Squirrels were out in force this weekend competing for England places in Devon, tackling mountains in Snowdonia, battling heat in Finland and scampering around neighbouring Hitchin.
Mark Vaughan and Jim McConnel travelled down to Plymouth this weekend for the Ocean City Half Marathon. This race was an opportunity to qualify for an England Masters vest, with runners being selected to run for England. Vaughan commented “Plymouth is not known for being flat and so the race proved to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but an early start meant the conditions were favourable, with things warming up towards the finish.” Vaughan finished 6th, 1st Male Vet (MV) 45 in 1:14:07 and McConnel 10th, 2nd MV45, 1:15:29 putting them both in line for England selection.
Thirteen Squirrels scampered over to the Hitchin Hares’ 10km to take on the mostly flat course in great race conditions and six of them walked away with Personal Bests (PBs) for the distance! Niccolo Bassani was first home for the club in 41:43 with his best time in nearly 6 years, closely followed by Stuart Cocks (43:30 PB) and Andrew Underhill (43:38 PB). Harry and Lewina Agius ( 50:29 and 53:19 respectively) were “astonished to hit new PBs – the great training from the club has certainly helped”. Helen Marson-Smith secured a PB of 1:03:12 and Hayley Cocks took 8 minutes off her previous time for the distance, finishing in 1:04:29.
Others competing were as follows; James Drew (46:45), John Russell (47:41), Adam Wilson (50:03), Lucy O’Connor (50:46), Matt Ankers (52:42), Jo Kenlin (1:14:58).
Jennie Fraser journeyed to Helsinki to attempt a personal best marathon time. Frustratingly, an unseasonal heat wave scuppered Fraser’s chances of a PB. She pushed through, despite extreme sickness, to get her medal and still enjoyed running in her favourite country with the “fabulously Finnish support”.
Jo, Helen and Katie Harbon travelled to Snowdonia to compete one of the toughest half marathon routes in the UK. Katie was 4th lady and Jo and Helen completed the course in an impressive 2:10:00
Three of the club’s female veteran Squirrels journeyed to the Midlands to compete in the British Masters Athletic Federation road relays at Sutton Park. Lucy O'Connor ran the first leg in 24:51, Linda Aird, who described the course as “an undulating 5k around the park”, ran leg 2 in 26:04 and Karen Dodsworth completed the team results with 27:18. The team maintained their 8th place position throughout the whole race despite fierce competition.
Sue Foot completed the Guernsey Ultra 36 in an incredible 8:35:00 despite the first 16 miles being cliff paths with every uphill and downhill involving steps. Foot said “the second 20 mile section was on the coastal path and was slightly undulating but straight forward and I managed to do this section faster than the first”.
On Saturday Jillian Boys took on the gruelling Paras 10 in Colchester with her (canine) running buddy Lulu – an undulating 10 mile course that included river crossings, trudging through swamps and running through military display gunfire and smoke grenades. Speaking after the race Boys said “It was so much fun and Lulu was in her element the entire way. We finished in a very respectable 1:22:00 and we had a fantastic time!”
Viv and Lindsey Lucas and Jo Sopala all completed the Wimpole 10km Hoohah race. Lindsey commended the lovely route, said they were all pleased with their times and enjoyed the home made flapjack at the finish! Viv Lucas 51:55 Jo Sopala 1:12:59 Lindsey Lucas 1:13:43
The North Herts Road Runners’ parkrun results for Saturday 18th May: Letchworth parkrun Stewart OVERTON 18:16 Oliver BRADY 19:19 Ian DATLEN 00:21:03 James DALTON 00:21:25 Eva MCCABE 23:59 Rhiannon BOTHA 24:26 Ellie SCOTT 25:07 Glyn BLAKEY 25:53 Carl GOODRUM 28:51 Natalie WILLIAMS 30:29 Helen CROMACK 33:10 Panshanger parkrun Angeliki SHEARSTONE STATHOPOULOU 25:58 Stevenage parkrun Matt ANKERS 24:23 Philip FLACK 26:59 Patrick NORRIS 34:12
Wimpole Estate parkrun Vincent WRIGHT 22:52 Pont y Bala parkrun Chris POOLE 23:27
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