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February and March Round Up

The last of the NESS Cross Country League took place on 18th February at Holbeck Park, Hadleigh. After a dry course set up the day before, the heavens opened overnight and turned pathways into rivers and the course into a mud bath! It seemed neither the hills (of which there where 8) or the mud could deter the 12 brave seniors and 15 juniors from putting in brilliant performances and running this challenging course.

The junior race was made up of full team of 12 boys and 3 girls with Laila McNeil putting in a great effort and coming in at 8th place. The senior race also had a full team made up of 6 men and 5 ladies. Stuart Price made it look easy and finished in 7th place. Vicky Tapp was our Runner of the Day for her determination and improvement across the season. A massive well done to all who ran.

Sadly, Rob Grimsey-Harris, our Cross Country Secretary, is stepping down after 3 years and we appreciate all the time and effort he has put into the cross country. He will be greatly missed by the Club.

The following weekend of 25th February had Hares running the London Winter 10k and in Tarpley running the 10 miles. Both very different races indeed! Vicky Tapp, Sam Tapp and Nathalie Hooper were running with 17,000 other runners from Trafalgar Square through the streets of London on a flat and twisty course. With it being a winter run there were snowmen and huskies and lots of entertainment along the way. In contrast Kay Oxford, Kitty Rigby, Joanne Sargent, Julia Bilotta and Rebecca Martin ran the well known undulating course of Tarpley 10. Excellent times by all with Kay and Kitty finishing in under 1hr 30. Congratulations to Julia who was awarded 2nd in her age category.

The racing season is really kicking off and on the 3rd March we had Hares running in 3 different half marathons, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Great Yarmouth.

For once the weather was kind and apart from the chill first thing, it was a perfect day for racing. Nathalie Hooper represented the Club in Chelmsford with an early start from Anglia Ruskin University. This is a fairly flat course with the route going out of Chelmsford along dual carriage ways and then out into prettier village areas. There was great support along the route and a real party atmosphere at the finish.

In Cambridge the Hares were out in force for the 12th Cambridge half marathon. This is a popular race that always sells out quickly. The race started at Midsummer Common with a new route this year taking runners through the grounds of St John's College, Trinity College, King's College and Jesus College. Runners also passed the Bridge of Sighs and Wren library as well as the city centre. On route there were bands, bag pipes, music and great support from the crowds. A thoroughly enjoyable race with amazing personal bests.


The results for our runners were as follow:


Joel Bamsey 1 43.47 PR, Kay Oxford 1.49.02, Kitty Rigby 1.56.44, Vicky Tapp 1 42.10 (a massive 2 min PB), Nikki Vince 1 47.39 (1 min 6sec PB), Rory Hanley 1 40.03 PR, Harriet Simm 1 59.28 PR, David Willer 1.35.54, Fiona Manthorpe 2 30.05 PR, Brendan Mayers 1 39.47 PR.

Meanwhile, Crystal Murray, Andrew Stewart and Elaine Turner headed to the seaside to check out the Great Yarmouth half marathon put on by ATW events . It promised to be a nice flat course by the sea and would work well for Elaine and Crystals Brighton Marathon training. The weather stayed dry and the wind was kind as they headed out along the seafront for the two lap half marathon course. The view out to sea was lovely and there were some great tunes playing out on the course which helped them round.  Elaine was very happy to hear the drummer for the second time round giving a good beat to pace her into the finish. 

Injuries and marathon training fatigue slowed them down a bit but they enjoyed the event (mostly the well earned chips after!). It was well organised and had a nice supportive atmosphere, helped by Deb Stewart giving a big cheer for them from her marshalling position out on the course. Came with a pretty medal too! 


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