Garden City Runners enjoy London’s Big Half – both on and off the course!

PUBLISHED: 16:30 06 March 2018

Garden City Runners sent 25 along to the Vitality Big Half in London as volunteers.

Garden City Runners sent 25 along to the Vitality Big Half in London as volunteers.

Archant

Parkruns were all hit by the weather as was the Welwyn Half Marathon but Garden City Runners still kept themselves busy.

Neil Hume was the first of the Garden City Runners home in the Vitality Big Half in London. Neil Hume was the first of the Garden City Runners home in the Vitality Big Half in London.

Many headed to London for the Vitality Big Half, a half-marathon which started at Tower Bridge and finished in Greenwich, although 25 of them were not there to run.

They had been asked to help as volunteers at the inaugural event with a number of jobs.

Louise Smith, one of the 25, said: “It was a fabulous day with a terrific atmosphere. The 25 acquitted themselves exceptionally well, managing to sort bags in a very short timeframe and return them to around 2,000 participants, including the Championship runners.

“There was sunshine when we arrived and we were surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the Maritime Museum.

Garden City Runners' Hannah Frank, seen with husband Mat, set a new PB at the Vitality Big Half in London. Garden City Runners' Hannah Frank, seen with husband Mat, set a new PB at the Vitality Big Half in London.

“A big thank you to all that took part; our participation provides funds for the club and helped us to get the coveted spot of volunteering at the London Marathon.”

They were also able to lend their support to those from the club that ran.

With results still trickling through, the first GCR to finish was Neil Hume who completed the course in one hour 14 minutes 21 seconds.

There were two big personal bests as well.

First up was Hannah Frank who took four minutes off her best time with a 1:41:51 while Rebecca Barden’s 1:42:12 was the fastest she had covered a 13.1 mile course.

Other times include Rob Dilley (1:38:54), Mat Frank, Hannah’s husband who came home with her in his first half-marathon, John Davis (1:57:53), Richard Darley (2:03:28) and Alex Yates (2:11:46).

Frank said: “It was a great race and an enjoyable course with good support throughout.

“It was the only race I’ve done in my racing career where there were more than enough portaloos. I strongly recommend it.

“It was great to have team GCR at the finish as well.”

Other GCR members who found action included Helen Moye who was running the Cambridge Half.

In conditions she described as “not too hot and not too cold, with just a light breeze” she finished in 1:56:51.

Tom Rogers went under two hours at the Brighton Half Marathon and Dave Heal clocked 4:41:51 at Dorney Lake in his 12th marathon alongside Denys Baldry.

Some parkruns did go ahead despite the weather and one such race was Panshanger.

Hume warmed up for London the next day with second place while Barbara Kubis-Labiak was the first GCR lady to finish.

In St. Albans, Andrew Holt finished a creditable third in 19:34 while Lynette Stewart managed 29:52 at Hove.

And Jane Molloy, who is still out in Western Australia, ran Lake Jooondalup in 32:56.

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