Off-road exploits for the Gade Valley Harriers

A team of 26 Gade Valley Harriers athletes took on the 10K challenge of Herbert's Hole PNL-151116-101741002
A team of 26 Gade Valley Harriers athletes took on the 10K challenge of Herbert's Hole PNL-151116-101741002
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It was another week of off-road action for the Gade Valley Harriers this week as the athletes competed in the Dirt Half Marathon on Saturday and the Herbert’s Hole Challenge on Sunday.

Seven Harriers took to the hills of Leighton Buzzard for the Dirt Half Marathon, competing against a field of 661 other athletes.

Seven Harriers took to the hills of Leighton Buzzard for the Dirt Half Marathon

Seven Harriers took to the hills of Leighton Buzzard for the Dirt Half Marathon

Nick Crowther was first back for the Harriers in a quick 1:37:10, followed by Dave Wise in 1:46:45, Rupert Mainwaring in 1:52:15, Ashleigh Jay in 1:54:49 (PB), Emma Nash in 1:59:58 (PB), Andy Newing in 2:04:46 and Peter Tucker in 2:31:54.

In Chesham, 28 GVH athletes took on the 10km challenge of Herbert’s Hole, a tough multi-terrain event through the picturesque Chiltern countryside.

Both the ladies and men scooped their respective first team prizes, with Claire McDonnell, who is having a fantastic season, also taking first in her age category. GVH ladies’ captain Gemma Bitaraf powered round the course to finish as first lady home.

The prize winning men’s team was made up of Rich Coles, Mikey Ferris, Matt Watt and Guy Wollett. For the ladies it was Gemma Bitaraf, Laura Sharma, Claire McDonnell and Kathleen Courtier.

The full list of GVH male finishers was Rich Coles 40:42, Mikey Ferris 41:50, Matt Watt 41:58, Guy Woollett 42:51, Steve Boyd 43:07, Ed Price 43:22, Jon Roberts 43:29, John Lawler 43:33, Anthony Kames 45:11, Mike Birch 47:12, Andy Norton 47:17, Steve Newing 47:30, James Birnie 47:32, Anthony Willcox 49:07, Andy Cook 50:22, Andy Bishop 52:00, Robert Bowler 52:17, James Thomson 55:31 and Phil Mercer 1:11:41.

On the ladies’ side, the GVH runners were Gemma Bitaraf 46:04, Laura Sharma 49:17, Claire McDonnell 50:30, Kathleen Courtier 51:48, Tracy Aldridge Jones 52:46, Rossiana Mee 54:16, Victoria Crawley-Wise, 55:21, Jacki Eskdale 1:04:56 and Karis Thomas 1:10:03.

At Gadebridge Park there were four Harriers flying the club colours, with Matt Ashby storming home in first place, over two minutes quicker than his next rival in 19:33. Following Ashby were Emma Phillpot in 25:51 (first lady home), Helen Cook 32:32 and Emma Cooper 33:06.

Rushmere Park in Leighton Buzzard had Steve Boyd and Tom North from GVH competing, both putting in strong performances. Boyd claimed second place in a time of 20:19, with North hot on his heels in fourth place in 20:52.

There was one Harrier at the Cassiobury Park, Pegwell Bay (Kent) and Black Park parkruns, with Leona Flaherty clocking 24:45, Vince Ellerby 18:38 (PB) and Guy Woollett 27:12.