Cross Country champs and parkruns galore as GCR start 2019 with a bang

PUBLISHED: 09:15 09 January 2019

Garden City Runners were out in force at the Herts Cross Country Championships.

Garden City Runners were out in force at the Herts Cross Country Championships.

Archant

The New Year began with a big competition - and Garden City Runners were out in force.

Garden City Runners' Dave Heal.Garden City Runners' Dave Heal.

The Herts Cross Country Championship took place at Verulamium Park in St Albans and after a number of youth races the GCR women were first on to the course.

Eleanor Newton was the first from the club to finish the two-lap, 8km in total race, coming home in 36 minutes 30 seconds for 38th place.

Garden City Runners' Kath Evans and Elaine Giles took on two big challenges to kick start 2019.Garden City Runners' Kath Evans and Elaine Giles took on two big challenges to kick start 2019.

Hannah Frank was three places further back while Rebecca Barden was 50th and Kay Metcalfe 60th.

That gave Garden City Runners an overall position of 12th in the team competition.

Garden City Runners' James Huish in action at Clevedon.Garden City Runners' James Huish in action at Clevedon.

The senior men had to take in an extra lap, bringing their distance up to 12km.

Six were needed to make up the team standings here and the runs of Neil Hume (19th), Danny Figgs (33rd), Rob Casserley (52), Russell Casey (58), Tom Wackett (74) and Dave Desborough (79) meant they finished seventh overall from 19 teams.

Garden City Runners' first parkrun tour of 2019 took them to Castle Park in Bishop's Stortford.Garden City Runners' first parkrun tour of 2019 took them to Castle Park in Bishop's Stortford.

Desborough’s effort came 40 years after his first Herts championship in 1979.

Also involved were Sean Bowen, Malcolm Down, Richard Somerset and Brad Smith.

Garden City Runners' Malcolm Down in action at Peterborough.Garden City Runners' Malcolm Down in action at Peterborough.

Elsewhere Elaine Giles and Kath Evans were busy bees with two mammoth runs.

The first, the Flitch Marathon, saw the pair tackle 13.1 miles from Great Noteley Country Park in Braintree to Takeley and back again along the Flitchway.

Garden City Runners were out in force at the Herts Cross Country Championships.Garden City Runners were out in force at the Herts Cross Country Championships.

The dynamic duo also took on the Stansted Stagger, a narrative trail race.

For Dave Heal the Flitch run was the first of two marathons in six days.

He completed that in four hours 55 minutes six seconds before clocking 4:39:44 at Hillingdon cycle track.

In parkrun action the first in a new GCR tourism series saw 27 head off to Castle Park in Bishop’s Stortford where James Huish was second overall and Tom Wackett third.

Martha hall was the first female to finish.

The next in the series is Gadebridge in Leighton Buzzard on February 2.

In other parkrun news, Paul Guy was third at Parke in Devon and Jack Tann and Caroline Hale were both first at Ellenbrook Fields where Elaine Fowler set a new personal best by 40 seconds finishing in 25:40.

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