (25:00), Georgina Quayle (25:17), Philip Flack (28:40), Alice Noakes (29:21), Aimee Flack (33:27), Karen Shaw (33:35), Geoff Pettengell (35:42), Carina Quayle (39:10).
Great Denham: David Edwards (19:53)
Henlow Bridge Lakes: Richard Barker (23:43), Dave Braybrook (24:50), Rob Milburn (26:52), Tim Banting (27:13), Bob Davis (29:33).
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