Summers here as reslient Jo lands challenge-filled off-road marathon crown

PUBLISHED: 12:10 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 13 June 2019

North Herts Road Runners' Helen Govey and Ali Mottram at the St Albans Half Marathon.

North Herts Road Runners' Helen Govey and Ali Mottram at the St Albans Half Marathon.


“Rain, wind and cold” plus 44 stiles in the first half of the race alone were just a few of the challenges overcome by Jo Summers on her way to winning the Farthingstone Foot Fest off-road marathon in Northamptonshire.

The North Herts Road Runner and long-distance specialist said: "I was so cold that I did consider stopping at the half-way checkpoint but knowing how cross I would be with myself I set off again before I could change my mind."

Summers exchanged places with another runner twice in the last three miles but her customary strong finish saw her hold the lead all the way to the line to finish in a time of five hours 40 seconds.

Much warmer conditions on Sunday meant ice lollies were the well-deserved reward for Ali Mottram and Helen Govey after a "hot and hilly" St Albans Half Marathon.

The two Squirrels were both delighted with their finishing times, in Mottram's case because her 2:32:37 was a new personal best.

Govey's delight was for the first time she had run more than seven miles since being laid low "by a nasty virus" at the end of February.

She said: "Not every run is a race and I learnt that not every race is a race either. Sometimes it is so much more than that."

Vanessa Rolfe also tackled the 13.1 mile distance in Jersey on a course that she would highly recommend.

She celebrated her 2:25:39 finish with "white wine and tuna sandwiches" courtesy of the race organisers.

n Hitchin Hares were left slightly disappointed after their round two display in the Midweek Road Race League.

Held in Harlow, the club are now in danger of relegation as limited numbers dropped them down the table.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom in Harlow though as thanks to some terrific individual performances a number of Hares are still vying for trophies.

Peter Hobson is in a three-way tie for first place in the men's V50 category while Kris and Ric are fourth and fifth in the men's V40 group.

In the V35 ladies, Nicola, Amy and Anna are fourth, fifth and sixth and the club are also top of the veterans table.

n Round two of the Midweek Road Race League was one of the big focuses for Fairlands Valley Spartans this week.

Held at Harlow, a massive 74 from the club stepped onto the start line with the women and veteran men both placing second on the night, and the women second overall ahead of the final round in Watford.

Dan McAlpine was the first male Spartan across the line in fourth overall, the same position that Suzy Hawkins claimed in the women's race.

Michelle Reeves and Gail Mackie were just behind her in sixth and seventh.

Mackie was also the fastest of the nine Spartans at the hilly St Albans Half Marathon where she set a new PB to finish as sixth senior woman and 138th overall.

Lee Pickergill was another to set a PB at the event over what he described as "a nice challenging course".

That was his best by five minutes but Natalie Frost went slightly better with a PB of 2:34:21 that was 19 minutes quicker than her previous record.

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