The Dacorum & Tring Road Runners had a hugely successful weekend, as club members competed in half a dozen major events around the country – and in France – and brought home a raft of medals, PBs and top placings in races ranging from parkrun to ultra marathons.
First up, eight ladies travelled to Hertford to race in the inaugural Hertford Relay Run, an event that raised funds for Breast Cancer Care. The eight, divided into two teams, took part in the Super Relay, in which each team member ran a lap of 4k, and the team of Catherine Davies, Heidi Greaves, Tina Le and Jules Robinson finished first in the women’s division and sixth overall in a time of 1.03.03 – only 4.43 behind the winning men’s team.
The second ladies’ team, made up of Becky Fawcett, Leah Sill, Clare Hunt and Sam Fawcett, finished a mere 40 seconds behind their teammates, fast enough for second ladies’ team and seventh overall in 1.03.43. Sam had the fastest 4k lap, 13.24, of all the female competitors, with only one male runner faster, in 13.02.
Closer to home, D&T had a good show at the 10-mile Ricky Road Run, with Kate Rennie crossing the line in a speedy 1.02.25, fast enough for 12th overall, second lady and first lady vet.
Steve Shaw was first man for the club, finishing in 1.07.24, while Paul Christie was close behind in 1.09.19.
Two of the club’s U17 runners, Joshua van Heiningen and Rhys Rowlands, took on the 10-mile race distance for the first time, cruising across the line together in 1.11.47 and 1.11.48, while new member Daniel Griggs finished in 1.16.50, with Martin Arnold hot on his heels in 1.17.37. Victoria Thornley grabbed a superb new PB of 1.27, while Michelle Ashwell was more than four minutes faster than last year, crossing the line in 1.39.54.
Down in Portsmouth, Jack Parslow finished 30th overall, in a blistering time of 52.44, out of nearly 14,000 finishers, in the 10-mile Great South Run, making him the first runner from the county to cross the line in a race dominated by African runners.
Richard Brawn ran 1.07.46, a new PB for him, which gave him 441st place, or 200th in the men’s 20-35 category, while Anya Higgins finished in a respectable 1.40.39, far exceeding her goal of 1.50.
Matty Earles took on the Love Luton Half Marathon, and finished in 1.29.48, fast enough for 36th out of more than 800 runners - a superb result considering he’d been out of run training for some months due to injury, and only a day after coming third in the Berkhamsted Cycling Club’s time trial up Bison Hill.
Team-mate Manon Pagniez, meanwhile, finished the Paris 20k race in a hug new PB of 1.46.07, 7.5 minutes faster than her previous PB for the distance.
Meanwhile, the club had 17 runners out in various parkruns around the southeast, with some strong finishes and age group placings.
First up was Jan Strachan, who took a mammoth 2.33 off her parkrun PB to finish 3rd VF45-49 at St Albans. She crossed the line in 24.08 – only two weeks after setting her huge new marathon PB in York.
Jamie Marlow, meanwhile, had another superb result, finishing first overall, by a massive three-and-a-half minutes, at the Fritton Lake parkrun near Great Yarmouth.
Chris Kitchener went out to Black Park, and was eight overall out of 428 runners, first VM45-49 and owner of a new Black Park PB of 19.55 – four minutes faster than his first-ever parkrun there five years ago.
Michael Lamb was 10th at Gadebridge parkrun in 22.57, with Rob Salt not far behind in 24.00 for 12th overall and first VM50-54. Andy Mitchell was next, in 26.43 (third VM50-54), with Erica Klein running for the first time in Gadebridge and finishing in 27.33, fast enough for first SW30-34 and second lady overall.
Right behind her, Louise Flower got a new PB of 27.58, for third lady overall and first in the SW25-29 category for the second week in a row, while Kirsty Russell posted her second consecutive parkrun PB, finishing in 29.49. And Star Phillips was first JW11-14 in 30.42.
Over at Cassiobury, Duncan Hamilton finished third overall and first SM25-29 in a new course PB of 18.36, while Rachel Lewis was first in the SW25-29 age group in a time of 23.01.
Dave Stears ran in Cassiobury for the first time, finishing in a speedy 23.21, for second VMM55-59 (done in the middle of his 15 mile jog to Watford and back as he prepares for the NY marathon next weekend). Michelle Ashwell was on fire, grabbing a new PB of 25.41 – beating her previous best by 22 seconds and going under 26 for the first time.
Tim Churchill ran in South Oxhey, finishing fourth overall and first SM30-34, in a time of 22.13, just off his PB, set last week over the same course, of 22.01. Emma Donovan was fifth lady across the line in 28.16 and second in the SW25-29 age group.
Steve Shaw went out to Aylesbury parkrun, finishing seventh overall in 19.32, only nine seconds off his PB, and first by a long way (more than two minutes) in his VM50-54 age group.
John Jales, Penny Wallduck, Tony Reeve and Phil Pugh were on hand as volunteers at Gadebridge, while Rob Deane and Rob Wright were helping out in South Oxhey.