Garden City Runners enjoyed a glittering day out at the 2023 Stevenage Half Marathon - winning county medals galore.

The event, using a two-lap course round the cycle paths of the town, doubled as the county championship for the distance and both the men and women of the club were in storming form on a gloriously sunny and still morning.

Chris Baylis was the first GCR runner home in a time of one hour 21 minutes 42 seconds, good enough for sixth position overall in the field of 279.

However, of the 66 men eligible for the county title, it placed him third and won him a bronze medal.

He was pushed all the way in an epic battle with team-mate Peter Harvey, finishing 17 seconds behind.

Paul Guy's return to good form continued with a ninth-placed finish in 1:23:48.

Those three, plus Jamie Rose who ran a PB of 1:25:44 for 12th, was good enough to earn GCR county gold in the men's team event ahead of host club Fairlands Valley Spartans.

But the success didn't stop there with the next quartet of GCR men to finish claiming team bronze too.

That team was made up of Martin Mitchell, Russell Casey, Spencer White and 68-year-old Roger Adey.

The latter, running just his second half marathon, said: "Having reached the finish of the Stevenage Half Marathon, I was confronted with the fact that we had won bronze.

"Those MV40s were so fast they had all disappeared by the time I finished in 1:50:39, and in a very different age category."

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The Garden City Runners team who won team silver at Stevenage. Picture: GCRThe Garden City Runners team who won team silver at Stevenage. Picture: GCR (Image: Garden City Runners)

And the ladies were not to be outdone either.

Rebecca Barden was fifth in the individual women's county race in a time of 1:47:26 and together with Lucy Iles, eighth in 1:51:01, and Sophie Packman, who was just behind in ninth and 1:51:19, they won the county team silver behind FVS.

Iles said: "I was shocked at my result. I’d left my Garmin watch at home by mistake so I had no idea of time or pace all the way round.

"When I finished, I was stunned [with my time] and winning silver was the cherry on the cake.

"It was a glorious day but I’ll be glad not to see another Stevenage underpass for a while."

And if that wasn't good enough, GCR also claimed a second medal with Holly Wise, Clare Grover and Maggie Wright winning bronze.

Four GCRs decided to swerve the relative comfort of Stevenage and headed off to Eastbourne for the Beachy Head Marathon and Ultra.

"Conditions were wet and windy," said Peter Jasko. "The average 25mph wind was strong enough to change foot placement mid-air, which, given this is a trail race, was not ideal.

"Fortunately there was only a short tough uphill section into the wind. We just had to grind it out.

"And the wind positively pushed us up hills on the way in.

“About halfway round the rain stopped and we could enjoy the beautiful views, including impressive waves crashing onto distant beaches."

Jasko finished the marathon in 4:26:14 for 117th, a 24-minute PB over the course.

The first GCR to finish was Dom Thomas, 86th out of the 1,168 finishers in 4:15:12, while Nick Genever was 177th in 4:37:56.

Mark Westley extended his run, adding on another 10k in the ultra distance to finish 30th out of 214 in 5:29:29.