Winter training ramps up for Dacorum & Tring runners

Clare Hunt and Kayleigh Halvey with Kayleigh's nephew Reilly at the Vitality WestRun London race
Clare Hunt and Kayleigh Halvey with Kayleigh's nephew Reilly at the Vitality WestRun London race

Fresh off their resounding first place finish in last week’s Chiltern League cross country, Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners found the legs to put in some superb runs in half a dozen races across the south-east as they build up their winter training for the season ahead.

First off was Jamie Marlow, who took on the Old Deer Park 10k in Richmond Park. On a muddy course in high winds, Jamie managed a fantastic fourth place overall (third senior man) in a PB of 34.59 – more than two minutes faster than his previous best – as he put in an average pace of 5.39 per mile.

Dacorum & Tring's parkrunners were on form in Cassiobury

Dacorum & Tring's parkrunners were on form in Cassiobury

Also in London, Clare Hunt ran in the Vitality WestRun London 10k, coming away with a 10k PB of 50.18 as she gets closer to her sub-50 target, while Kayleigh Harvey and her nephew Reilly ran in the 1-mile Vitality WestRun London.

Reilly, who turned eight last week, was taking part in his first ever running race. He said he “loved it” and wants to take up running as his sport, and he’s looking forward to starting cross-country at school this week.

On the south side of the Thames, Casper Du Buisson ran the Battersea Park MoRun 5k race, part of the Movember fundraising campaign for men’s health, and managed a new 5k PB of 23.17.

Closer to home, Chris Kitchener ran in the 10k Autumn Challenge in Cassiobury Park in Watford, finishing 25th overall in 43.20, while Paul Christie ran the Herberts Hole, a challenging multi-terrain 10k race through the hills near Chesham, finishing as 22nd senior man in a time of 48.48.

Heading further up north, Tina Le ran the St Neots Half Marathon, and, in a run with strong headwinds throughout much of the two-lap course, finished in a very respectable 1.43.59, for 19th out of 215 ladies in her V35 age group.

Club coach Rob Deane, who completed the UKA Coach in Running Fitness course this weekend, said he was “really pleased with the hard work everybody is putting in.

“Many are being rewarded for their effort, and I’m looking forward to seeing fast runs and PBs at our club five-mile championships in Hatfield in two weeks’ time.”

In other news, head coach John Jales was awarded the parkrunner of the month award for his volunteering efforts at the Gadebridge parkrun in Hemel Hempstead.

He received his award – a brand new pair of Adidas trainers from outgoing parkrun sponsor Sweatshop – as well as his commemorative 25 shirt for volunteering at 25 parkruns.

The club also had 29 runners and eight volunteers out at six parkruns, and they brought home four new PBs and 14 top-three placings in their various age groups.

At Gadebridge, Keith Wishart was the first Dacorum runner across the line, in seventh overall in a time of 23.13 (second VM45-49), with Michael Lamb not far behind in 23.59 (third VM40-44).

Richard Stevens had a great run, finishing 13th overall in a time of 24.58; next was Hannah Bennett in her first outing at Gadebridge, and her time of 26.14 was fast enough for second lady overall and first SW20-24.

Andy Mitchell was next, in 26.27 (second VM50-54), followed by Giles Leather, in his first parkrun back after injury, in a respectable time of 27.16.

New member Penny Wallduck was fifth lady with her time of 29.38 (first VF50-54), while Calypso Phillips was sixth (first JW15-17) in 30.10. John Cooper was back in action, finishing in 30.21 (first VM65-69), while Karen Wishart and daughter Faye were volunteering as sweeps and finished together in 46.33.

Out making the parkrun happen on a wet, windy and cold morning, in addition to Karen and Faye, were John Jales, Erin Marlow, Jim Mason, Katie Rance and Gary Sturdy - and, looking at the Gadebridge statistics, Dacorum & Tring is comfortably atop the table, with a total of 78 park runners having run 277 times, ahead of GVH in second and St Albans in third.

At Cassiobury, Chris Kitchener finished 12th overall, in 19.53 (second VM45-49). Next was Martin Kerr, who smashed his PB, going under 21.00 for the first time to finish in 20.58, with Samantha Sullivan right behind him, in a new PB of 21.00, fast enough for second woman.

Not far behind was Rachel Lewis, fourth lady overall, first SW25-29 and only two seconds off her PB with a time of 22.38, with partner Duncan Hamilton running with her and finishing in the same time.

Dave Stears put all his marathon training to good use, posting a big new PB of 22.54 (third VM55-59), for his first time under 23 minutes, and he was paced by Jamie Marlow, who crossed the line with him. Jess Tanner finished in 26.57, in the same time as Caspar du Buisson, with Kirsty Russell just behind in 27.21.

Jess, Casper, Martin and Kirsty completed the parkrun as part of a longer training run from Hemel to Watford and back, covering close to 16 miles in total.

Over in Tring, Sam Fielding led the club home, crossing the line fourth overall in a new PB of 20.57, for second JM15-17. Rob Salt was next, in 24.20 (first VM50), while Kate Crossland finished in 27.27, for second lady and second SW30-34. Alan Grover ran in 32.05, in what was his 127th parkrun.

Esther Hamilton, meanwhile, cruised the Bushey parkrun in 28.58, while Luke Burford ran his first-ever parkrun in Bromley, finishing in a rapid 23.21, finishing sixth in his very competitive JM11-14 age group.

In other news, Michelle Ashwell, the founding run director of the South Oxhey parkrun, volunteered as run director at the Aldenham parkrun.