Runners from across Dacorum laced up their trainers for another busy weekend of action throughout the region.
> Dacorum & Tring AC
Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners were out in force at local parkruns at the weekend, with 23 runners taking on the 5km challenge in both St Albans and Tring.
Jamie Marlow was second over the line on the hilly Tring course in 19:36, only 19 seconds off the leader.
Next finisher for the club was 10-year old Thomas Ashton in 24:05 – first in the JM10 age group and fast enough for 25th overall.
Star Phillips was first girl home in the JW11-14 category, while her sister Calypso was first JW15-17; dad Michael ran alongside to finish his 145th parkrun.
Samantha Sullivan, meanwhile, was first VW40-45, John Slack finished first in the VM65-69 age group, and Alexis Bunce, Janice Flowers and Jan Briggs were delighted to finish their first ever parkruns for the club.
Also running strongly were Rob Salt, Rob Deane, Michelle Ashwel and Rob Wright
Over in St Albans, Joshua van Heiningen finished eighth overall out of 316 runners in a time of 18:01 – first in the JM11-14 age group – while his training partner Rhys Rowlands was 10th in 18:17 and first in the JM15-17 category.
Brothers Doug and Duncan Hamilton finished next, in 19.37 and 19.38, for second and third in the SM25-29 group, with Paddy Ashton finishing in a new PB of 21:06 for second in the SM20-24 age group.
Vicky Thornley scored a brilliant new PB of 24:52, going under the 25 minute mark for the first time, while other PBs included Kirsty Russell – going under 27 minutes for the first time – and Esther Hamilton who took nearly 40 seconds off her previous best.
In other news, Chris Kitchener and Debbie Kennard completed the TAB10, a 10-mile ‘rapid march’ endurance event that involved carrying a 12kg weight across muddy and hilly terrain and through rivers in and around St Albans.
Clare Murray, meanwhile, finished the Dirt Half, a challenging off-road half marathon on trails and canal towpaths near Leighton Buzzard in a steady 2:06:44.
> Gade Valley Harriers
It was another busy weekend for the Gade Valley Harriers as club members were in action at two major club runs as well as parkruns.
Saturday saw a strong team of 20 Harriers taking on the Dirt Half Marathon Challenge in Leighton Buzzard – a challenging 13.1 mile off-road course made all the more treacherous due to the hills, mud and wet leaves.
First home for the Harriers was Tom North in 41st place out of 649 finishers in 1:32:59, with new Harrier Julian Smith hot on his heels in 1:33:02.
Dylan Wendleken crossed the line next in 1:35:52 and Andy Norton followed in 1:40:30. Rupert Cavenagh-Mainwaring finished in 1:42:46, followed by Dave Wise in 1:45:20, James Thomson 1:48:39, Sam Tucker in 2:03:00, Andy Newing in 2:03:41, Emma Nash in 2:05:40, Karis Thomas in 2:08:57, Paula Cook in 2:10:18, Peter Tucker in 2:20:22, Joanna Kidd in 2:20:45, and Helen Terry in 2:20:50.
The Harriers clearly love muddy runs, as the following day a team of 15 took on the challenge of Herbert’s Hole in Chesham.
The annual 10km race is a multi-terrain one and takes in the beautiful Chiltern countryside, starting and finishing in Lowndes Park.
The men’s team were pipped into second place by just one point, with the ladies’ team also finishing second.
For the men, Harrier Guy Wollett had a superb race and achieved first place in his M40 category.
First back for the Harriers in the men’s race was Michael Ferris, in sixth place overall in a time of 40:43, followed by Wollett in 41:19.
Next home was John Lawler in 42:35, Jon Roberts in42:51, Scott Dixon in 42:09, Michael Birch in 47:23, Bob Wise in 53:37 and Andrew Terry 54:09.
In the ladies’ race, newly appointed ladies’ captain Gemma Bitaraf was first home for the Harriers in sixth overall place in 48:40.
She was followed by Claire McDonnell in 50:43, Victoria Crawley-Wise in 53:37, Karis Thomas in 1:00:59, Jackie Eskdale in 1:02:04, Emma Nash in 1:06:26 and Joanna Kidd in 1:08:46.
At the Black Park parkrun, meanwhile, Harrier John Lawler powered home in 18:42, coming in ninth overall place out of 414 runners. Team-mate Vince Ellerby chased Lawler home in 19:29 for 17th place.
St Albans parkrun had three entrants from the Harriers this week, with Jenny Barnett first back in 29:49, followed by both Paul Rumble and Harry Rumble in 30:42.
At Tring parkrun, Harrier Simon Wallis cruised home in 21:55 to take 15th place, with club-mate Russ Bailey completing in 24:16, while Helen Heathcote ran the After Adoption 10k in Londons Regent’s Park on Sunday in a new PB of 1:01:36.
> Tring parkrun
Duncan reaches his parkrun milestone
Mist obscured the views on Saturday morning at Tring parkrun for the 143 entrants – 86 of whom were running for the first time including 33 tackling their first ever parkrun.
Champagne was waiting at the finish line for Duncan Melsom, who celebrated with friends from St Albans, after reaching the landmark of 50 parkruns.
Most of Duncan’s parkruns have been at the nearby St Albans parkrun but on Saturday he celebrated with a Tring PB.
Paul Middleton of Tring RC was the first runner to emerge from the mist, finishing in a time of 19:18.
Claire Shelley set a new female course record of 22:22, while Sam Bladen (22:09) and Calypso Phillips (30:21) were the first male and female junior finishers.
Registration is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/tring or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
>Tring Running Club
Tring Running Club tackled the hills and mud at the 10km Rugged Radnage Race near Chinnor.
The Unaffiliated Team Prize went to the Tring quartet of Nigel Bunn, Alan Whelan and John Manning.
Results: 13th, 42:35 - Michael Burgess (3rd MV50); 15th, 43:08 - Nigel Bunn; 18th, 43:39 - Alan Whelan; 56th, 47:00 - Sean Gregory; 60th, 47:37 - John Manning (1st MV60); 61st, 47:42 - Clive Cohen; 80th, 49:29 - Verna Burgess (2nd FV50); 92nd, 50:12 - Liz O’Keefe; 98th, 50:34 - Mary Ward; 139th, 52:43 -Craig Thomas; 159th, 54:04 - Claire Mistry.