Harriers win Tough Ten team trophy
Gade Valley Harriers took to the streets of Abbots Langley at the weekend and came away with silverware from the arduous Tough Ten event.
On a weekend that saw Great Britain win silver in the male and female 100-metre relay races at the World Championship in a hot and humid Qatar, the Harriers battled for glory in the overcast conditions in Hertfordshire.
Four of the first finishers at the Abbots Langley Tough Ten were Harriers’ members – who combined to take the team prize – and the club also picked up three first-place category awards.
After running around the grounds of the Hertfordshire village’s cricket club, the route took competitors into the village of Bedmond, before participants were able to enjoy a long downhill section into Kings Langley.
Hamish Shaw led the team as they turned back up the hill towards the cricket club and crossed the line in third place overall and in first place in the senior men’s age group in a quick time of 38:43.
Fewer than 30 seconds later Dylan Wendleken completed the 10km course just two places further back in 39:18 as he picked up the male vet 40+ (MV40) prize.
Dave Goodman (40:06) managed to sprint past team-mate Simon Wallis (40:08) as they approached the finish line and the duo finished in ninth and tenth place, respectively, to help the club pick up the overall team prize.
Phil Mercer (41:58) held off club-mate Steve Newing (42:23), who beat his time from the previous year by a single second.
James Felstead was the last Harrier man to complete the course, despite recording an impressive time of 43:28.
Victoria Crawley-Wise was the first female from the club to finish the race and was fifth lady overall.
She also collected the FV35 age-group award and took more than seven minutes off her 2018 time, crossing the line in 47:20.
Claire McDonnell (48:09) completed her first race since a long injury lay-off and Angeline Cottrill (50:52) picked up a 10k personal best (PB) by slicing around 30 seconds off her time from the same event in 2018.
Meanwhile, a trio of Harriers upped the distance at the weekend by participating in marathons, including Julian Smith and Trevor Normoyle, who were competing in the Police Marathon Championship held at the Chester Marathon.
After starting at the famed Chester Racecourse, the runners were treated to views of some of the historic city’s landmarks, such as the Roman walls and cathedral, before heading out to the stunning Cheshire countryside.
Seven of the 26.2 miles actually took place across the border in Wales, and the participants returned to the racecourse along the banks of the River Dee.
Smith led the pair of law enforcement officers from the club by picking up a three-minute PB time of 2:51:21, while Normoyle had to battle through a painful toe during the last few miles, but still managed to record a creditable time of 3:40:29.
Elsewhere, Harrier Michael Linden collected a PB at the Jersey Marathon, taking 16 minutes off his previous best.
His race started in the Channel Island’s capital city of St Hellier before heading into the countryside.
The last few miles sent runners along the island’s south coast and Linden completed the hilly course in 3:17:40.
On Saturday Rob Humphreys upped the distance further still, by taking part in the Exmoor Coast 50km ultra-marathon which started at Combe Martin on the western edge of Exmoor National Park and went along the trails of the south-west coastal path to Minehead on the eastern side.
After nearly 7,000ft of elevation, Humphreys completed the arduous course in just under seven hours and 40 minutes.
Finally, Harrier Tracey Cotton continued her fine recent form by being the first female to complete the Gadebridge ParkRun 5km course, clocking a time of 23:28.