A team of 16 Dacorum & Tring runners put in some fantastic and heroic performances at the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.
Jack Parslow wasn’t far behind the men’s elite stars as he smashed the marathon club record by over three minutes with his scintillating time of 2 hours 31 minutes.
This put him in 84th place overall and beat his previous PB by more than six minutes.
The previous club record holder for the distance, Andy Cracknell, put in another sublime display as he reached The Mall in 2.38.37 for 245th in the overall standings.
One of the highest accolades of the day, though, had to go to Kirsty Russell, who took on her second marathon in the space of a week after conquering the Brighton Marathon the weekend before. Despite the short recovery time, Kirsty finished in a time of 4.36.46.
Angela Aikman knocked over an hour off the time she set last year as she finished in 4.35.27, while Steve Russell chipped 21 minutes off his previous best as he crossed the line in a super fast time of 3.23.39. This put Steve in 5,258th place overall and 757th in the 45-49 age category.
Esther Phoebe-Hamilton also managed a fabulous new PB as she nipped under the four hour benchmark with a time of 3.57.47, while women’s team captain Kelly Du Buisson surprised even herself by recording a new PB of 3.29.28. She was 937th lady over the line.
Duncan Hamilton also clocked a new PB with his time of 3.01.44 for 2,231st in the standings, while Duncan’s brother Douglas also put in a solid performance in his first ever marathon, finishing in 3.32.31.
Ania Gabb clocked a PB as she came in at 3.17.49 to finish as 424th lady, with Chris managing a solid time of 3.45.34.
Michelle Ashwell completed her first standalone marathon in a time of 4.30.10, which put her in 1,112th in the 40-44 age category, while Bernie Horabin dipped just under the four hour mark, with a 3.58.09 for 384th place in the 45-49 category.
Tony Reeve came in 416th in the 55-59 age group with a time of 4.00.12, Tim Coysh clocked a respectable time of 4.30.41, and marathon veteran David Stears was 483rd in the 55-59 age category, securing a course PB of 4.10.23.
Dacorum & Tring also had representation in the Shakespeare Marathon, which takes runners through the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Alex Bayliss was flying the flag there, completing the race in a time of 4.41.57.
The day before the marathons took place, the purple people had 32 runners and 10 volunteers in action across six different parkruns.
At Gadebridge, Freddie Truman Williams continued his recent form with yet another course PB breaking the 21min barrier to take 2nd overall finisher.
He was closely followed by his team-mate Thomas Durrant, also with a new course PB, in 21.28.
D&T’s men were also in fine fettle with five men placing in the top 11. John Hopper romped home in 23.07 to place 6th overall, 1st in VM45-49, in 22.56, Michael Lamb was 8th overall, 2nd VM40-44 in 23.07, Martin Kerr was 9th, 3rd VM35-39 in 23.20, Michael Irvine 10th, VM45-49 in 23.48 and Bruce Baker was 11th in 23.54 to bag himself a new course PB.
Making her Gadebridge debut, young Amy Perry was the first lady home in a brilliant time of 23.58, an all-time PB. Her mother, Catherine Davies, was a second behind which earnt her 2nd lady, 1st VW50-59.
Hot on their heels was Sam Sullivan to cross as 3rd female in 24.01, 1st VW40-44, Richard Stevens in 25.34, Barbara Baker in 27.34 which is another 19 secs off last weeks course PB and Jessica Tanner as 1st SW25-29 in 27.49.
After successfully completing Brighton Marathon last Sunday, Rasmi Nanda was back running and finished in 31.20.
Young Kate Hopper improved by just under a minute from last week’s result to finish as 3rd JW10 in 35.12 with mother Louisa Hopper just behind her in 35.12.
Andrew Guilder made his debut as a D&T runner and trimmed almost 3 minutes off his Gadebridge time with a PB of 36.16.
As ever, Gadebridge was well supported with D&T volunteers - Erica Klein, Gwen Mostyn, Kirsty Russell, JJ, Tony Reeve and Wendy Durrant.
Blasting his way around St Albans was Matt Hamilton who destroyed his previous PB to be 4th overall in a speedy 17.35. Trying St Albans for the first time was Celia Findlay in a time of 24.52 and Amy Dilkes, for the fourth week in a row, scored another new PB of 26.12.
Sam Fawcett romped home as first lady at Cassiobury in a PB of 19.07, 7 secs off her previous PB.
Chris Marriott was 2nd SM30-34 in 20.14 and also on fire was Claire Hunt to claim a fabulous PB of 21.56.
Becky Fawcett finished in 22.26 with Rachel Lewis crossing the line as 3rd SW30-34 in 25.06 while her fiancé Duncan Hamilton clocked 25.07.
Annette Howard was also back in action after a long period of illness, finishing in 32.04. Volunteering ahead of his marathon was Tim Coysh.
Tring saw Matt Salt finish an impressive 3rd overall, 2nd SM20-24 in 20.17, Patrick Ashton, 3rd SM20-24 in 22.40, junior Samuel Burnell in 23.17, 1st JM11-14, Rob Salt in 25.19, 3rd VM50-54 and Alan Grover in 32.28.
Over the waters in Dublin, Niamh and Mervyn Dempsey joined Marlay parkrun. Mervyn had a fabulous run to finish in 19.40 with Niamh close behind in 20.00, fast enough for fourth lady across the line.
Once again, South Oxhey had no runners but Michelle Ashwell, Rob Deane and Chris Kitchener were on volunteering duties.