No excuses not to run off the turkey for St Albans Striders

Penny Hibbick, left, and Wendy Walsh collect their trophies at the Buntingford 10-mile race

Penny Hibbick, left, and Wendy Walsh collect their trophies at the Buntingford 10-mile race - Credit: Archant

The tastes of Christmas did not dissuade many St Albans Striders from running over the long festive weekend.

St Albans Striders' Ben Scott at the 2016 Brighton Marathon. Picture: RICHARD VAUGHAN

St Albans Striders' Ben Scott at the 2016 Brighton Marathon. Picture: RICHARD VAUGHAN - Credit: Archant

On Christmas Eve, James McMurray achieved a new personal best at St Albans parkrun in a time of 15 minutes five seconds, the first home in a record-breaking turnout of 482 participants. More than 50 Striders were among that number, including Binh Tang who also ran a new PB of 27:44.

Striders took part in 5km parkruns all over the country; among them were Mike and Gill Jubb who ran Sheffield Hallam parkrun in full Christmas fancy dress in times of 24:47 and 25:25 respectively. Tony Lillico became the first Strider to run the new Cannock Chase parkrun in Staffordshire in just under half an hour, and Danielle Glassey completed Riverside parkrun, next to the Chester-le-Street cricket ground in County Durham, in 27:03.

Undeterred by the efforts of the previous day, many Striders returned to several parkruns that were hosting special Christmas Day events as well. The largest contingent travelled to Panshanger where Seb Rowe was the first Strider to finish in 20:32, coming 16th overall out of 337 enthusiatic runners in total. He was followed by fast-improving Chris Barr in 20:53, Howard Bull in a course best of 21:38 and Tim Searle in 21:42.

At Cassiobury in Watford Doug Hobson came 15th in a time of 19:17 and SK Au-Yeong completed the grassy and hilly run at Tring in 24:41.

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Elsewhere in the UK, Mark Travers completed his 335th parkrun in Bushy Park, London, Heather Wright ran 26:11 at Winchester, whilst Linda Cassidy hit 31 minutes exactly at Druridge Bay in Northumberland. Joanne Tang completed Preston parkrun in just over half an hour by a couple of seconds, whilst Noran McGovern ran round Platts Fields, South Manchester, in 35:38.

On Boxing Day, Ben Scott was on the south coast and completed the Poole Round the Lakes 10K in 42:58, coming 77th out of a field of 327 competitors. In Wales, Jenny Maddocks ran the Glynneath five mile road race in a time of 33:18 while in Scotland, Jen Conway ran the 10K Turkey Trot in Ayr in 45:31, coming 104th overall and eighth in her age category.

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Finally on Bank Holiday Tuesday, 11 Striders travelled to Buntingford near Royston to compete in the annual 10-mile race.

The club’s impressive female side were successful in claiming the team prize with the help of Wendy Walsh, Penny Habbick and Caroline Bailes. Walsh and Habbick were first and second in their age category, whilst Bailes broke her personal best from 2002. Fleur Harvey also got a new PB with 1:15:39. Martin Whitworth was the first Strider home in one hour exactly while Richard Maw was second in the MV60 age category in 1:17:50.

On the same day, club chairman Graham Smith completed the Ribble Valley 10K in Clitheroe in 36:13, which meant he finished in 112th position out of more than a thousand entrants.

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