The Hillingdon 20 is an ideal chance to bank a long run while practising race day routines and therefore has become a great part of preparation for anyone training for a marathon in April. On Sunday, a large number of Gade Valley Harriers took part in the 20-mile race along the streets of the North West London suburb, many of them running the distance for the first time.
After starting near Ruislip Lido, in chilly, sunny conditions, Michael Linden continued his recent fine form by leading the team along the undulating course and crossing the line in 2:21:43, in his inaugural 20 mile race.
James Birnie completed the course, which goes partly along urban streets but also gives runners a chance to enjoy some more rural roads, in a time of 2:21:50, ahead of Vince Ellerby (2:23:46).
Steve Newing (2:26:09) and Phil Mercer (2:26:19) ran most of the race together as they used the four lap course to assist with keeping their pace consistent throughout the event. Mercer picked up his second personal best (PB) in successive weekends, as did Gareth Tucker (2:41:24).
Nicoletta Charalambous (2:45:39) also collected a PB as she crossed the line ahead of Trevor Normoyle (2:46:12).
Andy Cook (2:53:49) stayed with Kim Morgan (2:53:51) as she was participating in a race of that distance for the first time, and Darren Burke (2:56:48) also completed the course in under three hours.
Neil Harper (3:03:47) crossed the line a few minutes later, while Natasha Gibbs (3:11:49) completed her maiden 20 mile race. Helen Cook (3:12:37) was another club member to pick up back-to-back PBs, and Kirsty Neale (3:20:01) and Sam Sparks (3:24:13) completed their furthest ever runs.
Sarah Milligan (3:26:39) finished ahead of Ashleigh Taylor (3:36:02) who was making her 20-mile race debut, and Ciara Barry (3:42:50). Gemma Tucker (3:44:23) also added her name to the 20-mile club as she finished just ahead of Mary McCluskey (3:45:34).
Elsewhere, a couple of Harriers were participating in other runs this weekend. Anita Bewick took part in the Amersham Ultra on Saturday. She completed the hilly, 30-mile event along the muddy trails and paths around Buckinghamshire, in around six and a half hours.
Meanwhile, Ines Trent completed the 5km Cassiobury ParkRun event in Watford and grabbed herself a PB, with a time of 38:14.