South Downs action for the Gade Valley Harriers

Luca Ramusino competed in the Notturna di San Giovanni 10K race in Florence, Italy
Luca Ramusino competed in the Notturna di San Giovanni 10K race in Florence, Italy

A team of 37 Gade Valley Harriers headed to West Sussex on Saturday to take part in the South Downs Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay races.

The Harriers took on the hills and trails of Sussex, starting in Arundel and finishing in Horndean, Hampshire.

Gade Valley Harriers were out in force in West Sussex

Gade Valley Harriers were out in force in West Sussex

While four hardened trail marathon runners took on the whole 26.2-mile distance, club chairman Andy Newing completed the tough 13.1-mile half marathon course in a respectable 2:16:52.

Meanwhile, 32 Harriers split into eight teams and took part in the relay race against 112 other teams. The GVH teams put in fine performances and took prizes for first male vet’s team (Guy Wollett, Paul Rumble, Dylan Wendleken and Vince Ellerby), second male team overall (Mark Crabtree, Ed Price, Mikey Ferris and John Lawler) and third ladies’ team (Sian Hibbs, Kathleen Courtier, Laura Sharma and Gemma Bitaraf).

In the full marathon, Tom North was first back in 3:42:12 (first male over 40), with Sam Tucker next home in 5:11:56. Team-mate Anita Berwick crossed the line in 5:25:18 and Peter Tucker in 5:58:59.

Travelling further afield to Florence, Italy, to compete in the Notturna di San Giovanni 10K race was Gade Valley Harrier Luca Ramusino, who completed the run in 1:05:07.

Ramusino was also in action at a midweek run on Wednesday, organised by Tring Running Club. Along with team-mates Tom North (second overall in 21:50) Peter Tucker, Andy Newing and Helen Heathcote the Harriers took on the 5k Midsummer Fun Run, coming home as fourth team overall.

There was no Gadebridge parkrun this week, due to preparations for stage 5 of the Aviva Womens Tour cycle race, but six Gade Valley Harriers were at three other parkrun events on Saturday.

At the inaugural Aldenham parkrun, Simon Wallis, Anthony James and Phil Mercer ran for the Harriers, where James came home in seventh overall place in 19:44, followed by Wallis in 11th place in 19:58, and Mercer in 25:20, 39th place.

In Aylesbury, GVH had two athletes competing, with Andrew Norton and Johnny Broom taking on the 5k course. Norton was first back in 20:28 (eighth place) and Broom, who completed his 100th parkrun, came home in 21:00 for 13th place.

Harrier Vicky Taylor travelled to the first ever Brundall parkrun in Norfolk, where she finished in 26:08, a new PB, and was eighth lady home.