Rain can’t dampen Herts 10K’s charity efforts

Herts 10K 2013 - all photos by Spike Brown of Blue Feather Photography

Herts 10K 2013 - all photos by Spike Brown of Blue Feather Photography - Credit: Archant

Torrential rain on Sunday did not deter thousands of people from taking part in the seventh annual Herts 10K to raise money for Grove House, part of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Even though it rained from start to finish, the weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the runners and walkers or the spectators who came out to cheer and encourage participants both along the route and at the finish line.

The race was started by Harpenden’s Paralympian and National Football Museum Hall of Fame inductee David Clarke, who was greeted on stage with huge cheers from the runners.

There was a feeling of deja vu about the winner, Michal Glowacki, who completed the 10km mixed terrain course in 33 min 54 seconds – he came in first last year as well. The winner of the women’s race was Becca Hayden who finished in 40 mins and 56 seconds.

The Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Annie Brewster, presented the trophies to the first three men and women before returning to the finish line to cheer on participants who were still completing their 10k run.

Among the thousands of runners, there were many individual stories of personal successes and achievements. Tabitha Weddell aged 15 from St Albans had never run a 10k race before and still managed to come second in the women’s race with an impressive time of 41 minutes and 21 seconds.

Debbie Huntley and Jude Robinson, who have been training for the event after winning a Herts Advertiser competition, joined other runners in the pre-race warm up led by Rory, their Fitness First trainer.

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Debbie said: “It was great fun despite the weather and we are both chuffed to bits that after all the training with Rory and despite our injuries we got round without stopping.”

Andy Mallabone, Hannah Wilson-Craigen, Suzy Hope and Una Lodge ran as a team from the new school in town, the Alban City School, which now has 120 children. Una said: “A few of the parents got together to run as a school team for Grove House. Each of us have seen Grove House help people close to us and the community around us.”

Demonstrating the fun side of the event were Harry Purvis, Hugh Myer and Jacob Savill who ran as bananas as part of their celebrations for Jacob’s 18th birthday

Ruth Barber, events manager at Rennie Grove, said: “The wet conditions made the Herts 10K more challenging. I’m even more humbled than usual to see the number of runners, supporters and volunteers who turned out to ensure that the event was once again a huge success.”

She added: “We are hoping that one positive side of running in the pouring rain is that the friends and family of those taking part will dig a little deeper when it comes to donating money in recognition of their heroic effort on the day.”