Dacorum & Tring AC’s adult road running section had a stellar weekend, recording top performances and results across four countries and in a variety of races and distances.
Close to home, Michelle Ashwell, Victoria Thornley and Justin Phipps ran the Moor Park 10k, a notoriously hilly course in the grounds of Merchant Taylors School in Northwood.
Justin finished fourth overall, and second VM40 in a super speedy time of 37:13; Vicky was a tantalising 26 seconds away from going under 50 minutes, finishing in an impressive 50:26 for third place in the senior ladies race; while Michelle crossed the line in 57.04, for 13th out of 48 runners in her VF35 age group.
Over at the Ealing Half Marathon, Jack Parslow finished a brilliant second overall, in 1:11:21, while Kirsty Russell scored a new PB for the distance, knocking nearly a minute off her previous best to finish in 2:05:34, and Samantha Hawkridge crossed the line in 2.04.36, logging more mileage before she takes on her first ultra-distance race next month.
Team-mate Kerry Hoar ran the Barns Green Half Marathon in West Sussex, and was running strongly to the final mile, when she twisted her ankle in a fall and had to hobble to the finish – crossing the line in a still very respectable 1:58:19, for 28th out of 86 runners in the VF40-44 category.
Heidi Greaves and Julie Regan ran the Windsor Half Marathon, with Regan finishing in a fabulous new PB of 1:51:09. Greaves, the club VF40 marathon record holder, said she had an off day, and felt ill for much of the race but still managed to finish in a respectable time of 1:58:48.
In the first autumn marathon for the club, Ania Gabb ran a new PB of 3:16:54 at the Berlin Marathon – only a minute off her goal of 3:15, but still four faster than her previous best.
Sam Fawcett, meanwhile, finished as third woman overall and second senior woman at the Gatorade Eton Dorney Sprint triathlon at what was only her second ever triathlon and her first open-water event. Fawcett completed the event in 1:15:26, finishing the 750m swim in 14:31, the 19.2km bike in 37:25 and the 5km run in 21:07. Her run time was the fastest of all 81 female finishers and her bike time was the third-fastest.
Heading off-road and onto the trail, Richard Brawn finished 32nd overall out of 150 runners at the Butser Hill Challenge, in a time of 42:44. The event comprised a 5-mile fell run, and is billed as ‘one of the most demanding runs’ in the southeast, where runners tackle Butser Hill, the highest point on the South Downs, three times.
Finally, Chris Kitchener took on the Three Peaks challenge, which involved climbing the three highest points in the mainland UK within 24 hours – including travel time.
Together with a group of three equally-fit friends and a dedicated driver, Chris set off at 3.45pm from the base of Ben Nevis in Scotland to climb the UK’s highest peak, before heading off to the Lake District to scale Scafell Pike, England’s highest point, in the dark – then driving off to Wales to climb Snowden.
The group finished just outside the cut-off in 25 hours, with Chris delighted to have ticked the challenge off his bucket list; an unexpected bonus for him as he was only asked to replace an injured climber on the team late last week.
Meanwhile, Dacorum & Tring AC had 11 park runners out at six parkruns on Saturday, with some superb running all round – including six age group top-three finishes.
First up, Jamie Marlow got a new Gadebridge parkrun PB, crossing the line in second place in 18:50. Michael Lamb was next, in 22:45 (second VM40-45) with Andy Mitchell finishing as second VM50-54 in 25:47. Jess Tanner was first lady across the line in 25:50, while Keith Wishart and daughter Fay (first JW10) crossed together in 38:07.
Run director Kirsty Russell and head coach John Jales were on hand as volunteers,
At other parkruns, Simon Walker finished a fast sixth – and first SM25-29 – at Havant parkrun in Hampshire in 20:30, while Rob Salt finished 30th overall at Tring in 24:05, fourth in a strong field of 14 VM50-54s.
Tim Churchill was 25th at South Oxhey, accompanying his girlfriend Emma in her first-ever parkrun, which she completed in a very respectable 28:40.
Jonathan Edwards, meanwhile, was only six seconds off his parkrun PB at the Wycombe Rye event, finishing 45th overall in 22:40 and seventh in his very competitive VM50-54 age group of 28 runners.
Last but certainly not least, Peter Dollman crossed the line in St Albans in a new PB of 28:20 to finish third in the VM60-65 age group.