Saturday 4th July saw a really strong turn-out for parkrun events. At Black Park no less than 11 (!) Harriers, both older and younger, were in action. Mike Worsfold (VM40-44) led them home in 20.37. He was followed by a whole contingent of junior runners, who put in stunning (and often PB-worthy) performances: Abbie Henderson (JW10) – a PB of 22.31; Holly Henderson (JW10) – a PB of 22.49; Maddie Hughes (JW10) – 23.55; Maximillian Baxter (JM10), who finished his first ever parkrun in 24.47 and Alexander Hughes (JM10) – 24.49. Next saw Matthew Channer (VM35-39) completing the run in 25.41, followed by: Gill Baxter (VW40-44) – who was another parkrun debutante in 26.13; Millicent Merifield (JW11-14) – another first-time performance of 26.52; Angela Hughes (VW45-49) brought back the Hughes family in 27.43 and Paula Walker (VW60-64) finished in 29.52.
Finally, in Tring Richard Lloyd (VM50-54) managed a 27.51 (very close to his PB performance) and Mark Ellis Jones (VM40-44) – 35.14.
On the same day Your Humble Reporter was taking part in the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon, an event which sees around 1,000 runners cover the distance between Wolverhampton and Birmingham city centre along the canal towpath. Due to the narrow nature of the course, runners go off in small waves of around 50 and Yours Truly was a little shocked to be deemed an ‘elite woman’ in wave 2. I managed 8th position, in 1.39.03 – a not bad performance, but after some shocking pacing, I have finally decided to take the plunge and buy a Garmin….
On Sunday 5th July there were some great performances in the Spire Bushey 10k – a relatively fast course. Michael Turney (M50) led the club home, with a sub-40 time of 39.45. Well done! Hot on his heels was Sandra Reynolds (F40) – 41.46 and then : Kate Loach (F50) – 46.34; Martin Allen (M55) – 51.36 and Isabelle Winter (F45) – 56.53.
Elsewhere, Chiltern Harriers AC had a team taking part in the Ridgway Relay – a 10-part relay race that takes teams the 86.5 miles from Ivinghoe Beacon all the way to Overton Hill near Marlborough. The Chiltern Sunday Chac’ers did wonderfully to finish 28th and of a total 42 teams in 12.46.15. Please see Roger Ellerby's full report for details.
... and, finally, the prize for the maddest endeavour of the weekend must surely go to Dave Williams. 4th - 5th July Dave was taking part in the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon - an orienteering-based event held in the fells. This year the start was at Torver. Despite arriving on Friday to massive storms, Saturday dawned dry if foggy, demanding a combination of good navigation, hills skills ... plus stamina! The day took in 16k of running and 1330m of ascent. Dave and his teammate showed some real running 'savvy', not to mention navigational excllence and overcame water shortages and energy shortages to get through the necessary 6 control points and come roaring down into the campsite to finish in 14th position.
Day 2 (14.5k and 1010m of climb) proved a real race! After 5 hrs of running there was only 2 mins separating 5 places! Dave and teammate again showed their calibre on this terrain, managing to overtake several teams on the technical rocky ground. With all that they still managed a final sprint over the finishing line to come in 11th on the day. This earnt them 12th position overall - an absolutely brilliant result! Well done, Dave! Ps. Is your mate local? Need a good running club to join? ;)