That’s no Sunday stroll – Dave races to take the tape in inaugural Hitchin town centre road run

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015 - Credit: Archant

There were 200 runners lining up in Hitchin’s High Street at 9am on Sunday morning - but every one of them had a fair idea who was going to take the tape after the inaugural 5km event organised by Hitchin Running Club.

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015. Winner Dave Wardle, who runs fro Woodford Gre

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015. Winner Dave Wardle, who runs fro Woodford Green AC but lives in Hitchin, soon opened up a commanding lead and won by a distance - Credit: Archant

Top class athlete Dave Wardle, who lives in the town and runs a design business in Hermitage Road, was the clear favourite as town centre manager Keith Hoskins helped get the event under way.

And even before the leading pack had rounded Market Place for the second time in the early stages of the race, the North Herts Road Runners star had already opened up a clear lead and stretched forther ahead for the rest of the event before crossing the line in glorious isolation.

Trailing in his wake were groups of serious club runners, social striders and charity fundraisers who all received a medal after completing the two circuits of the town.

Dave clocked 15m 37secs for the 5km distance, with Andrew Patterson of Fairlands Valley Spartans in second and Paul Guy of Garden City Runners third.

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015. Runners round Market Place for the second tim

Inaugural Hitchin town centre 5km run, September 2015. Runners round Market Place for the second time - Credit: Archant

Stuart Hansell was the first Hitchin runner home, in fourth place, and it was a double first for North Herts when Katie Harbon was the first woman across the line, in 10th place overall.

All agreed that the new event was a welcome addition to the town centre calendar, with the only complaint being that the restricted field of 200 meant that many who wanted to be involved were unable to do so.

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Among the stewards helping to supervise the race were representatives of Hitchin’s scouts, who will be receiving a donation from the proceeds.

Race director Jake Amos said “Today was incredible to see. Watching Hitchin and her friends come out to all take part in the event is humbling. On a personal level I just want to thank literally every single person that entered, marshalled, helped, supported, donated and contributed in all ways. There are just too many people to thanks who made it happen.

“It’s clichéd but it really is a massive group effort that made this possible and this is a tribute to them. Next year we will be back, and bigger too!”

North Herts Road Runners play host this weekend, with the annual Standlone 10k run on Sunday morning. Entries closed last week for the popular annual event, which has attracted another capacity field. #

Find out more about Hitchin Running Club

You can check all the race results here

Click here for more details at the Standalone event

Find out more about North Herts Road Runners

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