Call Norris McWhirter! St Albans Striders rewrite the record books as real racing returns

Heather Hann of St Albans Striders

Heather Hann of St Albans Striders was in fine form at the St Albans 10k. - Credit: TONY BARR

A home win and a dismantling of the club record book had St Albans Striders smiling as real racing returned with the St Albans 10k.

The return of actual races against other athletes came as a consequence of the easing of lockdown restrictions and began on Good Friday with the event that started and finished in Highfield Park and utilised an out-and-back course along the Alban Way.

A staggered start ensured secure COVID-19 guidelines were met, with participants praising the organisation, and the first wave of runners saw Strider James McMurray rocket round in 30 minutes exactly to take the win.

But it wasn't just his success that pleased the club with fast, flat course producing several impressive results and quick times.

Heather Hann broke the club record in the FV35 category, her time of 37 minutes 45 seconds making her third female home, and Paul Greaves almost joined her in the record books, missing the MV50 club record by just two seconds.

John Cooper did break the club's MV60 record with 38:19 and he followed that up a day later at Kempton Park by claiming the club's best 5k time, the new mark now 18:49.

Back in St Albans, Jonathan Bird (40:59) and Gill Hudnott (56:29) both achieved personal best times and the same quick results were also reported in clubs across Hertfordshire as lockdown training and the pan-flat course paid dividends.

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And the keeper of the Striders record book was kept busy on Easter Saturday too as aside from Cooper's exploits in south London, another club best tumbled at the Dorney Lake Marathon.

That came courtesy of Andrew McKillop. He was third in the MV50 category but his time of two hours 45 minutes 51 seconds was enough to break the previous Striders best, a record that had stood for 27 years.

The fastest from the club was Matthew Cooper in a personal best of 2:42:58, while Ola Kubas ran her first marathon, coming home in 4:20:23.