Mud, rain, sleet and snow hampers but doesn’t stop Garden City Runners

PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 January 2018

Garden City Runners' Steve Ellerd-Elliott, Rebecca Barden, Michelle Cotter and Anne Henson back in the warmth of race HQ after the Fred Hughes 10K in St Albans.

Garden City Runners' Steve Ellerd-Elliott, Rebecca Barden, Michelle Cotter and Anne Henson back in the warmth of race HQ after the Fred Hughes 10K in St Albans.

Archant

Garden City Runners put their best foot forward at the weekend – even if that was generally into thick mud or deep puddles.

Tim Cooke of Garden City Runners took part in the Winter Tanners 30.Tim Cooke of Garden City Runners took part in the Winter Tanners 30.

The popular Fred Hughes 10-mile race around the outskirts of St Albans was an exception, however.

Doubling as the Herts County Senior Championships, a good turn-out of GCR’s enjoyed the welcome break from the cross-country season.

In total 759 competitors set out from St Columba’s School with Neil Hume the first from the club home in fourth place.

There was a personal best of one hour 10 minutes nine seconds for Steve Ellerd-Elliott and the husband and wife team of Michael and Helen Paine also went quicker than before, clocking 1:21:07 and 1:25:47 respectively.

Tim Cooke shows some of the conditions he had to run through at the Winter Tanners 30 in Surrey.Tim Cooke shows some of the conditions he had to run through at the Winter Tanners 30 in Surrey.

Having attracted actor Simon Pegg last year, this year it was the turn of Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps to tackle the Essendon 10K.

Snow started falling around 3km in but it wasn’t enough to stop Becca Hayden from being the first lady home in 46:30.

Tim Cooke took part in the Winter Tanners 30 in Leatherhead. This is a challenge walk (or run) on Surrey footpaths and bridleways with minimal support.

Cooke said: “It was 31 miles of mostly mud, liquid manure, sleet, snow, driving rain, climbing Box Hill, and sliding down Box Hill. Why we do these things?”

Becca Hayden was the first lady home in the Essendon 10K.Becca Hayden was the first lady home in the Essendon 10K.

Dave Heal ran in a six-hour trail challenge event at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham but was forced to retire after 15 miles in driving sleet.

He said: “My hands were frozen solid in my gloves and I lost all feeling.”

Sean Bowen continued the build-up to his debut Grizzly on March 18th, with a visit to the Benfleet 15, a 15-mile off-road classic.

Travelling across Hadleigh Marsh twice, and including a climb to the castle ruins, he also faced rain, sleet and snow.

However, he still managed to finish 42nd from the 643 starters.

Having never run further than 13K previously, Matthew Harden took part in the OK Nut orienteering event in Richmond Park on Sunday.

He again braved the poor weather conditions to complete the almost 26km course, which included 320m of climbing, in 2:43:22 for a very creditable 27th place.

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