Gade Valley Harriers had a large turnout at a local 10k event on Sunday and also had members competing in the UKs biggest mass-participant cycling event, and a long distance triathlon.
The main action was at the Aylesbury Rugby Club for the Bearbook 10k, which treated runners to almost perfect race conditions – the polar opposite to recent weekends of racing in either wet and windy or hot and humid conditions – on a sunny day with a slight breeze and lower-than-average temperatures for August
Rich Coles was taking part in his first race since having surgery on his knee just seven weeks ago, for an injury sustained in February which aborted his marathon training. He barely put a foot wrong as he was first Harrier to complete the course, which started with a long flat stretch before a gradual incline became a welcome, long-downhill finish.
He was also first Male Vet 40+ to cross the line, with a superb time of 36:16. Antony Beamish (39:43) passed Dave Goodman (40:43) – who had worked a night shift the previous night – in the closing stages. Simon Wallis (41:39) had been suffering with slight illness all week, but the quartet combined to pick up a second place award for the men’s team.
The next four club mates all finished within just over a minute of each other, with James Birnie (42:20) and Stephen Newing (42:25) finishing in consecutive places while Anthony Wilcox (43:17) held off a sprint finish from Phil Mercer (43:22) who was completing his second race in three days after clocking a personal best (PB) at the Ealing Mile on Friday, with a time of exactly six minutes.
Tracey Cotton (47:21) was first Harrier female to cross the line, and she was nearly five minutes clear of her team mates. Helen Cook (52:23) led a trio of club athletes who all finished within ninety seconds of each other with Kim Morgan (52:51) and Angeline Cottrill (53:47) helping the ladies team to a bronze medal.
Jaqui Sampson (56:52), Susie Ivin (59:53) and Helen Heathcote (1:04:30) all completed a great team performance.
A handful of Harriers swapped their running shoes and club vests for two-wheels and Lycra as they took part in the Prudential RideLondon 100 – a race which starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and gives cyclists a chance to ride the majority of the road cycling route of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Ross Deacon was the first of the club to peddle through the City Of London and along The Embankment, before riding through the beautiful Richmond Park. After a visit to rural Surrey to battle his way up the infamous Box Hill he headed back to the capital to be met by the roar of the supporting crowds, for a finish on the Mall. He completed the 100 mile race – which is the country’s second largest sporting event, in terms of entrants, after the London Marathon, in a speedy time of four hours and twenty seven minutes. Fellow Harrier Tom Renphrey had to stop for thirty minutes due for mechanical reasons, but still managed to clock an impressive time of 5:45, ahead of Kirstie Hardiman (7:02) and Rupert Cavenagh-Mainwaring (7:37) who both got delayed by various hold-ups and accidents.
In multi-sport action were Dean Kidd and Andy Wells who competed in the Cotswold Half Ironman triathlon. Wells was first to complete the 1.9km (1.2 mile) swim around one of the lakes in the centre of Ashton Keynes water park near Cirencester, recording a time of 35:02, with Kidd picking up a PB for the distance in 38:02. Kidd made up the difference in the relatively flat 90 km (56 mile) two-lap cycle ride around beautiful idyllic Cotswold villages, picking up another PB with a time of 2:32:33. He passed Wells who was in the saddle for 3:06:23 after suffering with some mechanical issues. Kidd then completed the 21 km (13.1mile) half marathon run along the water parks paths in 1:59:10 to complete an overall PB of more than an hour with a time of 5:14:20. Wells took 1:53:17 to complete the run, for an overall time of 5:38:23, on his first attempt at the distances.
On Saturday, Mary McCluskey picked up a PB at the Groe ParkRun in Wales, completing the 5k course in 25:37.