Harriers hit half-marathon trial again while David completes 36th marathon

Gade Valley Harriers 10km team at Bovingdon on Sunday.
Gade Valley Harriers 10km team at Bovingdon on Sunday.

There was another big half-marathon turnout for Gade Valley Harriers this weekend as seven runners headed to compete in the Bedford event on Saturday.

There were a host of personal best (PBs) times in the race with Andy Cook first home for the team in 1:29:38 (PB), followed by Simon Geary in 1:34:03, Michael Birch in 1:34:13, Steve Newing in 1:36:48, Gareth Tucker in 1:45:22 (PB), Helen Cook in 1:56:46 (PB) and Rob Potton in 1:58:19.

On their summer holidays, two junior Harriers kept the running habit, competing in the Eyam Junior Fell Races in Derbyshire. Jess Terry took second place in her age category while brother William claimed fifth in his.

Upping the distance this week, and challenging himself to a self-navigated, off-road route, was David Goodman who took on the Dunstable Downs Challenge Marathon.

The 26.2-mile mixed terrain route took in the famous hills of Dunstable, along footpaths, bridleways and country lanes. Despite a navigation error adding 2.5 extra miles to the course, David finished the tricky route in 5:22:15, to complete his 36th marathon.

Also competing at the 26.2-mile distance was Tom North, who opted for the Andover Trail Marathon in Hampshire. Tom completed the tough off-road run in 3:35:00, despite a marshalling error adding at least a mile to the already huge distance.

Mud run-lover Serena Harrap was back in action on Saturday at the Nuts Challenge Obstacle Race in Dorking, Surrey.

The multi-lap course was full of mud, water, logs, tunnels and ropes, which Serena powered round with a smile on her face as usual.

Chris Dowling took to the countryside surrounding St Albans on Saturday to represent the Harriers in the third running of the St Albans Stampede.

It is an ultra marathon event held in the Heartwood Forest and Nomansland common with the goal to cover as many miles as possible over a maximum of 12 hours.

Chris excelled and covered an impressive 32 miles in the allotted time.

Three kilometres and 10km were the distance choices in Bovingdon on Sunday, with ten Harriers taking part in three road races. In the 10km, Mikey Ferris showed his strength, taking third place overall in a speedy 34:32 and Maria Kenny performed well, finishing as the third woman home in 42:12.

The full list of finishers was Mikey Ferris in 34:32, Julian Smith in 38:39, Guy Woollett in 38:57, Anthony Willcox in 39:04, Maria Kenny in 42:12, Paul Reilly in 46:57, Andy Norton in 49:43, Amy Gostling in 50:32, Dave Wise in 58:26 and Claire Rojewski in 1:08:06.

In the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance, Ross Deacon donned the club colours to compete in the Maidenhead Half Marathon, pushing hard to complete in 1:48:02.

Al Flowers, from Gade Valley Tri, was in triathlon action, competing in the St Neots Sprint Triathlon in Cambridgeshire. Al finished the 750m open water swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run in 1:23:12 – a huge achievement in his first triathlon.

n See the round-up page on page 49 for news of the club’s parkruns this week.