St Albans Striders sent their best to Berkhamsted at the weekend as part of the Club Championships, with 64 members taking part in the 37th annual Half Marathon, with many claiming new personal bests in the process. Conditions were wet and windy on the notoriously hilly countryside course, where just over 1000 runners finished in total.
Paul Adams was the first Strider to finish the 13.1 mile distance, clocking in at 1 hour 13 minutes and 44 seconds, coming 4th overall. Next was Jonathan Scott in 1:18:11, in 8th overall and 2nd in the MV40 age category, then Stephen Hosty in 1:19:39 and 11th overall, Justin Phillipps in 1:21:28 (13th), and Gaetano Basiaco in 1:22:18 (17th). The men won first prize in the team rankings.
This impressive feat was matched on the women’s side where Striders also claimed the first team prize. Ellen Mayes was the first Strider to finish, being 11th female overall and 3rd in the FV40 age category with her time of 1:36:30. Karen Sheard was next in with 1:38:29, and 3rd in the FV45 age category, while Nicky Laitner also crept in under the 100-minute barrier with 1:39:21, claiming 1st place in the FV50 age category. Ruthie Martin came in at 1:42:50 to complete the team.
Other notable performances include Nigel Aston, who was 2nd MV50 1:28:58, Darran Wilson 2nd MV45 1:26:12, Max Campbell 3rd MV55 with 1:35:44, and long-running Strider Jim Miller was 2nd MV75. Tracey Mostyn got a PB of 2:05:56, as did Joanne Tang with 2:10:25.
In Tokyo, Seb Rowe, Richard Olney, and Stephen Elkan completed the marathon in respective times of 3:09:57, 4:09:06, and 4:10:26.
Jack Brooks completed the Little Rock Marathon, Arkansas in 4:28:18 as his 98th USA marathon. The route was undulating with 636 ft of elevation gain. Conditions were reported to be sleety with a bit of hail and quite strong winds throughout.
There was also the Masters XC event in Trent Park, near Cockfosters, where Wendy Walsh came 3rd FV45, Martin Halling was 2nd MV60.
At the Cambridge Half Marathon, Simon Fraser had a tremendous run to come in at 1:18:49, to have top 80 finish out of more than 8000 runners. Martin Whitworth also finished the flat course in 1:23:29, while Deirdre Heydecker was 1st FV60 with a time of 1:41:09, ten minutes faster than her nearest rival.
Report by Howard Bull
Photos of Paul Adams and Ellen Mayes at Berkhamsted by Richard Underwood.
Photo of Seb Rowe after the Tokyo Marathon provided by himself.