Lifelong dream fulfilled as Ania sparkles at Watford Half Marathon

The Dacorum & Tring squad were on form at the Watford Half Marathon
The Dacorum & Tring squad were on form at the Watford Half Marathon

The Watford Half Marathon was the main focus of the weekend with a strong smattering of Dacorum & Tring competitors lighting up the field with some incredible performances.

Ania Gabb stole the show, achieving a lifelong dream by crossing the line in that magical 1 hour and 30 minute marker. This put her in 211th position out of 1,864 finishers and 14th placed woman.

Ania Gabb powers on for the 1.30 finish she has always craved

Ania Gabb powers on for the 1.30 finish she has always craved

D&T’s top man of the day Russell Morris clocked an impressive time of 1 hour 37, which put him in 370th position overall.

Heidi Greaves also smashed her PB with a terrific finishing time of 1:48:36 for 880th place overall and 133rd woman, while Kirsty Russell managed a fantastic new PB of 2:12:32 and Rebecca White knocked just over a minute off her PB (2:21:20).

Chris Kitchener ran the race as part of an 18-mile training run that day but still managed to clock an impressive time of 1:42, which put him 570th overall. Duncan Hamilton was also running as part of a marathon training routine and cruised over the line in 1:42:22, which put him in 582nd place.

Tim Coysh put in a stellar performance, finishing with a smashing PB of 1:42:21 (580th); Tony Reeve clocked a speedy time of 1:47:07 (791st); and Tamara Frenchum raced to a time of 1:48:54, which was good enough for 121st woman.

Rebecca White and Annette Howard tackle the half marathon with a smile

Rebecca White and Annette Howard tackle the half marathon with a smile

Other solid finishers on the day from D&T were Phil Pugh, in a time of 1:51:54, David Stears – 1:52:12, John Stevens – 1:52:16, Jules Robinson – 1:54:40, Jessica Tanner – 2:00:10, Esther Hamilton 2:07:36, Luke Waller – 1:04:42, Alex Bayliss – 2.13.08, Sam Hawkridge – 2.17.31 and Annette Howard – 2.21.20. Michelle Ashwell was paced in by coach Rob Deane, finishing in a time of 2:12:22 with Rob coming in straight after.

Dacorum & Tring were also out in force in parkruns up and down the country this weekend, with 29 members braving the stormy conditions along with seven volunteering.

At Gadebridge, Sam Sullivan was first home the club, finishing in a superb time of 25.43, which also meant she was the first woman over the line. She was closely followed by Becky Fawcett who recorded a magnificent new PB of 25.52, making her second placed woman.

Rob Deane braved Gadebridge for the first time, finishing in 30th place overall with a solid time of 27.55. Calypso Phillips was also in action and her time of 31.39 put her in 1st place in the JW15-17 category. As ever, John Jales was on hand to volunteer along with Anette Howard, Tony Reeve, Michael Lamb, Erica Klein and Gwen Mostyn.

Over in Tring, Matt Hamilton whizzed round in a time of 21.39, which put him in second place overall. Kate Crossland was also in the mix, finishing in 24th overall with an impressive time of 27.02, which made her second placed woman.

Chris Marriott posted a quick time of 20.56 over at Cassiobury which put him 15th overall and second in the SM30-34 category. Michael Irvine was just 10 seconds off his PB as he romped home in 31st place overall. Tim Coysh was 38th overall in a solid time of 22.46. Jessica Tanner was 96th with a time of 25.18 and Penny Wallduck recorded a respectable time of 26.11 in her first outing at Cassiobury. Daneille Kerr and Esther Hamilton cruised in together with times of 29.11 and 29.12 respectively.

Rachel Belsey was the star of the show over in South Oxhey, tackling the course for the first time and finishing in eighth place overall with an impressive time of 29.10, first place in the JW10 category. She was closely followed by dad Richard who marked his first South Oxhey outing with a time of 29.21, coming in 11th place overall and 2nd in VM40-44.

At Luton Wardown, Denise Burford was 14th placed woman with a fabulous new parkrun PB of 27.21. She was followed by Kirsty Russell who was 19th placed woman in 28.25 and Janice Briggs was 24th woman, coasting in at 28.57.

Elsewhere David Stears came 35th at Harrow with a sterling time of 24.07. Vicky Thornley and Michelle Ashwell came in eighth and ninth placed women respectively with times of 27.02 and 27.18. They were making their Harrow debuts, as was Alan Grover at Wycombe Rye, finishing in a time of 31.14.

Chris Kitchener sped round at Aldenham taking sixth place overall in an impressive time of 21.17. Rebecca White was fifth placed woman with a time of 29.48, closely followed by Robert Wright who continued his comeback in style with a time of 29.50. Jamie Marlow was also present at Aldenham as a volunteer.

Meanwhile Emma Donavan and Tim Churchill took on Northala Fields this week, finishing it together in 27.28 and 27.29 respectively.

D&T also had representation in Southampton, with Duncan Hamilton weighing in with a cracking time of 21.21. Rachel Lewis also tried out Southampton for the first time, recording a solid 28.26.

Stephanie Harding travelled to Wolverhampton where she finished as 22nd placed woman with a time of 28.25.