Dacorum & Tring AC confirmed their promotion to Division 1 of the Chiltern League with some superb results at the cross country series finale at Milton Keynes’ Campbell Park.
The club brought home an armful of silverware in the process, having finished top of the table for Division 2 with one of the widest margins in recent history.
The girls’ and ladies’ team finished first overall for the five races, with the senior ladies taking home the top prize and the veteran ladies team winning bronze.
In the individual results for the series, Sam Fawcett finished first in the senior ladies’ category, with team-mate Ania Gabb close behind in second, and Samantha Sullivan third in the VF35-44 category.
On the day, battling against very muddy and slippery conditions, Sam finished second overall, with Ania in fourth. Rounding out the top four scorers were Becky Fawcett in 15th and Kelly Du Buisson in 19th.
The four were followed by Sam Sullivan (23rd), Vicky Thornley (24th), Jules Robinson (32nd), Charlotte Ashton (41st), Penny Wallduck (51st), Pat Hayball (52nd), Michelle Ashwell (53rd), Denise Burford (57th) and Emma Donovan (64th).
After five races, the D&T ladies finished 1,203 points ahead of the second placed team, with girls and women combined in the lead by 400 points.
Captain Sam Fawcett said “I am so proud of each and every lady who ran, not only today, but in each and every race this season. It’s been a tough year with some tough conditions and today was a fantastic way to finish.”
Some consistent running from the men’s team also saw them 300 points ahead of the competition, with the senior men first by more than 350 points.
This saw them picking up the top prize for the five-event series, with Jack Parslow winning the trophy for top male finisher, having won every one of the five races with a considerable margin over second place.
On the day in MK, Jack was ably backed up by Jamie Marlow in seventh, Mike Kazer in 15th, Matt Hamilton in 17th, Richard Brawn in 32nd, Tim Churchill in 45th, Chris Marriott in 46th and Chris Kitchener in 51st.
The eight scorers were supported by strong runs from Richard Slack (60th), Andrew Wass (64th), Martin Kerr (70th), Rob Salt (71st) Tony Reeves (75th), Richard Belsey (76th), Ken Perry (80th), Casper Du Buisson (81st), David Stears (84th), John Slack (97th) and Malcolm Sargent (102nd).
Further north, Alex Eykelbosch competed for her university cross country team in the Midland Cross Country League, bringing home team silver for The University of Birmingham.
To finish off a great weekend, a large number of D&T club members were out on Sunday, ticking off a Valentine’s Day run at various venues.
There were seven runners at the Love Welwyn 10K, scoring multiple PB’s, as Russell Morris raced home in 43:04 to finish in 28th position and third in his age group.
Next up was Samantha Sullivan, who managed a fantastic PB of 45:49, followed by her sister Alison Richardson who also scored a PB of 48:59.
Victoria Thornley ran a PB of 49:56, and she was followed by Annette Howard, Luke Waller (53:54) and Janice Briggs who also smashed her PB to finish in 1:02:12.
Louise Flower was the club’s lone runner at the Reading 5-Miler but she represented Dacorum and Tring in style with a PB of 44:01, knocking 25 seconds off her previous time.
Elsewhere, Saturday saw 18 members of Dacorum & Tring attempt parkruns, with five PB’s and a first lady position to boot.
The club had two runners at St Albans - Michael Irvine and Peter Bailey - with Michael finishing in 22:07 as 57th male and in 61st position overall, and Peter crossing the line in 34:20.
Next up at Gadebridge, Celia Findlay was first lady across the line in a respectable 16th position overall with a parkrun PB of 25:27, backed up by Gwen Mostyn in 31st.
For the men, Richard Blaxhill was first club member home in 24:26 as 12th male and 12th overall, followed by John Stevens as 21st male and Giles Leather as 22nd male.
Over at Cassiobury, D&T had their largest contingent and three new PB’s. Clare Hunt led the girls home in sixth position (45th overall) with a fantastic new PB of 22:47, followed by Danielle Kerr who knocked 1 min 17s off her previous PB to finish as 34th female in 27:54.
Closely following Danielle were Jessica Tanner in 27:54 (35th F), Rebecca White (36th F) with a PB of 27:57, Kayleigh Halvey (39th F), Rachel Lewis (59th F), Kirsty Russell (60th F) and Esther Hamilton (61st F).
Leading the men was Tim Coysh with a time of 21:00 to finish as 19th male and 20th overall. He was supported by Duncan Hamilton (33rd M) and Douglas James (34th M).
Finally, over at South Oxey, Annette Howard was the club’s sole representative and she did so with a superb PB of 31:28 to finish as sixth female.
Dacorum & Tring also had a large number of volunteers on hand to help out this weekend, ticking off a box on the February Bingo challenge in the process.
Over at Gadebridge, Louise Flower, Andy Mitchell, Michael Lamb, Tina Le and Erica Klein supported runners across the hilly course, and in South Oxey, Emma Donovan, Tim Churchill, Rob Deane and Rob Wright were on hand to assist.