North Herts Road Runners saw a great turn out of thirty five runners last Wednesday at the third and final race in the Hatfield 5k 2023 edition. The race series championship requires consistency as athletes need to run in all three races to enter the final rankings, with their best two times contributing to the final series position. There were quite a few North Herts Road Runners with eyes on some series silverware and they weren't disappointed, winning 5 individual and two series medals. Rhia Botha won the individual female veteran 35 category, with teammate Jane Clarke scooping 3rd and both delighted with personal best times in the final race. Rachel Arnott was awarded third female veteran 45 and Caroline Thrussell second in the veteran 55 category. Pete Sibbett was thrilled with third in the male veteran 60 category, with a promising return to form after a string of injuries. The teams also performed strongly in the series with our Ladies Team of Rhia Botha, Sophie Thrussell and Rachel Arnott finishing second overall and our Men's team of Tom Doble, Kris Whitmore, Ian Datlen and Mike Over claiming third on the podium.
Peak District Canicross: Squirrels and Their Furry Companions Conquer the Trails at the Outside Hope Round
Stevenage 10k Challenge: Conquering Hills and Rekindling Determination
Four squirrels took part in the Stevenage 10k race, organised by the Stevenage Striders. Despite the undulating course, the event impressed with its enthusiastic and friendly marshals, as well as the generous rewards of medals, T-shirts, goody bags and delicious cake at the end. James Dalton was pleased with his personal victory of avoiding wrong turns during the race, which he considered a feat in itself. Despite finding the St Martins Way climb challenge, he was the first squirrel to cross the finish line in an impressive 41:24. Dervla Downing was not far behind, finishing in 50:11. Inspired by their enjoyable experience the previous year, Georgia and Richard Barker also signed up to run, although Georgia faced an unexpected hurdle when her legs, tired from recent body pump and body combat classes, found the race’s uphill sections an even bigger challenge. However, they pushed on and reached the finish together, in a respectable 1:02:58. All promised to return in 2024.
A little side note about squirrel camaraderie and mutual support, Andreea Weisl-Shaw had also signed up to do the race but, having been asked to step in as church organist for a local church, was unable to attend on the day. However, she got permission from the race organisers to do the race virtually, and was delighted that her fellow squirrels stepped in to help: Georgia and Richard kindly agreed to collect her medal and T-shirt at the race, while Jenna Manggos offered to run the 10k with her. Jenna and Andreea completed the 10k in a more leisurely 1:06:29 around Letchworth, but they were happy with that given that this was a chatty run and Andreea’s first 10k in months, and the best part? Georgia and Richard brought back not just a medal and T-shirt, but lots more goodies including a backpack given by Decathlon, thus proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that squirrels stick together in and outside of races.
International Adventure: Making History at Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail Parkrun, Australia
Sometimes, the running stars align, and they did just that for Lindsay and Viv Lucas during their trip to Australia. Having hoped to squeeze in some runs and explore the world of Parkruns “down under”, they were initially disappointed in the Northern Territory, where the heat and wildlife. However, a move to Perth offered more hospitable running conditions and their serendipitous moment arrived when they camped in Denmark, Western Australia, and discovered the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail Parkrun close by. The thrilling part? This Parkrun had only started two weeks earlier, on the very day Lindsay and Viv embarked on their Australian adventure. It got even better as the Parkrun began right at the entrance to their campsite. Imagine the excitement when the Squirrels donned their NHRR t-shirts, becoming the first international visitors at this brand-new Parkrun. The trail led them through the picturesque Australian Bush, and thankfully, no snakes were spotted. With just over 60 runners in the field, Lindsay achieved her first-ever 1st place in her age category, making this international adventure truly memorable.
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