Sunday saw the culmination of months of hard work and dedication for five Dacorum & Tring athletes as they put themselves to the ultimate test at the Greater Manchester Marathon.
Rachel Lewis scored a magnificent new marathon PB of 3 hours and 43 minutes, accompanied by her fiancé Duncan Hamilton. Rachel was 324th female to cross the line on the day, finishing in 2,751st overall in a field of over 15,000. Duncan was 806th in the Senior category and 2,747th overall.
Despite carrying an injury, Chris Kitchener completed the course in a superb time of 3 hours and 37 minutes, putting him in 2,284th position. Impressively, Chris was also 296th in the V45 age category.
Tina Le also finished comfortably inside the four-hour benchmark, with a time of 3 hours and 54 minutes. Tina was 553rd woman in the standings and 3,724th overall.
Not too far behind her was Jules Robinson who, besides representing the club, was also raising money for the Stroke Association. Jules managed to clock a time of 4 hours and 9 minutes for 196th in the V40 category and 4,929th overall.
Elsewhere, Richard Bentley took the club colours over to the Netherlands for the Rotterdam Marathon, finishing in a smashing time of 3 hours 37 minutes. He was 3,223rd out of almost 12,800 finishers and placed 303rd in his age category.
Meanwhile, Leah Sill tested herself to the limit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Sprint – a Spartan Race consisting of around 20 obstacles over a 7km distance. She completed the course in 1 hour and 18 minutes for 380th female and 51st in her age group in a field of 2,600.
Kate Crossland was also in an adventurous mood as she tried her hand at the Wolf Run – a hardcore 10k route across woodland, lakes and thick mud. The run also included a series of tough obstacles designed to test mental and physical strength, skill and stamina.
Meanwhile, in another busy weekend for Dacorum & Tring parkrunners, there were more milestones being ticked off around the country.
Starting locally, 29 club members turned out at Gadebridge to help celebrate with Louise Flower and Rasmi Nanda as they completed their 50th parkruns.
First over the line in 19:48 and finishing in the top spot overall was Jamie Marlow, closely followed by Jamie Saunders in third with a new PB of 20:13. Richard Brawn crossed the line in 21:30 to finish as fifth male.
Next up came Thomas Durrant (21:46), Robert Davies (23:42), Michael Lamb (24:15) and Celia Findlay, who was the first female finisher overall in 24:15, with Rob Salt in 24:17.
The next few runners finished in quick succession, with Keith Wishart crossing the line in 24:45, ahead of Patrick Mostyn (24:45), Phillip Pugh (24:46), Wendy Pearson (24:59) and John Stevens (25:02).
Close behind were Richard Stevens (25:11), Wendy Durrant (25:12), Andy Mitchell (25:22) and the man of the hour Rasmi Nanda in 25:44.
Samantha Sullivan crossed the line as sixth female in 26:40, with Penny Wallduck behind her with a new PB of 28:14. Next came David Stears in 28:18, Rebecca White (29:52), Gwen Mostyn (30:27), Danielle Kerr (30:32), Jessica Tanner (30:52) and Star Phillips in 30:57.
Despite not being well, Louise Flower hit her 50 target with a time of 33:24 and credits Esther Hamilton (33:43) and Kirsty Russell (33:51) with getting her around the course in one piece. After weeks of illness, Annette Howard also completed a fantastic return to parkrun action with 34:04.
After such a huge turnout at Gadebridge, there was only one Dacorum & Tring representative in St Albans, with Alan Grover turning in a brilliant 27:59.
Michelle Ashwell took on the Bedford parkrun and turned in an impressive 27:18, while Dean Macey ventured to Bognor Regis and completed the course in 24:43.
The Hopper family were out in force in Keswick; John Hopper was the first home in 23:43, followed by Edward Hopper (29:08), Daniel Hopper (31:16) and Kate Hopper (35:14). Louise Hopper had a brilliant run in her first attempt after coming back from an injury, finishing in 35:25.