New race raises thousands for sports hall

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AROUND 160 runners descended on a village to take part in the first Gaddesden Gallop.

The 10k event from Little Gaddesden Sports Field in Church Road raised cash to pay for a new roof at the village sports pavilion.

Organisers expect to rake in more than more than £2,000.

The Sunday race took participants through the Ashridge Estate to Nettleden, then St Margaret’s, Hudnall Corner and back to Little Gaddesden.

Winner Owen Byrne, from Myrtle Cottages, Bulbourne, completed the run in 41 minutes and 59 seconds.

Owen, 46, who has been running since he was at school, has previously won the 5.4-mile Aldbury Cross Country Challenge and the 86.5-mile Ridgeway Challenge.

Every week, he runs eight miles on a weekday and 15 at the weekend.

Winning woman Kelly Hill, 29, from St Albans, completed the race in 51 minutes and eight seconds.

Kelly, the partner of Little Gaddesden Cricket Club captain Jeremy Fennell, said: “It was not until literally the day before that I decided to do the race.

“I think it was adrenaline that kept me going.”

Little Gaddesden parish councillor Rob Irving, who turned 65 the day before the race, got around the course in 65 minutes and 58 seconds – 16 seconds faster than Gazette reporter David O’Neill.

Mr Irving has been jogging for around 18 months after his wife bought him fitness training vouchers for his birthday.

He said: “This is the first race I have ever run since I was at school, and it was great.”