Centurion Smith celebrates parkrun milestone for Garden City Runners

PUBLISHED: 15:49 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:03 05 December 2017

Nikki Cowen and Helen Paine give their Santa costumes an early outing in Letchworth.

Nikki Cowen and Helen Paine give their Santa costumes an early outing in Letchworth.

Archant

Lou Smith has joined the century club at Garden City Runners after completing her 100th parkrun.

Becca Hayden was third lady at the Santa Canta in Letchworth. Becca Hayden was third lady at the Santa Canta in Letchworth.

Fittingly she reached the milestone at Panshanger, the parkrun she was the guiding force in setting up.

She said: “It’s around three and a half years since I ran my first parkrun at Gunpowder, Waltham Cross, and since then there have been another 99, culminating with a lovely run today at special Panshanger.

“But it’s really not about the running nor the elapsed 500km, but much more about the friends I have made and the shared experiences in this great adventure to deliver a free, timed weekly run.”

GCRs’ Dominic Chapman, Malcolm Down and Neil Brittain were third, fifth and sixth respectively.

Dave Heal and a new friend give the thumbs up to the Santa Run in Reading. Dave Heal and a new friend give the thumbs up to the Santa Run in Reading.

Neil Hume was first to finish in the Ellenbrook Fields Parkrun while Tim Cooke made a rare appearance as a runner, having been either the race director or marshall on numerous occasions.

Thomas Wackett was second at Pymmes Parkrun and Hannah Ahmet was second lady in Bexley.

The longest trip went to Steve Grout who came ninth in the Parkrun du Bois du Boulogne in Paris.

Elsewhere Christmas has appeared to come early in the world of athletics.

Helen Paine and Nikki Cowen receive their trophy on behalf of GCR at the Hertfordshire Services to Sport Awards. Helen Paine and Nikki Cowen receive their trophy on behalf of GCR at the Hertfordshire Services to Sport Awards.

Three GCRs took on North Herts Road Runners’ first Saturday of the month 5k run round Norton Common.

The December race, dubbed the ‘Santa Canta’, was run in fancy dress and in aid of the MS Therapy Centre.

With nearly 300 runners dressed as Santas, elves and snowmen, the course comprised two laps around the common, with tea and mince pies afterwards.

Becca Hayden, running her first race back from injury, finishing 18th overall and third lady in a time of 22 minutes 33 seconds.

Sir Frederic Osborn Sports Centre won Community Club of the Year at the Hertfordshire Service to Sports Awards. Sir Frederic Osborn Sports Centre won Community Club of the Year at the Hertfordshire Service to Sports Awards.

Helen Paine finished in 26:25 and Nikki Cowen in 27:59.

And Dave Heal took part in Reading’s version, the three-mile Santa Run.

Despite wardrobe malfunction problems with his Father Christmas suit, his trousers falling down on the course, he still managed to finish in 29:24.

# Garden City Runners picked up a prize at the Hertfordshire Service to Sports Awards – but were beaten to the top gong by their hosts.

It was the third successive year the club had been nominated for Community Club of the Year and they took third place.

The win though went to Sir Frederic Osborn Sports Centre, where the GCRs are based.

The awards comittee said of SFO: “As a school sports centre, they have the school at the heart of everything they do.

“All income generated through bookings, facility hire, holiday activities and other delivery goes back into the school and is used to replenish and improve facilities/equipment for the school and community users of the centre.”

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