Dacorum & Tring runners make the most of the Easter weekend
Dacorum & Tring AC members took advantage of the long bank holiday Easter weekend to don their club colours and race in purple.
Kate Crossland took part in Nuclear Races Wipeout in Brentwood, Essex on Good Friday – a gritty obstacle race over varied, undulating terrain with generous helpings of mud.
Proving that Saturdays aren’t just for parkrun events, D&T members headed to London and Cardiff to race.
Lee Valley’s Velo Park was home to the RunThrough 5k and 10k. Taking on the 1m circuit laps for the 10k were Jim Mason, Penny Walduck and Alison Clooney.
Jim was first home in 54.15, with Penny hot on his heels at 54.25 to both make it in comfortably under the hour. Alison crossed the line in just over the hour in 1.03.19.
Louise Flower was just off her 5k PB but still managed a top-10 finish in 24.29, with Leah’s 28.04 earning her a new 5k PB.
Cardiff hosted the IAAF half-marathon championships and D&T members were there rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of elite running.
Felix Morrris-Duffin was the first D&T member to finish in an impressive 1.32.27. Husband-and-wife duo Casper and Kelly Du Buisson both ran superbly, with Kelly being paced by Duncan Hamilton to both come in at 1.32.34 (PB), while Casper clocked 1.51.42.
Newest D&T member Andrew Van Heiningen ran a brilliant 1.49.12, while Rachel Lewis – who is approaching the end of her marathon training for Manchester – finished in 1.53.19.
Elsewhere, despite waking up to weather of biblical proportions, Easter Monday saw a trio of D&T runners head to Uxbridge for the Hilingdon 10k and Hillingdon Half Marathon, both starting from the Brunel University campus.
Jamie Marlow was the first overall finisher in the 10k race, earning him a trophy and prize money, while Michelle Ashwell and David Stears took on the half-marathon.
Michelle, paced by David, clocked a PB by over four minutes but narrowly missed out on a sub-two hour time.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of D&T representatives getting their weekly 5k fix at various parkruns on Saturday. See www.hemeltoday.co.uk for full round-up.
The biggest attendance was closest to home at Gadebridge Park with 18 runners plus John Jales and Karen Wishart helping out as volunteers. Speedsters Jamie Marlow, Matt Hamilton, Jamie Saunders and Rhys Rowlands accidentally employed some form of handicap system by arriving late from their previous run and missed the start by almost three minutes.
This didn’t prevent Jamie Marlow from finishing first for the club in fourth position in a time of 21:24. He was followed in by young Thomas Durrant in fifth place with a new PB of 21:44, making him first JM11-14.
Chris Kitchener 22:09 (First VM44-49) seventh, Richard Bentley 22:15 (First VM50-54), Rhys Rowlands 23:00 (Second JM15-17), Keith Wishart 23:04 (Second VM45-49), Martin Kerr 23:22, Jamie Saunders 23:56 and Matt Hamilton 24:30 were next home for the purple people .
Finishing as first VM60-64 was Bruce Baker in 24:31. Celia Findley was D&T’s first lady finisher, and first VW50-54 crossing the line was Michael Lamb in 24:34. Also running well were John Stevens 24:55 (Second VM55-59), Wendy Durrant 25:44 (Second VW45-49), Richard Stevens 26:35, Rasmi Nanda 27:44, Barbara Baker 27:53 (Second VW50-54) and Gwen Moyston narrowly missing a sub-30 minute time in 30:07.
A few miles away at Cassiobury Park in Watford there were personal bests for Alison Richardson finishing in 22:05 (Second VW40-44 ) with Clare Hunt (Third SW30-34) just behind in 22:19.
Richard Slack (First VM40-44) 20:13 and Samantha Sullivan 21:12 (First VW40-44) were the club’s first male and female finishers. Also flying the D&T flag were Jess Tanner 24:39, John Slack (Second VM65-69) and Kirsty Russell 29:31.
Daniel Griggs was at Aldenham completing the course in third place and first VM35-39 in 21:51 in his first visit there.
Over at St Albans Grace Birdseye was in 25th place (First JW15-17) in a time of 20:16. Andy Mitchell ran 24:11, Janice Briggs 30:12 (Second SW25-29) and Peter Bailey cruised around the course in 32:57
At Tring parkrun, two D&T made the top-three positions with Matt Salt coming home second in a rapid time of 20:35 and Freddie Trueman Williams third overall and first JM11-14 in a personal best 21:46.
Sam Burnell finished in 12th place and second JM11-14 in 23:27. Rob Salt was 33rd in 25:38 with Kate Bailey (Second VW40-44) 26:45 and her husband Phillip Bailey in 28:12. On her first attempt at Tring Annette Howard found the hills tough but finished in 35:35.
There was the usual tourism going on as Vicky Thornley 24:21 (Third SW30-34) Matthew David Stears 25:56 and Michelle Ashwell 26:32 had good runs at Gunnersbury Park.
Esther Hamilton combined a family visit with an appearance at Leeds Roundhay and snuck in sub-30 minutes in 29:57.
Joshua Van Heiningen was in Cardiff finishing a highly impressive 10th place out of over 400 runners in the fastest Dacorum & Tring time of the day, a scorching 17:47.
Completing the parkrun activity for March Erica Klein joined her mum Caroline as they both volunteered at Hereford parkrun.