Another crackin' turnout at the Watford 5 mile cross-country race last weekend saw James Thomas leading the club home in 41:54 followed by Chris Clark in 42:23; club captain Paul Fairchild in 42:43; Adam Jenkins 44:11; Steven Carrod 44:16; Tracey Palmieri 44:29; Tom Rix 47:16; Jenny Cotter 48:32; Bettina West 49:07; Anna Weller 50:58; Matt Cotter 53:03; James Knight 54:25; Jane Britton 54:25; Christine Caine 54:57; Amanda Maylin 55:00; Richard Pitcairn 57:14; Mark Bullivant 60:22; Rachel Kelley 62:25. Gareth Charles unfortunately DNF. Freedom Tri are currently 12th out of 20 teams with the women's masters team currently in 5th place!
After his successful XC race James Thomas then went onto successfully complete the Gran Canaria Half Marathon this weekend in 170th place with a very impressive time of 1:29:53.
Freedom Tri cross county team at Watford.
And so it was, 26 blurry eyed Freedomites gathered together on Willian green for the third installament of the Run Herts cross country league. With temperatures barely above freezing and the excesses of the previous night's Christmas party sadly all too visible. Pirate bandanas and bad eye liner were the favoured look for this morning's sporting endeavours, with energy drinks being exchanged for tots of Morgans rum. The starting gun was the first realization for most that they were actually at a race and that people would have to dig deep to complete the frozen 5 mile course. In the women's race Rachel Carling, Tracey Palmieri and Jenny Cotter were the first three for Freedom over the line in 37.06; 37.07 & 38.20. Over in the men's race Bryon Nicholl, James Thomas and Paul Fairchild led the charge in 31.02; 32.41 & 33.35. The overall club standings after race three put Freedom Tri in 12th place in the league. The women's team are in seventh place with the men's team in 10th. Special mention goes to the women's masters team who are in sixth place! Arrrghhhh me hearties!!!!
A trio of Freedom athletes braved a bitterly cold Sunday morning to race at the fourth running of the Bass Belle 10 miler at Bassingbourn. Why the name Belle? Firstly, Bassingbourn is linked with the famous WWII flying fortress the Memphis Belle. Secondly, the course itself is beautiful or in French - 'Belle'. It is a fast, flat course which consists of 8.5 miles on road and 1.5miles off road along a grass track. James Thomas ran a stormer, finishing in 01:09:17, 11th in age group. Amanda Maylin finished in 01:31:35, 20th in age group, with Gareth Sharp finished with Amanda in his sights in 01:32:32, 58th in age group.
The ever popular St.Neots Half Marathon was held over the weekend with yet another impressive showing from the Freedom ladies. Jenny Cotter continued her great form by posting 1:40:46 (5th AG) with Rachel Carling hot on her heels in 1:42:30 (23th AG); Bettina West 1:44:56 (12th AG) and Angela Phillips 1:45:46 (15th AG). Matthew Sayers was first Freedom male in 1:19:16 (7th AG) with Mickey Day 1:29:20 (46th AG) and Lee Gilchrist 1:36:31.
Over at Knebworth House they were launching the inaugural Hertfordshire Half starting off in the grounds of the iconic house and then onto closed roads. Again some great times to be had with Emma Kinsey running the 13.1 mile race in 1:55:19 (54th AG); Ryan Nicholl 1:28:58 (8th AG); Luke Nicholl 1:29:10 (30th AG); Richard Springall 1:29:11 (29th AG) and Paul Sowter 1:37:08 (73rd AG).
Ann Tryssesoone ran the Brighton 10k along the seafront of Brighton & Hove starting off in Madeira Drive. Ann was delighted to complete the race in 49:36.
Angela Phillips, Rachel Carling, Bettina West, Jenny Cotter & Mickey Day at St.Neots Half Marathon.
The Tour de Force that is Freedom Tri once again wore their running singlets with pride for yet another cross country lung busting mud fest. This time Trent Park in Cockfosters, north London played host. This 320 hectare site dates back to the 14th Century, and once was a favoured hunting ground of Henry IV and has many Grade II listed statues & buildings to admire. After race 2 Freedom Tri are positioned 12th in the combined rankings, with the women's team still holding on to their 7th placed spot just below FVS - with the women's Masters team an incredible 5th! The men's team are placed 14th in the standings. Special mention once again goes to Rachel Carling's impressive time of 36:46 with James Parsons leading the men home in 31:29.
Freedom Cross Country team at Trent Park.
There was a fantastic turnout at the first of this season's 5 mile cross country races held at Cheshunt, with over 20 Freedom athletes blowing the cobwebs off their all-terrain knobblies. This winter league is organised by Run Herts with cumulative points scored over the coming months and is always hotly contested amongst local running and tri clubs. Results after race 1: Freedom mens/ladies combined are currently 12th out of 20 teams scoring 1452 points - the lower the better! Broken down the women's team again showing their strength led by Rachel Carling (in 37:29), currently 7th out of 20. The men's team 12th out of 20 led by James Parsons (32:12). Over at Shuttleworth College it was all about Cyclo-Cross with race 7 in the Central League organised by British Cycling with Icknield RC. Competing in the novice race managing 3 laps of a tough, grassy technical course including two jumps; Declan McCabe came 15th in 35:26 with Adrian Robinson 20th in 40:10.
Freedom XC team at Cheshunt
In it's 38th year, the Dublin Marathon is now the largest in Ireland and the fifth largest in Europe. Emma Croxon joined 20,000 other runners to complete the race in an excellent time of 5:59:37. Meanwhile over in Oxfordshire at the Abingdon Marathon, James Parsons came an impressive 74th in 2:58:33 with Suzy Hawkins concluding an epic season with 275th place in 3:22:33. Sunday also saw the 34th running of the Stevenage Half Marathon organised by FVS, with all proceeds going to charity. The course was windy and undulating following the town's tarmacked cyclepaths. First home for Freedom was Steffan lestyn Ford 11th in 1:24:16 closely followed by Ryan Nicoll 17th in 1:25:32 with James Thomas 66th in 1:35:55 and Gareth Sharp 351st in 2:12:19. Venturing down to the coast, Liz Aitken took on the 10 mile Great South Run. This fast and flat course is steeped in history and takes you on a tour of Old Portsmouth taking in HMS Victory and the Mary Rose museum. Liz was delighted to complete the race in 1:46:28.
Suzy Hawkins at the Abingdon Marathon.
Sunday saw the autumn installment of Nice Tri's Autodome Duathlon. This unique race includes the excitement of a mass start, and the thrill of racing around the smooth, fast tarmac of Bedford Autodrome motor racing track, with plenty of vantage points where friends and family can view your performance and cheer you on! Designed from scratch by former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer. Freedom newbie Katie Harbon (from NHRR) showed everyone how it was done in the standard event (10km run/39km bike/5km run) with an outstanding first place time of 2:11:09! Other Freedomites took on the speedier sprint event (5km run/20km bike/2.5km). First for the club Mickey Day came 58th in 1:02:00 followed by Lee Gilchrist 117th in 1:06:37 with GB athlete Richard Pitcairn completing the event 189th in 1:25:02.
Weekend warriors Ann Tryssesoone and Emma Croxon took on the Gt. Eastern Half in Peterborough. This fast and flat course is guaranteed a PB and formed part of Emma's training for the Dublin Marathon coming up at the end of the month. Emma was delighted with a time of 2:56:39 whilst Ann who was acting as pacer for another athlete sped ahead in 1:58:56.
Meanwhile over at the Royal Parks Foundation Half at Hyde Park the race was celebrating its 10th anniversary. There to blow up the balloons was Monica Corcoran who battled through the crowds to post an impressive time of 1:57:25.
Ann Tryssesoone & Emma Croxon at Gt. Eastern Run