Harriers flock to Finchley 20-miler ahead of this weekend’s marathon training run

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

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As part of their build up to the spring marathon season, 22 Harriers took to the streets of North London to compete in the annual Finchley 20 Mile road race.

Over four undulating laps around Ruislip, the Harriers joined 428 other athletes and put on a fine show. First back for the GVH team was Mikey Ferris in a super quick 2:10:22, swiftly followed by John Lawler in 2:10:36.

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

Following Lawler came men’s captain Ed Price (2:11:28), Vince Ellerby (2:18:30), Steve Boyd (2:24:33), James Birnie (2:25:07), Steve Newing (2:31:28), Andy Cook (2:33:04), James Thomson (2:46:12), Dave Wise (2:47:49), Dean Kidd (2:52:46), Andy Watt (2:52:50), Rob Potton (2:54:53), Andy Terry (2:58:47), Emma Phillpot (3:00:47), Paula Cook (3:10:57), Shelley Walsh (3:12:27), Suzy Beak (3:12:28), Anita Berwick (3:14:01), Emma Nash (3:19:35), Helen Terry (3:27:5 PB) and Karis Thomas (3:31:37 PB).

Getting muddy for the last time this season, a team of six Harriers travelled to Watford’s Cassiobury Park to take on the Herts and Middlesex Vets Cross Country Championships.

Over a gruelling 8km course, the team dug deep and claimed the silver medal. Running for GVH were Andy Norton, Anthony James, Gut Wollett, Jon Roberts, Dylan Wendleken and Tom North.

Elsewhere, Mark Crabtree represented Hertfordshire County at the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships in Birmingham’s Cofton Park. Crabtree was part of an elite team of six of the finest cross country athletes in the county.

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

Meanwhile, Teresa Reason and Claire McDonnell kept up their mileage at the Spitfire 20 on Sunday. McDonnell continued her fantastic season by bagging yet another PB, crossing the line in 2:39:38, with team-mate Reason completing a season’s best of 2:45:35.

In her first ever half marathon, Emma Tipton travelled south to Bath in Somerset to take part in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon, pushing hard to clock a time of 2:36:41.

At the parkruns this week, the Harriers had six entrants at five of the timed 5km runs.

Vince Ellerby and James Thomson flew the GVH colours at the Black Park parkrun, Ellerby chalking up a time of 19:39, and team-mate Thomson close behind with a new PB of 20:07.

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

The local Gadebridge parkrun once again saw GVH taking the honours with James Birnie storming home in first place in a course PB of 20:54.

Anthony Willcox from the Harriers put in a solid performance at the Cassiobury Park parkrun, where he clocked a time of 20:19, while William Terry was the lone Harrier at the St Albans parkrun, pushing hard in the JM10 category to cross the line in 28:13.

Finally, Poole parkrun in Dorset saw Matt Watt fly home in 17:47.

After a busy week, the Harriers are also gearing up for the third, and final, Marathon Training run of the year.

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

The 20-mile route takes place on Sunday at 9.30am from the GVH HQ at Boxmoor Cricket Club, St John’s Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1PN.

All runners are welcomed, whether they belong to a club or not, and pay just £5 on the day to enjoy the fully marshalled route.

There are frequent water stops and the famous Jellie Baby point after 16 miles. After the run, all the entrants enjoy tea, coffee and cake back the HQ.

The Harriers would like to ask all runners to park responsibly, and use the Hemel Hempstead train station car park or the shopping centre car parks in the town centre.

Due to a clashing event in Boxmoor, the end of the route has been changed slightly for this run, but the ever helpful marshals will point you in the right direction. Full details of the Training Run can be found at www.gadevalleyharriers.co.uk/london-marathon-training-runs

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country

It was a busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers, with various meets across the country