The Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners were out in force this weekend at the inaugural Hatfield 5 – a five-mile race hosted by ActiveTrainingWorld at the University of Hertfordshire.
More than 60 club members took part in the race, making up a fifth of the entire field of some 300 runners.
The club came away with scores of PBs on the flat and fast course as well as finishing second overall in both the men’s and ladies’ team events.
First man across the line for the club was Jamie Marlow, 10th overall in a time of 29.04.
He was followed by 16-year old Rhys Rowlands, in a new PB of 30.52, and Duncan Hamilton just behind in 31.27.
Next over the line were Matt Hamilton (32.05), Russell Morris (32.05), Chris Marriott (32.14), Douglas Hamilton (32.30), Steve Russell (32.51) and Chris Kitchener (33.09) – all scoring new PBs for the distance.
Ania Gabb was the first lady for the club and second senior lady overall, in a new PB of 32.44; hot on her heels was Samantha Fawcett, third senior lady, in a new PB of 33.24 and Kelly Du Buisson, also with a PB of 33.54.
Elizabeth Roberts was fourth lady for the club, finishing in 34.44, followed by 15-year old Grace Birdseye in 36.01.
The remaining finishers for the team were John Hopper - 34.08; Matthew Hallissey - 34.31; Richard Slack - 34.50; Richard East - 35.19; Paddy Ashton - 35.31; Michael Lamb - 35.32; Samantha Sullivan - 36.15; Wendy Pearson - 36.31; Ken Perry - 37.16; Martin Kerr - 37.52; Amy Perry - 38.04; Catherine Davies - 38.05; Karen Wishart - 38.06; Rob Deane - 38.24; Alex Dean - 38.41; Rachel Lewis - 40.01; Alison Richardson - 40.24; Louisa Hopper - 40.25; Debbie Kennard - 40.22; Jessica Tanner - 40.44; Carolyn Heeps - 41.38; John Slack - 41.42; Claire Copperwhite - 41.59; Victoria Thornley - 42.00; Pat Hayball - 42.46; Jason Hawkridge - 42.48; Caspar Du Buisson - 44.13; Esther Hamilton - 43.47; Kirsty Russell - 43.53; Brittany Salt - 42.52; Rob Salt - 43.53; Michelle Ashwell - 43.56; Gary Sturdy - 44.44; Samantha Hawkridge - 46.39; Carol McDonald - 47.39; Janice Briggs - 47.31; Jayne Birdseye - 47.49; Anya Higgins - 47.56; Robert Wright - 50.11 and Keeley Hawkridge.
Elsewhere, Dacorum & Tring AC’s young athletes came away with more superb results in the third leg of the North London League cross country series at Enfield’s Trent Park on a brutally muddy, wet and hilly course.
First off was 10-year old Olivia Edwards, who finished a fabulous fifth, only 20 seconds off first place in the U11 girls’ race over 1,500m.
Next to race were the U11 boys and U13 girls, who ran together over a 2,450m course.
Jamie Bailey was fourth overall for the boys, Thomas Ashton was 10th and Sam Burnell was 17th, with the three boys combining to finish as sixth team overall out of 52 boys from 12 teams, while Maddie Perry finished fifth overall for the U13 girls.
Kristian Imroth had another stellar performance, crossing the line in second place overall for the U13 boys, only 12 seconds off top spot, over the longer 3,000m course, with team-mate Freddie Truman-Williams in 11th and Max Benveniste in 33rd.
Grace Birdseye had her best finish of the season, finishing seventh in the U15 girls’ race, also over 3,000m, while Joshua van Heiningen was seventh in the U15 boys race, held over 4,200m.
Rhys Rowlands and Matt Renphrey ran strongly in the U17 men’s race, the longest race of the day at 5,600m, finishing 9th and 11th overall. The club’s middle distance coach, Mike Dunphy, noted that “all the athletes ran extremely well and continue to improve with every race.”
> Parkruns aplenty for the Harriers
Parkruns dominated the Gade Valley Harriers’ weekend running, with Harriers travelling to five different venues for the 5K races.
Four Gade Valley athletes took on the Tring parkrun, with Tom North first back for the Harriers in 12th place in a time of 22:11.
North was followed by Andy Norton in 22:56, Russ Bailey 24:49 and Martin Storrie, returning from knee surgery, in 27:54.
James Thomson and Jenny Barnett were representing the Harriers at St Albans parkrun, where Thomson finished in a new PB of 20:58 and Barnett came home in 30:25.
There was just one entry at Black Park this week, where Vince Ellerby completed in 12th place overall out of 348 runners, in a time of 19:43.
Matt Ashby was the lone Harrier at Canterbury parkrun, where he achieved fourth overall place out of 70 runners, in a time of 20:46.
Maxine Bateman took on the scenic Forest of Dean parkrun, where she finished in a very respectable 30:10.
> Pacemakers lead the way at Tring
Eight runners kindly offered to be pacemakers at this week’s Tring parkrun - resulting in a host of new PB times being set.
Aiming for times ranging from 22 minutes to 35 minutes, the pacemakers had a tough task ahead of them on the undulating course.
As the course is partially through woods, the running GPS devices don’t always get a constant signal and therefore timing can become trickier.
As a result most of the pacers beat their target times by a fair margin but this seemed to help with the PBs as other runners were tempted to follow them, This resulted in 40 per cent of the runners who had tackled the course before achieving personal bests this week.
There was a lower turnout of 110 runners, but eight age category records were still achieved.
Claire Hallissey beat the previous ladies’ record by just one second with a time of 20 minutes and 37 seconds. She was followed by Claire Shelley and Rosanna Iannone.
For the males, James Davis from Aylesbury was the fastest finisher, followed by Jonathan Peters and Nicholas Williams.
Conor Richardson was the fastest male junior and Isabella Bidlake Hull was again the fastest female junior.
Registration for Tring parkrun is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/tring