ParkRun milestone for Harriers

Gade Valley Harriers Helen Heathcote, Gareth Tucker, Helen Cook and Andy Cook were all in action at various events over the past week.
Gade Valley Harriers Helen Heathcote, Gareth Tucker, Helen Cook and Andy Cook were all in action at various events over the past week.

A trio of dedicated runners from Gade Valley Harriers completed their landmark 100th ParkRuns over the weekend.

ParkRuns are timed 5km events which take place every Saturday in parks across the UK and around the world.

The husband-and-wife duo of Andy and Helen Cook, alongside fellow Harrier Gareth Tucker were embarking on their 100th such event at Gadebridge Park on Saturday, and were joined by a host of club-mates who were keen to show their support and join in the celebration for the century milestone.

Such was the strength in numbers that six of the first 10 finishers were club athletes, with Phil Robbins leading the team home and finishing in second place overall in a speedy 19:14.

Bill Hawes was next to cross the line and broke his own Male Vet 50+ (MV50) club record for the venue by completing the course in 19:45, one position ahead of Michael Linden (19:56).

Ross Deacon (20:15) picked up a seventh-placed finish, with Dylan Wendleken (20:30) in ninth and Nicholas Crowther (20:58) rounding out the top 10.

Vince Ellerby (21:59) sneaked across the line inside 22 minutes, ahead of Antony Beamish (22:17).

Andy Cook was the first of the club’s newest members to join the centurion club, completing the hilly, off-road two-lap course, cheered across the line by his speedier teammates in a time of 22:53.

Tracey Cotton (23:38) was the first Harrier woman to finish and was second woman overall, a minute before Stephen Newing (24:38).

Andrew Watt (25:14) and Robin Potton (25:27) finished ahead of Kim Morgan, who was the ninth female overall and second Harrier female.

Gareth Tucker marked his 100th ParkRun with a time of 25:49, with Isabel Wilson (26:25) sandwiching the third new-centurion, Helen Cook who clocked 27:22.

Jaqui Sampson (27:39) and Russell Bailey (29:41) finished ahead of Andrew Wells (32:06), who was running with his son Sam.

Charlie Costin (35:20) and new members Nicole Tucker (35:54) and Caron Williams (45:37) wrapped up the team’s performance to ensure that more than 10 per cent of the 197 participants on the day were from the Boxmoor-based club.

The racing continued into the night on Saturday as Teresa Reason took part in the South Downs Midnight Marathon which started at 9pm, meaning participants were guaranteed to be running under a full moon as the clock struck midnight.

After starting in Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield, Hampshire, runners embarked on wet, slippy, hilly trails of the South Downs Way.

Reason continued her fine form of recent months by winning the ladies’ race and finishing in 13th place overall, completing the 26.2-mile out-and-back route in 4:15:30.

Just a few hours later Sunday’s racing was under way and a trio of Harriers were in action at locations around the country.

Phil Mercer completed the Kimbolton Half-Marathon in Cambridgeshire in 1:33:33, Julian Smith collected a personal best at the Bath Two Tunnels 10k with a superb time of 37:58 and Dave Goodman recorded a time of 41:00 at the Regents Park 10k event in London.