Striders resolve to ring in New Year with strong performances

Two St Albans Striders rounded off 2018 in style by completing the Flitch Way Trail Marathon in Great Notley, Essex on New Year’s Eve. Alex Johnston completed the muddy, multi-terrain 26.2 mile course in 4:07:57, with Mark Travers finishing in 4:34:01.

Doug and Claire Hobson kicked off 2019 by running the Wyndonham New Year’s Day 10K in Norfolk. Despite recent festivities, Doug achieved a brand new PB of 37:49, while Claire finished the race in 48:56.

A large number of Striders started 2019 by completing special New Year’s Day parkruns, the only day of the year when you can complete more than one parkrun. For instance, Jen Conway was first female at Rushmere parkrun, near Leighton Buzzard, in 21:25, as well as running 20:25 at Houghton Hall parkrun, near Dunstable. Chris Barr ran two Australian parkruns: 26:23 at Shelley parkrun, and 24:50 at Canning River parkrun. Neil Mallon did a mini tour of North London, with times of 27:35 at Canons Park parkrun, and 29:28 at Oak Hill parkrun. Deirdre Heydecker and Michael Donovan both completed the Tring parkrun and Wendover Woods parkrun double, in times of 25:32 and 25:44, and 27:51 and 28:06 respectively.

On Sunday 6th January, the Herts County Cross Country Championships took place in Verulamium Park, St Albans, with marshals provided by Striders and the Athletic Club. Representing the city in the senior races were 50 athletes from St Albans Striders. In the women’s race, Stacey Ward won the individual county gold medal in 28:08, while Jen Conway was the next Strider to finish the 4.8 mile course, coming sixth in 31:16. A trio Striders finished just behind them; Wendy Walsh, Helen Cartlidge, and Claire Kremer were 20th, 21st, and 22nd, all coming in just over 34 minutes. Together their efforts were enough to secure Silver Herts County Team medals. The club’s B-team were also strong enough to come 6th out of 18 teams.

Paul Adams won the 7-mile Senior Men’s race in 39:10, with a comfortable 13-second cushion between him and Tom Kearns of Shaftesbury Barnet in second place. Phillip Evans was the next Strider to finish, in 6th place with 40:40. Jonathan Scott was 16th in 41:47, George Withers 25th in 42:20, Mike Martin 36th in 43:35, with Joe Dunn 41st in 44:02 and Jim King just behind in 42nd with 44:05. Out of 19 teams, Striders narrowly missed out on Bronze county team medals by 124 to 125 scoring points, while the men’s B-team came 6th.

Report and photos of Paul Adams and Stacey Ward at the Herts County XC by Howard Bull.

Photos of Alex Johnston (110) and Mark Travers (169) at the Flitch Way Marathon by Laura Hicks.

Photo of the Striders women's team at the Herts County XC by Mike Jubb.

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