‘The weather gods were certainly having fun up there’ was Kat Gourd’s summary of conditions at the Baldock Beast Half-marathon, with ‘driving stinging rain’ and ‘horrendous headwinds that nearly finished me off’.
Despite the conditions – also described by fellow North Herts Road Runner Susan Mansfield as more wind, more rain and even hailstones at one point’, the Squirrels took top spots in both the ladies’ and men’s team competitions.
Gourd (finish time 1.52.11) teamed up with Caroline Thrussell (1.42.59) and Suzy Trott (1.45.03) to take the ladies team title, while Tom Webb (second in the race with 1.18.59), Darren Sunter (3rd in 1.19.15), Rob Harris (6th in 1.23.20) and Darren Bonham (16th in 1.32.38) took the men's prize.
The popular local race attracted a strong turnout from the Letchworth-based club with the Squirrels’ ladies' B team of Rhia Botha, Lucy O’Connor and Grace Cleary also taking third spot in the team standings and Brent Lloyd, James Dalton, William Harrison and Chris Stokes following suit for the men.
Hailey Batson managed to knock a remarkable 7 minutes off her time in last year’s race with a 2.17. 40 clocking – a fine performance in the testing conditions.
In the age categories, Caroline Thrussell took first place in the ladies 55-plus group, Suzy Trott second in the 45-plus and Rob Harris was first in the men’s 40-plus category .
Full NHRR Baldock Beast results:
Tom Webb, 1:18:59; Darren Sunter, 1:19:15; Rob Harris, 1:23:20; Darren Bonham, 1:32:38; Brent Lloyd, 1:34:15; James Dalton, 1:35:11; William Harrison, 1:36:17; Chris Stokes, 1:36:21; Ian Datlen, 1:36:38; David Weston, 1:37:38; John Auld, 1:38:31; Andrew Underhill, 1:42:34; Caroline Thrussell, 1:42:59; Mike Bullock, 1:44:58; Suzy Trott, 1:45:03; Stuart Cocks, 1:46:10; Kat Gourd, 1:52:11; Andrew Coates, 1:53:20; Matt Roberts, 1:54:40; Dan Mallett, 1:55:33; Rhia Botha, 1:55:55; Lucy O’Connor, 1:57:24; Christian Allen, 1:57:33; Liam Jones, 1:58:05; Andrew Robson, 1:58:18; Grace Cleary, 1:58:20; Carl Haskell, 1:58:12; Chris Poole, 1:58:12; Alice Noakes, 1:59:49; Susan Mansfield, 2:00:11; Steve Brenton, 2:01:32; Ellie Scott, 2:02:46; Matt Ankers, 2:03:07; Jennie Fraser, 2:03:08; Georgina Quayle, 2:03:42; Sue Foot, 2:08:02; Andrew Porter, 2:10:24; Colin Calcutt, 2:15:26; Alan Hazlehurst, 2:17:08; Hailey Batson, 2:17:40; Carina Quayle, 2:23:18; James Poulton, 2:24:14; Anna Greetham, 2:26:09; Ali Mottram , 2:33:00; Hayley Cocks (tail runner), 2.49.
Brighton was Dervla Downing’s choice for a half-marathon and the wind made its presence felt there as well. Although she had ‘never run in such intense and strong wind’, Downing was pleased with her finish time of 1.44.21.
Vanessa Rolfe found much more pleasant conditions at the Naples Half-marathon in Italy, where she completed the course in 2.23.49.
William Harrison, 21.07, Ellie Scott, 25.41.
Naomi Parkinson, 25.09; Jillian Boys, 31.09
Glyn Blakey, 24.09
Chris Poole, 25.32
Adam Wilson, 25.59; Helen Wilson, 33.39
Stewart Overton, 19.53; James Dalton, 22.19; Richard Harbon, 24.57; Carl Goodrum, 31.41; Philip Flack, 35.01; Steve Brenton, 44.10
Carl Haskell, 22.31; Abbie Haskell, 39.34; Vicky Haskell, 39.36
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