At one of the Gade Valley Harriers’ favourite runs of the year, 35 GVH athletes donned the club colours on Sunday to race in the Ricky Road Run – a 10-mile scenic race around Rickmansworth and Chorleywood.
The race has been run for over 30 years and is sponsored by Affinity Water, supporters of the Water Aid charity who provide safe water and sanitation for people in third-world countries.
In a show of strength, the Harriers men’s team claimed first prize, with Mark Crabtree also posting second overall finisher in a blistering 57:24.
The winning team was made up of Crabtree, John Lawler and Matt Watt, and the full list of finishers was: Crabtree 57:24, Lawler 1:01:07, Watt 1:01:27, Mikey Ferris 1:02:06, Ed Price 1:02:16, Anthony James 1:03:39, Guy Woollett 1:04:20, Vince Ellerby 1:06:01, Rob Potton 1:09:05, Gemma Bitaraf 1:10:30, Laura Sharma 1:11:46, Sian Hibbs 1:12:23, Mike Birch 1:12:27 , Antony Willcox 1:12:35, Claire McDonnell 1:13:04 (PB), James Thomson 1:13:11, Andy Cook 1:13:52, Robert Bowler 1:14:09, James Birnie 1:16:32, Rich Peters 1:16:38 (PB), Tracey Aldridge-Jones 1:17:36, Victoria Crawley-Wise 1:18:38, Andy Watt 1:19:08, Dave Wise 1:21:26, Deon Percival 1:21:53, Russ Bailey 1:23:36, Emma Phillpot 1:24:33, Rich Hutton 1:25:27, Shelley Walsh 1:26:02, Emma Graham 1:26:32, Suzy Beak 1:27:34, Martin Storrie 1:31:51, Paula Cook 1:34:40, Tina Searle 1:39:18, Tanya Saunders 1:39:17 and Peter Tucker 1:42:46.
Also on Sunday, Helen Heathcote, Helen Cook and Carol Skates were in action at the Water Of Life 10K race in Marlow, Buckinghamshire – again raising money for Water Aid.
The route started and finished in the prestigious Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, following the River Thames between Marlow and Henley, before looping back through beautiful countryside.
In her first 10K run, Cook posted a creditable 1:02:35, with team-mate Heathcote beside her in 1:02:36 and Skates in 1:08:11.
Also in her first 10K was Ashleigh Jay, who raced round the Shepton Mallet 10K in a speedy 47:35.
At the local Gadebridge parkrun this Saturday, five Harriers flew the GVH flag, claiming three out the four top places.
First place went to Rich Coles in 19:12, with Scott Dixon hot on his heels in second place in 19:53. Coming home in fourth place was Steve Newing in 21:25, followed by Paul Reilly, returning from injury, in 23:32 and Peter Tucker crossing the line in 30:37.
James Thomson was the lone Harrier at the St Albans parkrun, where he put in good effort to finish in a sharp 20:18.
Tom North took fourth place at the Tring parkrun, defying the hills and showing a solid time of 20:43.