Weekly press report – 1 Sep 2019

After the majority of Gade Valley Harriers took a much needed break from racing for the bank holiday weekend, it was back to business as usual this weekend with a large number of club members competing in local events, with athletes securing category position wins and picking up PBs (personal bests).

A huge contingent of Harriers took part in the Bovingdon 10k, a fairly flat road race which started in the heart of the village and wound its way around local country lanes. Rich Coles wasn’t taking any prisoners as he was first club member to pass HMP The Mount and turn onto the High Street to cross the finish line, completing the course in third place overall and as first male vet 45+ (MV45), clocking a superb time of 35:23. Andy Symmonds was just three places further back and second MV55, crossing the line in 37:04, ahead of Michael Linden who also managed a sub-40 minute finish, claiming the first MV40 position with a time of 39:21.

David Goodman was participating in his third race of the week, after completing the Canterbury Half Marathon (1:39:11) on Bank Holiday Monday and the Chase The Sun – Brockwell Park 10k (41:54) on Wednesday, and took the silver MV40 medal at Bovingdon on Sunday with a time of 41:06, ahead of James Birnie (41:51) who was third MV45.

Phil Mercer had completed the Spitfire 10k at RAF Hendon on Saturday morning (44:33) and manged to better his time just 24 hours later, finishing the Bovingdon event in 42:29, ahead of Phil Heaton (43:06), Trevor Normoyle (43:36) and Andrew Watt (46:26).

Tracey Cotton was another Harrier to string together two races this week, completing the Hatfield 5K (22:36) on Wednesday before being first female from the club – and eighth overall – to cross the line at Bovingdon, picking up the FV40 prize with a time of 47:01.

Rupert Cavenagh-Mainwaring (51:25) was the next club athlete to complete the course and Bethan Heaton (51:59) finished a minute ahead of the first FV65 and club mate Isabel Wilson (52:29) while Helen Cook (53:27) was third FV50.

Jaqui Sampson (54:32) held off Angeline Cottrill (54:51) and Kirstie Hardiman (55:59). Holly Beckett and Mary McCluskey (58:59) ran together and recorded identical times, with Susie Ivin (59:06) just a few seconds, and two places, behind.

Philip Walker (1:03:09) and Helen Heathcote (1:03:24) rounded up a fine performance for the team.

Slightly further afield was the Bedford Half Marathon which also had a solid turnout from the Harriers. Anthony James arrived at the 13.1 mile event after it had started because of traffic problems in the area but still finished ahead of his club mates, in a stunning time of 1:24:45. Andy Cook (1:28:31) collected a PB on the flat, fast route which starts in Priory Country Park and sends runners into the countryside before following the river path towards the town centre and back again for a lakeside park finish. Stephen Newing (1:34:49) finished ahead of Gareth Tucker (1:36:22) who picked up a course PB and Anthony Willcox (1:37:23) and Lisa Newing (1:38:02). Darren Burke (1:45:53) and Sam Sparks (2:07:18) completed their first half marathons.

The previous evening Kim Morgan (52:11) and Sam Raffety (52:29) took part in the Twilight 10k, which is part of the same Bedford Run Fest event.

Elsewhere, Ross Deacon (1:28:33) picked up a PB at the Maidenhead Half and Anita Berwick (4:13:40) completed the Dunstable Downs 20-mile Challenge.