Your weekly dose of action from Dacorum & Tring AC, Gade Valley Harriers and Tring parkrun.
> D&T Road Runners
A team of 19 Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners took part in the Gauntlet Games, a 10k obstacle course at Woodall Park near Hertford.
Runners dodged paint guns, balanced across beams over muddy bogs and slid down giant slides, with teams of ‘gladiators’ ready to stop them at every step.
Ladies’ captain Sam Fawcett said: “It was a great day out. We all stuck together and tackled river jumps and ran up steep banks, helping each other over obstacles and waiting for everyone so no one was left behind. And we all charged at the gladiators in a purple people mass!”
Kodie Mitchell, running her first-ever race for the club since taking up running a few months ago, added: “The Games were a great morning out – we all stuck together and helped each other out over the obstacles.
“My favourite bit was when I tried to jump a muddy stream and fell in – I can’t wait to get my D&T shirt on and do it all again soon!”
The next day, Chris Marriott and Michelle Trueman ran the Flitwick 10k, with Chris finishing under the 40-minute mark in 39:03 for joint 30th overall out of 703 runners.
Michelle ran her first ever 10k in 47:13, fast enough for 20th lady overall and sixth in the 35-44 age group.
In other news, Simon Bright tackled the Dark Skies Run at Northumberland’s Kielder Water and Forest Park, which is the largest area of protected night sky in Europe.
The 26.2-mile race was run at night over the trails and footpaths surrounding the Kielder reservoir, a unique experience that Simon said was “magic.”
Rob Deane and Victoria Thornley, meanwhile, finished up their training for this Sunday’s London Marathon with a steady 10 miles at the Fuller’s Thames Towpath Ten – winning a Fuller’s London Pride pint glass for their efforts.
The club also had eight members out at parkruns, with impressive results all round. At South Oxhey parkrun, Chris Kitchener finished first overall with a new PB in 2:43 – only six days after running the Brighton Marathon.
Samantha Sullivan was first home for the club at St Albans, in a time of 21:20, which was a massive PB of 43 seconds, and fast enough for seventh lady overall and first in the VW40-44 age group.
Jim Mason was next over the line, with a fantastic new PB of 24:06 – Jim has only been running for four months, and has lost 9.5st over the past year or so, therefore his time is a remarkable achievement.
Rupinder Mahil finished next in 27:55, while Peter Bailey, running in the VM70-74 age group, notched up another parkrun, finishing under the 30 minute mark for the first time in 18 months.
At the Cassiobury parkrun in Watford, Clare Hunt was second lady over the line, first in the SW25-29 category and only 12 seconds off her PB.
Over at Tring parkrun, the club was well represented by its juniors, with Indira Patel first over the line for the club in a new PB of 22.23, fast enough for second JW11-14, while team-mate Sam Burnell finished in 24:01 for first JM10.
> Gade Valley Harriers
A team of six Gade Valley Harriers headed north to compete in the 39th Manchester Marathon for the culmination of many months of hard work and dedicated training.
The Harriers joined 12,500 other runners to take on the fast course and enjoyed the stadium finish at Manchester United Football Club.
For the second week running, all of the Harriers set new PBs over the 26.2-mile course. First home was Michael Birch in 3:11:40, followed by Simon Geary in 3:16:01, Nick Crowther in 3:17:36, Laura Sharma in 3:39:31, Anita Berwick in 4:06:14 and Karis Thomas in 4:19:35.
Also in the north were family team Andy Terry and Helen Terry, along with Paul Mosely, who travelled to the Peak District to take on the Derwent Dambusters 10-Mile Race. Andy was first home in 1:18:02, ahead of Helen in 1:34:34 and Paul in 1:49:00.
In parkrun action this week, the Harriers had entrants at St Albans, Cassiobury Park, Black Park and Tring.
At St Albans, James Thomson was first back in 21:10, followed by team-mates Helen Heathcote in 29:12, Luca Ramusino 29:43 and Carol Skates with a new PB of 31:49.
At Tring, Tom North stormed home in second place in a cracking time of 19:53, with Lesley Jugoo also putting in a great effort to clock a new PB of 33:45.
Cassiobury Park had Harriers in fourth and fifth places, where men’s captain Ed Price came home in 18:28 and Anthony James was right behind him in 18:43.
Black Park saw lone Harrier Vince Ellerby put in a solid performance to come home in 19:49 for 13th place.
Elsewhere, Harrier Mark Crabtree came home in fifth place at the Flitwick 10K on Sunday in an excellent time of 34:39.
Team-mate James Birnie was racing as well and set a new PB of 41:31, knocking a huge 4 minutes 44 seconds off his previous PB.
> Tring parkrun
There was plenty of sunshine at Tring parkrun for this week’s 122 runners, of whom 24 were competing at the event for the first time.
The course is now very dry and, as a result, 59 runners recorded PBs, representing 66 per cent of those who had run at Tring before.
Some individuals made impressive improvements, including Sam Graham (8:10), Jim Patterson (4:57), Sarah Davies (3:46), and Gary Evans (3:02). Special mention also goes to Richard Murphy who has now recorded four PBs in the last five weeks.
Ruth Rutt, Lynda Hembury and Christopher Hammonds all set age category records.
At the front, James Davis of Vale of Aylesbury AC ran by himself to be the fastest finisher in a time of 18:17.
Tom North of Gade Valley Harriers and Andrew Dodds of Redway Runners made up the top three.
Once again junior Tilly Green was fastest lady, but another junior, fast improving Indira Patel, was just 13 seconds behind. Lynda Hembury took third as all three recorded PBs.
Sam Bladen, Dom Evans and Luke Parker led the juniors home, with Maddy Lingard being the third junior girl behind Tilly and Indira.
Registration for Tring parkrun is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/tring