It's a family affair for fittlife runners

PUBLISHED: 11:36 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

Some of the runners who took part in the races

Some of the runners who took part in the races

FIVE runners celebrated personal bests as Times Territory s fittlife team put out a family squad of 33 athletes in the challenging Wheathampstead 10K and 2K cross-country events. First fittlife lady home was Tess Pugh, who finished the tough 10km course i

Fittlife runners Sarah Dickinson, Lynn Williams and Zoe Nicholson

FIVE runners celebrated personal bests as Times Territory's fittlife team put out a family squad of 33 athletes in the challenging Wheathampstead 10K and 2K cross-country events.

First fittlife lady home was Tess Pugh, who finished the tough 10km course in 47 minutes 23 seconds.

Watching her children compete for fittlife's fittkids in the earlier 2K race inspired her to a personal best and she knocked 14 seconds off her previous fastest time.

Daughters Molly and Biddy, aged seven and five, completed the 2K course in 15 mins 15 secs and 14 mins 30 secs respectively.

The Thomson family

Tess said: "Running conditions were beautiful and the improvements made to the pathways meant that I was able to get into a good rhythm and keep pushing."

Paula Gutteridge was next to finish in 50 mins 9 secs, slashing 61 seconds off her previous best and three minutes from her time for the race last year.

She said: "The weather conditions were near-perfect for running, and the surfaces have been improved since last year which helped."

Earlier, Paula had watched sons Adam, seven, and Jamie, five, run the shorter race for kids in times of 12 mins 31 secs and 18 mins 13 secs.

Anne Henson and son Michael

Another to take a minute off her PB for the longer distance was Debbie Daniel, who came home in a time one second over 56 minutes.

She said: "At 7k I felt I had some reserve left, so I sped up in the last 3k and went for it."

Frances Hill and Susie Mitchell paced each other to score the fourth and fifth PBs, finishing together in 57 mins 10 secs.

New to fittlife is recently-elected Handside councillor Fiona Thomson, who made her 10k debut in what fittlife trainer Suzy Fitt called a 'very tidy' 58 minutes.

Fiona also saw her children Connor, 13, Laura, 11, and eight-year-old Calum beat their dad Graeme in the shorter race.

The first of the fittlife squad to finish was Michael Henson, who stormed around in 40 mins 23 secs.

That was in good time to cheer home his mum Anne in 56 mins 16 secs.

Another team member achieved a personal target of cracking race nerves to finish in under an hour.

Recent London Marathon contestant Sarah Halliday acted as pacemaker to encourage fellow fittlife runner Sarah Goodman to complete in 59 mins 51 secs.

Their daughters ran together too. Sarah Halliday's daughter Hannah, 12, was first girl home in the race for fittkids in 12 mins 25 secs, just ahead of Sarah Goodman's 11-year-old daughter Tessa in 13 minutes.

Their friend, Holly Crout, 11, followed them in 13 mins 58 secs.

Great performances were also seen from Heather Wilson in 56 mins and Sandra Brown in a time of 56 mins 30 secs. Sandra's nine-year-old son Michael was equally quick in the 2k, completing in 9 mins 48 secs.

Three fittbirds finishing on 1 hr 8 mins all had reason to be proud on the day.

Sarah Dickinson knocked six minutes off last year's time after her daughter Chloe, eight, finished the shorter race in 15 mins 25 secs.

Zoe Nicholson was also delighted with her debut result and Lyn Williams had already run with her eight-year-old daughter Ffallon in the 2k race in 16 mins 39 secs.

After her emotional London Marathon debut, Sarah Arris completed her first 10k in 1hr 15 mins.

That was after watching her 10-year-old son Archie lead the fittkids' 2k team home in nine minutes, followed by his eight-year-old brother George two minutes later.

The only hard luck story hit Sharon Trimnell, who tripped and wasn't able to beat her sub-60 minute target. She finished in 1 hr 1 min.

Jenny Burns found the race surprisingly tough, finishing in 1 hr 14 mins.

Trainer Suzy Fitt said: "It was great to see three of the squad running PBs after being inspired by watching their children race competitively, some for the first time, in the 2k.

"It was an excellent family result at a great family day and rewarding to have a record turnout for our growing squad."

For information on joining the squad check out

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