Road Runners storm to success

North Herts Road Runner Jane Clarke at the Holkham Hall 10k in Norfolk

North Herts Road Runner Jane Clarke at the Holkham Hall 10k in Norfolk - Credit: North Herts Road Runners

The North Herts Road Runners have had a busy week - with the ladies team notching up record times in Norfolk and the return of the club's First Saturday of the Month race.

After the 2020 races were cancelled, 11 ladies from the North Herts Road Runners finally had the chance to race at the rolling parkland of Holkham Hall stately home in Norfolk on Sunday.

Katie Harbon was the sole member (known as 'squirrels') to take on the half marathon and ran in 1.26.18 to finish sixth in the race and the second woman overall, merely seconds behind first place.

Despite running in a torrential downpour and having to contend with a tough, undulating course, Katie was thrilled and said: "I loved my first race back after 14 months and am delighted to be so competitive. Can't wait for my next race!"

By 1pm the weather had improved, and the remaining runners set off to tackle the 10k distance. Despite some testing hills, the North Herts Road Runners did well - with Tash Pitman finishing fourth overall and first in her age group in 43.32, followed by Helen Cairns (47.55) and Jane Clarke (48.05), who took second and third spots in their respective age groups.


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Next across the line were Karen Dodsworth, who smashed her target and came third in her age group in 56.00, followed by Jo Harbon (56.28), Sue Vaughan (58.45), Miranda Morgan (1.05.17), Vanessa Rolfe (1.10.00) and Joy Stroud, who won for her age category in 1.15.36.

Meanwhile at the Hitchin Spirit Triathlon Road Runner Steve McKeown completed a trio of consecutive wins in the 400m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run, coming in first overall in 59.49 - a new course record. Other squirrels competing in the event were Natalie Lawrence (1.00.33) and Oliver Starr (01.38.28).

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Also this week, the North Herts Road Runners were able to restart their monthly 5km event in Letchworth for the first time since the start of the pandemic - the First Saturday of the Month 5k on Saturday, July 3. 

Despite the overcast and muddy conditions, the runners were out in force to complete the circuit on Norton Common. There were 47 finishers in total, with Richard Poulter first man home in 19.06, and Kat Gourd first lady in 24.14.

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