The D&T Road Runners get off to a flying start

Casper Du Buisson, Russell Morris, Duncan Hamilton, Rachel Lewis, Kelly Du Buisson and Clare Hunt at the Dunstable Downs 20-miler

Casper Du Buisson, Russell Morris, Duncan Hamilton, Rachel Lewis, Kelly Du Buisson and Clare Hunt at the Dunstable Downs 20-miler

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The autumn running season started with a bang for the Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners, with members in action up and down the country.

Starting up north, Claire Copperwhite, Patricia Hayball and David Stears took on the Great North Run, in unexpectedly fine weather.

Claire Copperwhite, David Stears and Pat Hayball at the Great North Run

Claire Copperwhite, David Stears and Pat Hayball at the Great North Run

Claire, running in a big city event for the first time, was pleased with her finish time of 2.02.13, adding that she was “slightly overwhelmed by the number of runners, the people in costumes and the massive support along the way.”

Pat posted a strong time of 2.00.57, while David was well under the two-hour mark in 1.54.55.

Elsewhere, six runners – Rachel Lewis, Russell Morris, Casper Du Buisson, Kelly Du Buisson, Clare Hunt and Duncan Hamilton – braved the incredibly challenging and hilly Dunstable Downs 20-mile off-road race as they prepare for the Bournemouth Marathon next month.

Alex Bayliss, meanwhile, was down at the New Forest Half, a multi-terrain route through the New Forest National Park, and finished in a comfortable time of 2.11.

The club’s multisport section was also in action over the weekend, with two first-rate results: ladies’ team captain Sam Fawcett won her 30-34 age group in her first-ever triathlon, at the HSV TriForce September Triathlon in Bedford. Sam completed the 400m swim in 8.54.50, the 20k bike in 41.51.25 and the 5k run in 19.51.55 for a total time, including transitions, of 1.12.10.05, to finish fourth lady overall – only 12 seconds back of the third-placed lady.

Richard Belsey, for his part, took a whopping four minutes off his time over the same course last year. He did the swim in 8.57.25, the bike in 44.08.25 and the run in 24.00.75, for a total time of 1.19.09.00 – a new sprint distance PB for him.

In various parkruns around the southeast, Chris Kitchener was 20th overall at St Albans in 19.42 – only 10 seconds slower than his PB and fast enough for second VM45-49.

Olivia Edwards and her dad were next, with Olivia finishing in 22.51 (1st JW10 by nearly 10 minutes) and Jonathan in 22.57. Andy Mitchell ran St Albans for the first time, finishing in 23.44, while Jess Tanner crossed the line in 25.32 and Kirsty Russell in 29.24.

Carolyn Heeps got a third-straight age group win at the Wimbledon parkrun, finishing in exactly the same time as she did last week (23.26), while Esther Hamilton ran at Cassiobury, finishing in 25.15 – only 11 seconds off her PB and fast enough for second SF25-29.

Jan Briggs, meanwhile, finished second in the SW25-29 age group at the Banbury parkrun, crossing the line in 31.43, and Sam Burnell had an easy day in Tring, coasting across the line in 26.16.

The club’s volunteers were also out in force as usual, with Michelle Ashwell, Rob Deane, Vicky Thornley and Rob Wright on hand at South Oxhey and John Jales and Karen Wishart helping make the event at Gadebridge happen.