Harrier Flowers blooms at White Rose Ultra

Al Flowers after completing the White Rose Ultra at the weekend.
Al Flowers after completing the White Rose Ultra at the weekend.

Harrier Al Flowers joined 200 others in Yorkshire on Sunday to take part in the White Rose Ultra 50km race in wet and windy conditions on hilly, slippery trails.

After 20 miles of patiently pacing his run, Flowers started to jostle for position in ever-worsening weather to move up to fourth place, which he held to the finishing line in a creditable five hours and one minute.

On Sunday a handful of Harriers took part in an event that was the polar opposite to Flowers’ ultra run - the Stevenage Half-Marathon, a flat 13.1-mile race along the Hertfordshire town’s cycle-lanes and footpaths.

The route passed through no fewer than 20 underpasses on its two-lap course, which started and finished at Ridlins Athletics Track and passed by the town’s football stadium.

After a chilly start on a day which stayed dry for the majority, Simon Wallis led his team-mates throughout the race, which went alongside a boating lake in the Green Flag-awarded Fairlands Valley Park.

Wallis clocked 1:29:50. He was followed by Stephen Newing (1:35:34) and Phil Mercer (1:36:37), who crossed the line just over a minute apart and with only two other competitors between them.

The race also incorporated the county’s Veterans’ Championships and Tracey Cotton picked up the Herts female vets’ FV35 age-group award in a time of 1:46:34.

Rupert Mainwaring (1:54:22) and wife Clare (2:10:24) completed the team.

On Saturday several club members took part in the free, timed 5km ParkRuns around the country, but it was at the nearby Gadebridge Park event in which the Harriers excelled, achieving four of the first five finishers on the hilly course.

Anthony Willcox (20:38) was first overall to finish, with Ross Deacon (20:54) second and Edward Price (21:40) and Vince Ellerby (22:27) finishing in fourth and fifth place respectively.