A small team of men and women from Dacorum & Tring AC’s Road Running section travelled up to Stevenage’s Fairland Valley Park to compete in the Herts Cross Country Championships.
The squad posted some respectable individual results, with the ladies’ team coming away in a strong sixth position overall in the team standings.
In the senior men’s race, contested over the longer 12,000m course, Michael Kazer finished first for the club in 29th position, in a time of 46.19; he was followed by Richard Brawn, 77nd in 53.40, Martin Kerr (60.02), Phil Pugh (61.59) and Richard Stevens (62.52).
The senior ladies competed over an 8,000m course, with Hannah Bennett finishing first for the club in 27th position in a time of 38.16, followed by Becky Fawcett 28th in 38.33, Kate Crossland in 36th (39.51), Tine Le, 42nd (40.34), Charlotte Ashton, 45th in 40.57, Kerry Hoar, (42.35), Rebecca White (48.57) and Samantha Hawkridge (52.59).
The team’s top lady, Alex Eykelbosch – one of the strongest female cross country runners in the county – was in the leading positions during the first lap but was forced to withdraw due to a recurring calf injury. Even so, the team ended the day in sixth place in the final team standings.
A second group of Road Runners headed to sunnier climes to take on the Disneyworld Dopey Challenge - a series of four races in four days, covering a total of 48.6 miles, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Kirsty Russell, David Stears and Kelly and Casper Du Buisson ran all four races, starting with a 5k run on the Thursday, followed the next day by a 10k, followed a day later by a half marathon with a full marathon on the Sunday. The course that took the runners through four Disney theme parks and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Kirsty had a great outing, posting a big new PB in the 10k of 54.53, having watched her mum Linda compete in her first ever race the previous day.
Kelly’s sister Stef Harding ran the 5k, the 10k and the half marathon, while Steve Russell, recovering from injury, ran the full marathon with team-mates Kirsty, David, Kelly and Casper.
Sporting full D&T kit – including purple tutus – the five ran the 26.2 miles together and enjoyed a range of entertainment put on by Disneyworld throughout the race, including a rollercoaster ride at the halfway point and numerous photo stops with Disney characters.
In other news, Dacorum & Tring had 22 runners out at various parkruns across the southeast.
At Gadebridge, Michael Lamb and Michael Irvine ran head to head through the race, with Lamb just pipping Irvine at the post by one second to finish in 24.36.
Lamb was 11th overall and third VM40-44, while Irvine took home a new Gadebridge PB and was second VM45-49. Andy Mitchell was next, in a time of 27.20 (second VM50-54), followed by Tina Le, fourth lady and second VF35-39) in 27.59. Calypso Phillips finished in 31.01 (second JW15-17), and John Cooper was close behind in 31.35 (second VM65-69).
Peter Mills finished his first-ever parkrun in 33.09, followed closely by Janice Flowers in 33.57,with Michelle Wood just being in 34.40 and Sam Hawkridge taking it easy in her first outing at Gadebridge to cross in 34.56.
A total of 12 club members were on hand as volunteers: Ant Gomm and Chris Keen acted as sweep runners for the race, and also helping out were entire Belsey family (Anna and Richard and their seven-year-old twins Rachel and Daniel), Richard Brawn, Catherine Davies, Erin, Lewis and Jamie Marlow and John Jales.
Rob Deane, Emma Donovan and Tim Churchill volunteered at the South Oxhey parkrun, for a total of 15 volunteers on the day.
Over in Cassiobury, Clare Hunt got a new PB of 23.12, fast enough for fifth lady and first SW30-34, and not to be outdone, Annette Howard also got an amazing new PB of 28.06 – more than a minute faster than her previous best.
Duncan Hamilton, Tim Coysh and Rachel Lewis paced some friends to finish around the 28.44 mark.
Further afield, Kate Crossland ran at Black Park, finishing in 28.34, while Chris Kitchener, Vicky Thornley, Rob Wright and Michell Ashwell went down to Gladstone parkrun, with Chris finishing 19th overall in 21.10 (first VM45-49), and Vicky crossing the line in seventh (and first SW30-34) for the women in 25.37 while Rob continued his comeback with a smooth 28.16.
Michelle accompanied visually impaired runner Malachy McGuone, helping him to a new parkrun PB of 37.23.