Gade Valley Harriers claim two top-five places at the County Championships

The Gade Valley Harriers men's team battled well at the Herts County Cross Country Championships in Watford.
The Gade Valley Harriers men's team battled well at the Herts County Cross Country Championships in Watford.

The main event for the Gade Valley Harriers at the weekend was the Herts County Cross Country Championships.

The Harriers put out a field of 10 ladies and 12 men, who braved the cold, deep mud and hills to run 8K and 12K respectively around Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Wood.

The race is open to all runners and clubs from Hertfordshire and attracted 726 runners in all.

The Harriers men fielded two teams who came in fifth and 11th places, while the ladies finished in 4th and 10th places.

Mark Crabtree came 24th in the men’s race, while Gemma Bitaraf stormed home in 15th place overall in the ladies’ race.

On Saturday, the Harriers had parkrun entrants at both St Albans and Wycombe Rye.

In St Albans, Crabtree bagged second place overall place in a very impressive time of 18 minutes and seven seconds, followed by Steve Newing in 21m 28s, Karis Thomas in 26m 59s and Joanna Kidd in 28m 37s.

As well as the runners, Maxine Bateman from the Harriers was also at the event as part of her training as a run director.

This means organising a whole parkrun event, including co-ordinating all the other volunteer marshals and having the responsibility to adjust the route if it becomes too hazardous.

Maxine has supported the St Albans parkrun from the start and has completer 36 runs, with a PB of 26m 5s.

Elsewhere, four Harriers were in action at Wycombe Rye, with John Lawler taking third place overall in 20m 21s.

He was followed by Vince Ellerby in 20m 39s, Matt Watt in 20m 45s and Matt Loddy in 21m 26s.