Royston Runners volunteers

Vintage Performances At Buntingford

Royston volunteers 'dig in' to ensure the race can go ahead...

Just under 500 runners chose to end the year at the Buntingford Year End 10 from Freman College, Buntingford in Hertfordshire on Saturday 30 December. As can be seen in our photo there was flood water on the roads following heavy rain but the ever-resourceful volunteers from host club Royston Runners soon constructed some emergency drainage!

The race included the Hertfordshire Veterans Road Running County Championships and the British Masters (BMAF) 10-mile Championships, so not surprisingly the leading places were peppered with well-seasoned athletes and there were some truly exceptional higher age group performances.

The pacesetters were GB 50K international and 2:16:30 marathoner Alex Milne (Hercules Wimbledon AC, 52:32), Jack Nixon (St Edmunds Pacers, 53:02) – the new British Masters M35 champion – and BMAF M35 runner-up Ben Short (Crawley AC, 54:04).

The top three women were W45 Victoria Knight (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, 58:24), BMAF W35 gold medallist Clare Thurgood (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, 1:01:08) and Lucy Barnes (Harlow Run Tri, 1:04:05).

Among the impressive male age group champions was David McLean (Sphinx AC) who ran exactly 70 minutes to win the over-70 category. All the category leaders to M55 beat 60 minutes to win their gold medals and the oldest champion was M80 Edward Thorpe (Reading RR) who took 1:33:02 for the moderately hilly (557ft of ascent) route.

In the battle for W65 supremacy, only 24 seconds separated Lynda Hembury (Tring RC, 1:13:06) and Jane Kidd (Kenilworth Runners, 1:13:30) while the W70 champion was former Hong Kong Olympian Yuko Gordon (Fairlands Valley Spartans, 1:18:00).

There was some drizzle on the day but fortunately no further heavy rain. The finish-line rewards could lay claim to the unofficial 'best of the year' title with Mars bars, energy bars, apples, bananas, and a handsome medal to treasure.

Royston Runners was formed in November 1985, based at the Heath Sports Club in Royston. There were 60 founder members and Buntingford Year End 10 was adopted as the club's flagship event. Membership has grown steadily to more than 200 today and the Chas Avis Harvest Trail Half and Quarter Marathon was added to the calendar and is held in September annually.

Results of Buntingford End of Year 10 are available via the runABC South race listing here.

Photo of Buntingford Year End 10 volunteers courtesy of Royston Runners on Facebook

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