After two years as a virtual event due to Covid, the Herts 10K 2022 had a celebratory feel and raised almost £38,000 to fund care and support for local people with a life-limiting illness, with fundraised income still coming in.
Runners started to gather from 9am for registration before joining a group warm up session ahead of the race. The warm up, led by local Zumba instructors ‘Zumba Dancing Jen’ saw everybody loosen their limbs in time to lively Zumba tracks.
Joining the line up of runners, which included three categories – men, women and juniors – were father and sons trio, Ben, Jacob and Lucas. They were running together for fitness and fun, as well as to raise money for Rennie Grove. Dad, Ben, had run the event in the past and was delighted to be joined at the start line by his sons in the junior category.
Many of the runners had personal reasons for choosing to support Rennie Grove, including Holi Deb from St Albans. She was running in the junior category to raise money for Rennie Grove after her grandmother was supported by our Hospice at Home nurses before she sadly died this summer.
Anthea had gathered a group of school mum friends to take on the race together after her son was supported by Rennie Grove’s Children’s Hospice at Home service.
As 10am approached, the crowd of supporters counted the runners down before they all ran through the start arch to begin the race.
While the runners completed the mixed terrain course, back at the start/finish line, supporters were able to pick up a drink or snack from one of a number of mobile food vendors, while they waited for their runners to return.
Spectators didn’t have to wait long before the fastest finisher of the day returned to cross the finish line. Luke Newton completed the course in an incredible 34:49, making him the winner of both the male and junior categories. He was closely followed by Jake Butterfield (36:54) and Mark Hoefield (39:03).
[left – right: Jake Butterfield, Luke Newton, Cllr Geoff Harrison, Mayor of St Albans, and Mark Hoefield]
The fastest runner in the female category was Freya Weddell who completed the course in 40:14, closely followed by Neringa Cobb (41:10) and Penny Habbick (41:22).
[left to right: Freya Weddell, Cllr Geoff Harrison, Mayor of the district and city of St Albans, Neringa Cobb and Penny Habbick]
After crossing the finish line, many of the runners commented on the difference the weather had made. Adam Herron has taken part in the in-person events each year since 2008. He said:
“It was an absolute pleasure to run it this year in the sunshine! I’ve run it many times in the past and it has often been very wet and muddy.
“I’m a keen runner and love this event as it’s a great race and a fantastic opportunity to support a local charity.”
Two runners crossing the finish line who understand more than most what the money raised by the event will be used for, were Emma and Helen, who work as Hospice at Home nurses for Rennie Grove.
After completing the course Emma said: “We’ve completed 10k runs together in the past but our running dropped off during the pandemic so signing up for this event was a great way to train to get our fitness back.
“We both work as Rennie Grove Hospice at Home nurses so we’re really delighted to see so many people out today, raising money to help Rennie Grove support local people who need it.”
Praising the crowds for the buzzing atmosphere, Tracey Hancock, Director of Fundraising at Rennie Grove said:
“We were delighted to see the Herts 10K back in person after two years as a virtual race due to COVID restrictions. As always, the crowds and supporters were magnificent and our hugest thanks go to all those who have taken part, donated and supported this year’s event. Thanks also go to all the volunteers who came along to marshal and help in the running village. The funds raised will go directly to supporting essential services for local people with a life-limiting illness and their families.”
The Herts 10K was set up in 2006 by local entrepreneur Lawrence Levy. Since its inception in 2006 it’s raised a whopping £1,661,845 for Rennie Grove. Speaking of the success of the 17th year, he said:
“I’m thrilled that we have successfully relaunched this fantastic community event. The weather was superb, and it was great to see friendly faces and runners that have taken part since the race started! The Herts 10K brings the community together every year to raise essential funds for Rennie Grove – a service that will touch all our lives at some point. It’s not too late to sponsor a runner or make a donation – so please, if you can, support this essential service by visiting www.renniegrovepeace.org”