Gade Valley Harriers saluted their stars with awards at their AGM this week.
Rich Coles and Claire McDonnell scooped the best male and female athlete awards while Helen Cook and Paul Buxton were awarded the best newcomer awards.
The most improved runners awards deservedly went to James Thomson and Jaqui Sampson.
Buxton also claimed the winners trophy for the summer handicap series and Dave Wise was awarded the club members award.
Club Chairman Andy Newing was delighted to present a cheque for £500 to the Hospice of St Francis, the chosen charity for the year.
Newing said; “GVH has had a fabulous 25th Anniversary year, with many highlights including the accolade of Dacorum Sports Club of the Year for 2016, and our anniversary Olympics and BBQ in June. At our AGM we celebrated these and so many other achievements in our own inimitable style, and I’d like to congratulate all the award winners and offer a big thank you to our committee and all our members, for making this such a special running club.”
In marathon action was Andy Cook who travelled to Bournemouth. The reward for his gruelling training schedule was evident in his finishing time of 3:17:24, qualifying him for a place in next year’s London Marathon.
Angeline Cottrill, Donna Bruce, David Goodman Claire Cavenagh-Mainwaring and Jaqui Sampson from GVH Tri took on their first ever triathlon events in Hemel Hempstead on Sunday 2nd October. In the 400m swim, 8K bike ride and 5K run Goodman was first home for the team in 55:28, Sampson completed in a total time of 1:08:13 and Cottrill finished in 1:11:02.
In the Abbots Langley Tough 10K Race, eight Harriers represented team GVH, putting in sterling performances to claim the team prize, 2nd and 3rd females Maria Kenny and Claire McDonnell (1st vet female). First home for the team was James Birnie in a new PB of 38:55, followed by Maria Kenny 41:35, Steve Newing 42:44, Andy Bishop 44:27, Claire McDonnell 44:56, Vicky Crawley-Wise 47:25, Darren Dodd 53:37 and Emma Tipton 1:05:35..
Also over a 10K course, this time in Reading, Helen Cook pushed hard to complete in 54:04, claiming a new PB, before heading down to Bournemouth to see husband Andy finish his marathon.
Windsor, in Surrey, saw Serena Harrap complete the Spartan Beast 16 mile long obstacle course, completing the Spartan Trifecta of events. In her first ever half marathon, Michelle Wells dug deep to raise money for her chosen charity, The British Heart Foundation, at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. In an amazing effort, Wells pushed for home in a quick 1:55:15.
Closer to home, in Ley Hill, Guy Woollett and Andy Norton competed in the Ley Hill Challenge, a 10K odd road race around the hills and fields of the Chilterns.
The parkruns this week had 18 Harriers in seven of the timed 5K runs.
The local Gadebridge parkrun saw 5 Harriers in attendance, with Ladies Captain Gemma Bitaraf first home for the team, and first lady home in 22:14. Bitaraf was followed by Rupert Mainwaring in 25:18, Tom Langdown 25:48, Peter Tucker 31:06 and Charlie Costin 32:25.
The ever popular Black Park parkrun also had 5 GVH runners taking part, where Guy Woollett led the team home in 18:46, followed by John Lawler 18:57, Vince Ellerby 20:02, Max Woollett 23:41 and Dave Wise 24:18.
Watford’s Cassiobury Park saw father and son team Andy and William Terry in action as they both crossed the line in 28:30, followed by team mate Andy Button in 28:40.
Clocking a new PB and setting a new club record was Anthony James at the St. Albans parkrun. James powered home in 2nd overall place in a speedy 17:14, club mate Lesley Jugoo returning from injury, crossing the line in 32:29.
One runner a piece at the Bury St. Edmunds, Panshanger and Tring parkruns, with James Thomson posting 21:12, Mark Crabtree 17:19 (2nd overall place) and Tom North 20:36 (2nd overall place) respectively.