Tough Weekend

Before diving into the always interesting results from last weekend, an apology. Sometimes I make things up, especially quotes, to make things more interesting (but I don’t make results up) and sometimes I try to make jokes. I do sometimes intend to poke fun at people but I never intend to offend and I certainly try to recognise everybody’s achievements. Occasionally though I just get something embarrassingly wrong.

Somehow at the AGM, maybe somebody bought me too many drinks, I heard somebody at the front talking about Guy’s cycling feats and therefore my memory was that Guy won the Multi Sports award (I spelt his name wrong as well, but his surname, thankfully) and wrote it up as such. I was reliably informed last week that, in fact, Charlie Cadogan had won the multi-sports award, please accept my apology Charlie.

On to the weekend. Compared to the previous weekend it wasn’t too busy, but there was still plenty of action to take in. As ever, the weekend opened with Parkruns. The latest leg of the tour visited Maidenhead but strangely nobody took any photos or made any comments. It was a bit like watching the 1992 Cricket World Cup when highlights suddenly disappeared from our screens and there was something like a news blackout. No photos, no comments. Lewis Ellerby lived up to his growing reputation, finishing under 20 minutes, while Sandra Flynn was the first Harrier female to finish.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Matt Watt flew under the radar into second place at Rickmansworth Parkrun with a time, 18:05, that suggests (if he can remain uninjured, which is a bit like saying, “if Mary can remain alcohol free”) he may be coming back to something like his best. Amanda Barker also ran well, finishing 3rd in her category.

There was a remarkable collective performance at Cassiobury Parkrun where 5 out of 6 Gade Valley Harriers recorded PBs for the course. Roly Kendall was the standout, breaking 20 minutes for the first time anywhere, while Kim Morgan, Darren Burke (his first time at Cassiobury), Ines Trent (a superb 28:09, having only broken 30 minutes for the first time as recently as August) and Sarah Everitt also recorded their fastest times in Watford. Kitty Cole also ran well without a PB, but somebody had to take the photo at the end.

PBs all round, nice photo Kitty

On Sunday 8 Harriers took on the Abbots Langley Tough 10, so called because of its tough, uphill, finish back up to the village and because it is 10k (although used to be 10 miles, I’m told). Watford FC legend Graham Taylor was the starter and a medal hander-outer for many years. This year another Watford FC legend (also a Bournemouth legend; a friend of mine from Bournemouth told me he lived in a house there called Far Corff), Luther Blissett, did starter and medal duty.

Can’t work out if the photo-bomber is Carl Fogarty or Jesus with a hangover

Lisa Newing was the first GVH athlete to finish in Abbots Langley, her time of 45:45 was good enough for 5th overall female, second in her age category. James Felstead was the first man to finish for the club in 47:25 while Andrew Watt also came in under 50 minutes. Claire McDonnel was next, in 52:42, showing her enduring class, but it is unclear where she finished in her category as the official results have several people in the wrong categories. Kitty Cole wasn’t far behind with Gemma Tucker and Angeline Cottrill also finishing under the hour. Anita Fenoughty continued on her trajectory of consistent improvement, finishing the challenging course in just over an hour.

CLUB LEGEND! (but who’s the bloke with Ange?)

Also on Sunday, in Wendover Woods, Roland Kendall and Andrew Bishop took on the elaborately named “Barr Ellison hoohaah Wendover Trail & Canicross”. They took on the (very much lesser spotted in the UK) 20k distance. As you’d expect in Wendover Woods, the race is hilly and difficult. I’ve never run a 20k race but it feels like Roly’s time of 1:48:26 and Andy’s 1:51:45 are excellent times given the local topology. The official results, showing that they finished in 5th and 6th overall positions, both 2nd in their respective categories, back up the assertion that they ran extremely well.

Are those shorts made from a Villa shirt or were there just no facilities?