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St Albans Stampede

In the spirit of the event and as my sister Miranda is not a NHRR we decided to run this as Team RuntogetherStandalone - which says it all...

This was a 12 hour endurance event which could be run solo, in pairs or in teams of 4 or 8. The idea is to run as many of the really lovely 4 mile lap through Heartwood Forest and across Nomansland Common as you can in 12 hours. Any lap finishing after 9pm will not be included in the results.

On a perfect day for running Gary Cook set the ball rolling with a very fast first lap of just over 26 minutes. This was followed by a lap by Lindsay Cook and then another one each before Linda Aird took over to run 2 consecutive laps. By now the sun was out and it was a truly beautiful day - maybe a little warm for some of the runners but perfect for those who were relaxing amongst the tents outside race HQ waiting for their turn. Next to take up the baton was my sister, Miranda, who put in a lap accompanied by her dog Buster. By the time she had finished Jo Harbon had arrived and sped off on lap 8, followed by me, Sue Foot, another by Miranda (this time without Buster who had gone home tired after his one lap), Jo H and me and by now Paul B had arrived so I handed over to him and he put in an incredibly fast lap for someone who claims to run for 'Team Casual'.

By now we were realising that if we were a bit tactical as to who ran when we could probably squeeze an extra lap in - we had arrived with hopes of 17 or 18 and were well on target for 19 but if we could just get that 19th lap finished by 8.20 could squeeze in a 20th lap. Sooooo - next up was Sue for her second lap followed by Linda, Miranda and Paul and then it was over to me for lap 19 with us planning to run lap 20 together in the dark with head torches.

All was going to plan - better than to plan actually as by now we were, unbelieveably, in the lead with about 12 minutes in hand. Sue came in quicker than expected, as did Miranda and Paul and I set off on lap 19 with 1 hour and 35 mins for 2 laps before the cut off. No problem. Until that is I finish my lap quicker than my team mates expected and had to go and find them before we could set out on lap 20! Still no problem as we had an hour to run it and still had (or so I thought) a 12 minute lead on the next team. All was going swimmingly until a mile and a bit from the finish I said 'well done' to a lady who passed us and then realised that she was a 'Team of 8' member, muttered 'We've got to go' to Miranda and we kicked on. I'm not normally overly competitive but I couldn't let the team down... And I did manage to come in a full minute and a half ahead so had I run the last lap normally instead of us trundling around as a team in the dark I would have been even further ahead and she had had the advantage of starting her last lap knowing that we were by then only 4 minutes ahead and were taking the last lap very casually assuming we couldn't be caught and she admitted that she had been hunting us down all the way but I did still feel a bit mean...

However that doesn't change the fact the WE WON!!! OK so there were only 4 teams of 8 and 2 teams quit at about 18 laps but the whole point of this kind of event is to KEEP GOING - which we did and WE WON!!!

Thank you team - a really great day out!

PS St Albans Striders won the Team of 4 with an incredible 28 laps - that's 4 people running a sub 3 hour marathon each - anyone brave enough to take them on next year???

PPS Pizza and beer at the finish, buffs and medals to all finishers and bottles of wine to prize winners.

PPPS Bella is snoring...

Re: St Albans Stampede

Well done team! Amazing that after all those laps it was still so close at the end!

Lovely event, let's do it again! But gutted we missed out on the free beer and pizza!

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What a great event! It was a fab day and I had a blast - lets do it all again next year, preferably with a couple more teams of Squirrels!

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I agree - a very enjoyable day. Well done everyone and thanks Jo for organising and getting our team of eight!

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Thank you so much for letting me part of this team. I wish I had more free time to be with you longer and I will certainly make sure I can stay to the end next year if we return. A fabulous course and well done for not only organising it, but being so enthusiastic Jo - very fitting that you won it with your final effort. It is quite a new feeling to run 4 miles, relax for an hour and then attempt another 4 miles. The body is not willing, Linda and I were nearly dozing in our deckchairs between legs. This is not good preparation!!

Re: St Albans Stampede

Fantastic! Jo I'm doing the paper report - what's Miranda's surname?

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And Gary isn't an NHRR member at the moment either.

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Well done all, sounds like a great event!

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sounds like he should join Lindsay ;)

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Well done everyone, fabulous team effort!

Re: St Albans Stampede

Hi Phil - it is Summers-Pritchard and she would LOVE to be mentioned in the Comet. It was partly in recognition of at least one runner (I hadn't realised Gary wasn't) not being a NHRR that I entered us as RuntogetherStandalone but as 3/4 of the team were NHRR and the 1/4 that wasn't was closely connected and as we won I think we deserve a Comet report!

Re: St Albans Stampede

Brilliant! Well done, Jo and team!

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Thanks Jo - let's see if it makes it into the paper this week !

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well done you all!!!

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It sounds great fun.i hope I can join you next year 😊

Re: St Albans Stampede

a very good write up Jo.
I thought it was a really good event, chilled between laps and drinking tea.
The route was very good, hills, woods, tracks and fields.
Event hq laid on refreshments throughout the day so cake overload for me.
Its the 1st time I have ever won a team event, normally if I'm in your team, you lose!!!