Well, as we bid a fond farewell to the cross country season, and members start to build up the mileage for Spring marathons, time to bring you up to date with the month's happenings around the club.
in contrast to January, February was a busy month for the club with members supporting the Watford Half Marathon, Harrow Hill Race and the Middlesex County Veterans' Cross Country Championships in numbers, and Tony hitting a significant Parkrun landmark.
Competitively, the month kicked off with the usual 'club excursion' to Cassiobury Park for the Watford half on the 5th, continued even closer to home at Harrow on the 12th, and
ended with seven of us taking to the country at Berkeley Fields, Greenford on the 19th.
Eleven of us at Watford, where we had our first introduction to the lovely Chloe, Dad leading our squad home, just ahead of Mr. Heathcote, in 1.39.25. Good packing in the middle of the field meanwhile, with Mark, Victor, Liz and myself all clocking times between 1.52 and 1.58. For the record, Jonathan Cornish (Hercules Wimbledon) was first home in a sprightly 1.08.43, finishing two minutes clear of the field.
We then had an even bigger turnout the following weekend for the Harrow Hill 10k., sixteen of us toeing the start line (almost 8% of the field), with Bev, Jean, Geraldine and Kay all lending their, much appreciated, moral support. Proved to be a case of 'same again' with Peter (45.12) finishing just ahead of David (46.43), and Mark finishing in our 'bronze medal' spot. In the overall race, Oliver Hill (Finch Coasters) took the honours in 36.05 with local favourite Nigel Rackham (Metros) second.
Great to get a women's team out for the Middlesex championships this time round, and to welcome Sue 'back to the fray', though, sadly, Tony's continuing injury problems mean't we were shy of a full men's squad. Liz, running strongly, led our quartet home in 31.10, our team finishing sixth in the women's 45+ race (won by Stragglers), with both Liz and Yvonne (bronze medallist in her catagory last year) finishing just outside the medal positions. In the men's race we 'packed well' towards the rear of the field, with Louis 'ecstatic' to find no fewer than three Middlesex men behind him this year! As it were we weren't the only ones taking to the country that day, with Molly enjoying the 'delights' of the rather more demanding Dursley Dozen in Gloucestershire. And while we're talking about cross country, just a reminder that the National Championships return to Parliament Hill in 2018 (would be good to see one or two Sudbury vests in the field for this iconic event!).
Moving on to Parkrun, congratulations to Tony who became our first member to hit the 200 mark (at Gladstone Park on the 18th), whilst it was good to see Wendy joining Mark for her first Parkrun, at Bury St. Edmunds, on the 25th, and Ellen clocking up her second (official) Parkrun at Ally Pally on the same day. Overall, meanwhile, Gladstone Park's four runs saw an average attendance of 172.
Slightly further afield, it was good to hear from Ruth Jackson that she was back on the roads on the other side of 'the pond', following her own injury problems , taking on the Redondo Beach Superbowl Weekend 10k. on the 5th.
On the home front, February saw the welcome return of the popular Sunday club run, whilst the 28th produced, probably, saw the lowest ever turnout for our Tuesday evening session (5).There was however a good reason for this, as numerous members were attending a marshals briefing at Wembley Stadium for the upcoming North London Half Marathon, whilst I had my own excuse, putting in an appearance at the Middlesex AA AGM.
Finally this month, a few more upcoming dates/races for your consideration:
Sunday 26th March : ZSL London Zoo 10k. - See www.zsl.org
Sunday 9th April : Thames Towpath 10 – See www.west4harriers.com
Grand Union Canal Spring Half Marathon – See www.purplepatchrunning.com
Friday 14th April : Maidenhead Easter 10 – See www.maidenheadac.co.uk
Friday 28th April : Middlesex AA Dinner (Details to follow).
Monday 1st May: Watford 10k. - See www.watfor d10k.org.uk
Pednor 5 - See www.chiltern-harriers.org.uk
Wednesday 3rd May (also June 7th/July 5th): Wimbledon Trail Series – See www.goodrunningguide.co.uk
Sunday 7th May: Marlow 5 – See www.handycrossrunners.co.uk
Saturday 20th May: Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PBs (inc GB Trials for London 2017) - See www.highgateharriers.org.uk
Footnote: No takers, as yet, for St.Luke's Quiz Night (22nd April), so if you're interested (or require more details) please let me know ASAP.