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Boston Strong!

April 29, 2014

Saturday 19th April:
Adam Prentis was in South Africa where he took part in the self-proclaimed “world’s most beautiful marathon”, the Two Oceans. With a backdrop of spectacular scenery the race, an ultra-marathon in fact with 35 miles rather than 26, is run through the Cape Peninsula, finishing at Cape Town university. The day started off hot, and finished even hotter, with temperatures close to 30 by the finish line. Adam had a brilliant race, vowing to return next year, finishing in 4:44:58.  Results

Darren West has spent the last couple of weekends chalking up three more half-marathons towards his ultimate goal of 52 this year. On April 19th he ran Valiants Half with his son. This was a flat, road course, and a very hot day so the pair were pleased to finish in 1:46:53. The following day Darren took part in the Northampton Run Fest Half, an overcast day and an off-road route on trail and grass. He completed this one in 1:39:20. The next weekend, April 27th, Darren travelled down to Stratford upon Avon to compete in the Shakespeare Half. Darren had a great race on this undulating course, coming in 207th in a field of 1995 runners in a time of 1:37:37. 52Blog

Sunday 20th April:
Closer to home, on Easter Sunday the Helmlsey 10k multi-terrain challenge attracted two Harriers. The first 2.5 miles of this race are fairly challenging uphill but the second half was described as great fun running through forest trails and fields back down to Helmsley, where a lovely mug & easter egg greeted the first 300 runners at the finishing line. John Young had a great race coming in 6th overall in 36:35, as did Jillie Townend who was 5th in her age category with a time of 54:54.  Results

Monday 21st April:
Also in the Easter weekend Jo Williams travelled to Massachusetts for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on Easter Monday. This was an important race for Bostonians and runners the world over after the events of last year’s race when four lives were lost, and many changed forever, due to the bombers’ actions. There was a very special atmosphere in the city for the entire week that Jo was there. As more and more runners arrived in the city and donned this year’s orange jacket the sense of community grew, with good wishes being exchanged amongst total strangers, and ever-increasing cries of “good luck on Monday” from locals and visitors alike. On race day there were a million spectators along the course, an astonishing figure, and it certainly sounded like it – the support had a uniquely emotional flavour to it as many were thanking runners for being there, for coming back, for supporting Boston and for “helping to heal” it. The route itself starts out in a small town called Hopkinton, 26.2 miles outside of the city – runners are all bussed out there in a mass convoy of yellow school buses – then meanders back into the city. Starting with several miles of downhill, runners’ quads are somewhat brutalised before a flat-ish section up to about mile 15. At this point the Newton Hills start, a series of 4 hills culminating in the humdinger, Heartbreak Hill, at just over mile 20. In comparison to Harrogate’s hills this is no great monster of a hill, but its location in the race, combined with those smashed-up quads, makes it something of a challenge and gives rise to its fear-inducing name. Jo readily admits her training wasn’t quite as good as in previous years so wasn’t aiming for a PB this time, just to complete the race and enjoy the unique atmosphere where this race was reclaimed for the runners and the Bostonians. She was nonetheless pleased to finish sub-4, just!, in 3:59:49. 

Saturday 26th April:
The self-titled marathon with mountains, the Three Peaks, took place on Saturday 26th April, with 7 amongst Harriers’ number testing their mettle against the esteemed and challenging course. The weather on the day was better than expected and presented close to ideal conditions for competitors. Pacing is often troublesome in this race: runners need to be careful not to push too hard at the beginning lest they lose places later on in the run off Ingleborough. Harrogate’s runners did themselves extremely proud, chalking up some impressive times. Ian Rowbotham, the club coach, showed his strength finishing in 3:44:39; Jake Turnbull was next in an excellent 4:17:12, followed by David Fountain clocking a brilliant 4:33:32 for his first time racing this event. Nick Andralojc was not far behind at all, in a great 4:48:21, with Mark Robinson chomping at his sub-5 heels to finish in an also impressive 4:58:50 – made all the more impressive by the fact that after a quick shower Mark was dressed up to the nines and straight out to a fundraising ball. Monika Papaj, also in her first Three Peaks race, did a sterling job and was delighted to finish in 5:11:13 having enjoyed (almost) every minute of it, and was followed by club mate and colleague Breffni Groome in a brilliant 5:35:56.  Results

Sunday 27th April:
The Fountains 10k took place, with many Harrogate Harriers making the short trip to represent their club. This is a tough race with lots of hills and, despite the drier weather, it was very boggy in parts. The race was by all accounts very well organised with excellent marshalling with all competitors finishing muddy but happy. There were some excellent team and individual results with Harriers winning first men’s prize, the ladies’ team achieving second team place, and Jamie Dilasser coming top of his category, M40. Barry McGuire was first Harrier over the line, 4th overall, in 37:32 followed by Jamie Dilasser, 11th overall, in 40:20, and Paul Render, 13th overall in 40:46. Wendy Marks was first lady Harrier over the line and 41st overall in 45:32, followed by second HH lady, Sally Houghton, 70th overall, in 48:22, and third Sue Moul, 91st overall, in 50:17.  Results

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