With marathon season in full swing, a team of 11 Dacorum & Tring road runners headed to the south coast for the Brighton Marathon on Sunday.
Starting the day off were husband and wife duo David and Julie Stears, taking part in the 10km race. This was Julie’s first ever attempt at the distance and she finished in a very credible time of 1:10:18, while David cruised round in 50:21.
Next up was the main event of the day where D&T had nine runners competing in the marathon; most of them making their debuts at the 26.2-mile distance.
Tamara Frenchum was first club member across the line in a fabulous time of 3:47:28 in her first marathon attempt; next in was Julie Groves smashing the four-hour mark in 3:58:07.
Training partners Julie Regan and Heidi Greaves clocked 4:02:14 and 4:02:40 respectively, while Rasmi Nanda – also a first time marathoner – was close behind in 4:03:17.
Debutant Gayna Benveniste finished in 4:20:14, while Rebecca White crushed her five-hour target in a time of 4:45:27. Kirsty Russell was next in 4:49:43, and the D&T line-up was completed by Anthony Raine who crept in just under the five-hour mark in 4:59:57.
Tamara raised over £1,500 for the MS Society, with Heidi and Julie collecting nearly £3,000 for the NET Patient Foundation, and Kirsty and Rebecca both running to raise funds for The Hospice Of St Francis in Berkhamsted.
Elsewhere, road runner and GB duathlon qualifier Matty Earles got in some training for the forthcoming World Championships which take place in June as he competed in the Berkhamsted Triathlon.
Matty finished fourth overall and second in his age category, completing the 400m swim, 20k cycle and 8k run in 1:18:23. He also picked up the award for being first placed local male.
Luke Waller took part in the Flitwick 10k and, despite injuring his knee, still managed to finish in 53:59
Also on Sunday lots of club members and their families were in attendance at Gadebridge Park for the 5k Bubble Rush - a fundraiser hosted by The Hospice of St Francis.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of D&T runners out at various parkruns at the weekend.
Gadebridge parkrun had the highest D&T representation with 19 members, ranging from ages 10-54, turning out to run the muddy and damp course thanks to heavy rain overnight.
First across the line for the club was young Freddie Truman Williams who stormed home to take 2nd overall, 1st in the JM11-14 in a new PB of 21.46 while earning himself his milestone t-shirt for his 10th parkrun.
Middle distance squad team-mate Thomas Durrant wasn’t far behind, finishing in a time of 21.46 to secure his status as 4th finisher overall and 2nd in the JM11-14.
Keith Wishart was 7th finisher overall in a time of 22.31 to comfortably take 1st VM45-49, while Wendy Pearson blasted the course to achieve a new PB of 24.09 and finish as first lady overall.
Wendy and Michael Lamb ran shoulder to shoulder, with Michael a mere 1 second behind which placed Michael 2nd in the VM40-44.
Sam Sullivan was the 2nd overall lady and also 2nd in the VW40-44 in a time of 24.23, closely followed by Karen Wishart in 24.34 to be 5th female to finish and 1st in the VW45-49.
Next was Andy Mitchell, 2nd VM50-53 in 25.23, Wendy Durrant, 2nd VW45-49 in 25.28 and Gwen Mostyn, 3rd in VW40-44 in 27.02.
The Hopper Family made their debut at Gadebridge, with young Edward being the first family member to finish in a time of 28.07, younger sister Kate in 36.08 and mother Louisa finishing in 36.15.
Danielle Kerr wasn’t phased by the wet, slippery conditions as she still managed to trim 1min 17 off her previous PB to earn herself 1st in SW30-34, while Star and Calypso Philips crossed in 31.25 and 31.26 respectively.
Richard Stevens completed comfortably in 32.29, Annette Howard finished her 80th parkrun in a time of 34.20 while Rasmi was the volunteer tail runner.
Helping to make Gadebridge parkrun happen were the Marlow Family; Jamie, Erin and Lewis, Louise Flower, Tony Reeve, JJ, Erica Klein and Kirsty Russell.
Over at nearby St Albans parkrun, Andrew Van Heiningen finished in 24.52 and Amy Dilks in her 3rd ever parkrun improved by another 16s to achieve a new PB of 27.17.
Paul Christie was first D&T runner home at Cassiobury parkun in an impressive time of 19.29, 2nd VM35-39 followed by Chris Marriott in 20.55, 3rd SM30-34.
Duncan Hamilton, who only ran Manchester Marathon last weekend and has London Marathon next weekend, ran with fellow aspiring London marathoner Tim Coysh to both cross the line simultaneously in 24.23.
Esther Hamilton, who is also running London Marathon, finished one of her last easy paced training runs in 30.27.
Tackling the hilly, challenging Tring parkrun was Samuel Burnell, 1st JM11-14 in a time of 23.55, Philip Pugh, 1st VM 55-59 in 25.33 and Samuel Day, 1st JM10 who finished well within the 30min bracket.
While D&T had no runners at South Oxhey, coach Rob Deane was on hand to fly the flag for the #loveparkrun campaign as well as volunteering as timekeeper to ensure everyone got their timed run.