Dacorum & Tring AC came out strongly again in the fourth leg of the 2014-15 Chiltern League Cross Country series – the most competitive cross country league in the country.
The ladies’ teams in particular performed superbly, finishing the day eighth overall out of the 27 teams in Divisions 1 and 2, with the vet ladies’ team placing fourth.
In Division 2, Samantha Fawcett finished sixth overall, and is currently second senior lady in the rankings after four races.
Ania Gabb finished right behind Sam, in seventh, in her first XC for the club, while Catherine Davies was 10th and Kelly Du Buisson was 11th.
Sam Sullivan was next, in 26th, followed by Becky Fawcett (27th), Karen Wishart (30th), Kate Bailey (32nd), Clare Murray (45th), Carolyn Heeps (48th), Sam Hawkridge (76th) and Carol McDonald (77th). The ladies finished second on the day, while the lady vets were also second.
Grace Birdseye finished ninth for the U15 girls, while Indira Patel and Maddie Perry were sixth and seventh in the U13 girls’ race, for third U13 team overall, and Olivia Edwards finished a fantastic ninth overall out of 72 runners in the U11 girls’ race.
Thanks to the combined girls and women’s points, Dacorum & Tring remain on top of the Female Overall Division, with a 172-point lead.
The men’s side was missing a few key athletes, and was only able to field 14 runners on the day.
Matthew Salt was first home for the club, finishing 14th overall, while Jamie Marlow made a spectacular comeback after losing both shoes in the mud in the first lap – surging from last to an impressive 37th at the finish.
Chris Marriott and Steve Russell finished a second apart in 44th and 45th, with Russell Morris in 47th.
He was followed by John Hopper (53rd), Andy Trevillion (67th), Richard Slack (74th), newcomer Keith Wishart (85th), Rob Salt (93rd), John Cooper (118th), John Slack (121st), Casper Du Buisson (124th) and Malcolm Sargeant (126th). Overall, the men finished fourth on the day, while the vet men’s team was fifth.
For the young athletes, Kristian Imroth had another outstanding race, finishing first overall for the U13s, with Freddie Truman-Williams in sixth.
The U13 boys placed second as a team and remain second overall with one race left to go.
Jamie Bailey also had a superb run for the U11s, finishing second overall out of 88 boys – only a second behind first place – while Sam Burnell finished a very respectable 29th.
Rhys Rowlands finished fourth for the U17 men, keeping Dacorum & Tring on top of the U17 rankings with one race left to go, while Jamie Ayres finished a strong sixth for the U15 boys.
> Gade Valley Harriers
Preparations are well under way for the first of this year’s Gade Valley Harriers marathon training runs.
The series of three runs are geared towards people training for a spring marathon, and comprise a 12, 17 and 20-mile run, one month apart.
The 12-mile run will take place on Sunday, January 25 at 09.30am, starting and finishing from the GVH HQ at Boxmoor Cricket Club, St. Johns Road, Hemel Hempstead.
The runs are open to everyone, regardless of whether they belong to a running club or not, and usually attract approximately 500 runners.
The route is mainly along quiet country roads through the stunning Ashridge Forest, with a small section on the Grand Union Canal towpath.
The route is fully-marshalled, with water and jelly baby stops.
There is no pre-registration, so runners are requested to arrive early to register and pay the £5 entry fee.
At the end there are cups of tea or coffee and cake awaiting the runners.
Meanwhile, the big event for the Harriers this weekend was the penultimate race in the Chiltern Cross Country League, which took place at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes.
A team of 18 men and nine ladies put on the GVH colours to defend their position in Division 1.
The men’s team came ninth, while the women finished in eighth. As a team, this puts the Harriers in 12th position in the division.
Elsewhere, Tring parkrun had four Harriers in attendance this week, with David Jones first back in 35:05, followed by team-mates Andy Norton in 35:09, Johnny Broom in 35:36 and Luca Ramusino in 36:54,
Jenny Barnett represented the Harriers at St Albans parkrun on Saturday, where she braved the rain to put in a time of 32:13. Harrier Vince Ellerby was at the Black Park parkrun on the same day and put in a sterling performance to come in eighth overall place out of 419 runners in a time of 19:48.
> Tring parkrun
The Tring parkrun volunteers were out early on Saturday morning clearing the path after the very strong overnight winds knocked down part of a tree along the route.
The wind was still blowing very strongly when the 104 runners set off on their 5k lap of the park.
Although the poor weather had undoubtedly put off some entrants, there were still 20 brand new parkrunners braving the elements.
The wind meant that times were understandably generally slower than usual, although 11 managed to set PBs.
Steven Frear of Woodstock Harriers was first to finish, followed by Toby Gribbin – who has now run 50 parkruns – and Rob Fletcher.
For the ladies, Sarah Needleman was first, followed by regulars Katie Van de Linde and Lynda Hembury.
Fastest junior male and female were Will Atkinson, who achieved a PB, and Crystal Jugoo running her first ever parkrun;
Registration for Tring parkrun is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/tring