Dacorum & Tring AC runners on song at charity fundraiser

Dacorum & Tring AC members were out in force for the New Year's Eve charity run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

Dacorum & Tring AC members were out in force for the New Year's Eve charity run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

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A large group of 65 runners and walkers laced up for the annual New Years Eve charity 10k run – raising funds for Music at St Johns, a community-based charity that supports local music groups and associations.

Organised by Dacorum & Tring AC’s John Garner, this was the fourth time the run has been held, and a total of £825 was raised for the charity.

Jan Strachan took 42 seconds off her parkrun PB in the lead-up to her debut at the 100 mile ultra marathon distance later this year

Jan Strachan took 42 seconds off her parkrun PB in the lead-up to her debut at the 100 mile ultra marathon distance later this year

Garner said that the event has grown every year, with an additional 20 runners this year compared to 2014, and he thanked the efforts of participants from D&T, Gade Valley Harriers, St Albans Hockey Club and St Johns Church in Boxmoor.

He extended a special thanks to those who helped with refreshments and who marshalled the course, and added that the event will be held again on December 31 this year – he hopes to have more than 100 taking part and raising funds for the charity.

In other news, Dacorum & Tring AC had an active festive season, with 64 club members taking part in parkruns up and down the country.

In the end, club members ran a combined 109 parkruns in 14 different venues and volunteered a combined 17 times over the eight days from Christmas Day to January 2.

Runners pass the Three Horseshoes pub during the New Years Eve run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

Runners pass the Three Horseshoes pub during the New Years Eve run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

While the emphasis was on participation – getting out there to combat the Christmas calorie overload – there were some admirable performances from club members, with dozens of top-three age group finishes, several top-three overalls and numerous PBs.

On January 2, Alex Eykelbosch finished third overall and second woman at Cassiobury in a speedy 18.13, while Doug Hamilton and Tony Reeve scored big new PBs, of 19.19 and 22.04 respectively, with Annette Howard also recording a new PB of 29.12 in what was her 68th parkrun.

Up in Doncaster, Dan Griggs was the third male finisher overall in a time of 22.43.

On New Years Day, Jan Strachan, Michelle Ashwell and Tim Coysh posted new PBs at the Cassiobury course; Tim was first home for the club in 20.59, while Jan finished second for the club and eighth lady overall in a time of 22.52, and Michelle was second VF40-44 in 25.20.

Michelle Ashwell, David Stears and Victoria Thornley took part in the parkrun 'tourism' at the event in Luton

Michelle Ashwell, David Stears and Victoria Thornley took part in the parkrun 'tourism' at the event in Luton

Of the 30 runners in action on the day, 10 of them (Annette Howard, David Stears, Erica Klein, Jessica Tanner, Kate Crossland, Kirsty Russell, Michael Irvine, Richard Stevens, Sam Burnell and Tim Churchill) did the double – running two parkruns within the space of two hours.

A total of 28 club members ran on Boxing Day, with 21 taking time out from the festivities to take on Christmas Day parkruns in Cassiobury, Tring and Wimbledon.

Annette Howard, who was recently featured in the Gazette for winning the Biggest Loser Challenge, was the ‘most active’ runner, taking part in all five possible parkruns over the holiday period.

Kate Crossland, Michael Irvine, Richard Stevens and Tim Churchill completed four of a possible five parkruns, including the New Years Day double. Michael also volunteered once at Gadebridge, giving him a total of five outings, while Kirsty Russell ran three times and volunteered twice.

Runners at the start of the New Years Eve run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

Runners at the start of the New Years Eve run. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

The club’s most active volunteers were John Jales and Karen Wishart, who both volunteered three times at Gadebridge.