Spellbinding fun at Gade Valley Harriers Magic Mile run

A good turnout at the Black Park parkrun saw seven Gade Valley Harriers competing with 462 other runners
A good turnout at the Black Park parkrun saw seven Gade Valley Harriers competing with 462 other runners

In a break from their normal road, cross country and trail runs, the Gade Valley Harriers challenged themselves in the club’s Magic Mile event.

The athletes spilt into two groups, who raced for one mile around the athletics track at Jarman Park.

Before the races, each runner had to guess what their finishing time would be and were given penalty points for each second they were out. At the end of the races, the penalty points were added up between males and females, with the team having the lowest score winning the Captains Cup – which this year the men won by a narrow margin.

In another GVH club race, Thursday saw the last in the series of five Summer Handicap Runs. The runners were set off round a 4.1-mile loop according to their speed, with the slowest predicted runner setting off first and being given a head start before the next runner pursues them – the idea being that all runners finish at roughly the same time.

The complicated points system was compiled from the five races, and the winner will be announced at the Gade Valley AGM meeting later this month.

Elsewhere, Dylan Wendleken from Gade Valley Tri was in action at the Herts Triathlon in Welwyn on Sunday. Wendleken took on his favourite sprint distance race, which involves a 750m swim, a 20km bike ride and a 5km run, finishing in a total time of 1:19:36 and achieving second place in his age group.

Bank Holiday Monday saw Harrier Russ Bailey competing in the Harwell Half Marathon in Didcot, Oxfordshire. Bailey completed the 13.1-mile course in 2:09:05 as part of his training for the Berlin Marathon on September 27.

Crossing the pond to the USA was Peter Tucker who ran the Central Park Run for Life in New York. Tucker braved the heat to finish the 8km race in a respectable 48:35.

A good turnout at the Black Park parkrun on Saturday saw seven Harriers competing with 462 other runners.

Matt Ashby was first home for the Harriers in a speedy 19:16, finishing in fifth position overall. Ashby was chased home by Vince Ellerby in 20:03, in 12th place. Next back were Steve Newing 20:12, Paula Cook 26:45, Claire Newing 34:54 (PB), Alice Cook 36:25 (PB) and Jenny Barnett 36:26.

Gadebridge parkrun had six Gade Valley Harriers flying their colours, where Julian Smith stormed home in third overall place in a time of 20:32. Smith was followed by Johnny Broom in a new PB of 22:20, Emma Phillpot 24:48 (PB), Martin Storrie 25:10, Andy Bishop 25:24 and Andy Norton 28:33.

In Luton, Harriers Helen Heathcote and Carol Skates took on their 5km parkrun, with Heathcote crossing the line in 29:47 and team-mate Skates in 33:38.

Anthony James from GVH charged round the St Albans course to set a new PB of 18:20, claiming eighth place. Also clocking a new PB was James Thomson in the Panshanger parkrun in Welwyn Garden City, battling the hills to come home in 21:33.