It was a very different kind of weekend for a host of Hercules athletes this weekend as they celebrated the wedding of Andrew Penney and Kelly Thorneycroft in somewhat unusual fashion, writes George Mallett.
Half a dozen took to the Ashbourne Recreation Ground parkrun in Derbyshire, rewriting the course record books in the process.
Prior to Saturday the record for the 5km route stood at 16:10 courtesy of GB junior international Sam Stevens. With a host of fast athletes in town, that time always looked under threat but it came as a surprise to all that four of the wedding party broke the previous mark.
First home was groom Penney in 15:53, one second ahead of Highgate Harriers athlete and fellow wedding guest Roger Poolman.
How sporting Poolman might have been we will never know, but it is certainly no surprise to see Penney at the front of races. This year he has set new personal bests at everything from 1,500m up to 5,000m and is ranked in the top 50 in the UK across a number of distances.
Not far behind the pair was former cross-country captain Fred Slemeck in 16:05 with Tom Jervis in 16:08 also under the previous record.
With Finn Johnson and best men Alex Robinson and Liam White all in the top 12 it was certainly a show of Hercules force.
Competing in more traditional surroundings were Jonathan Cornish and Alex Milne at the Cardiff Half Marathon. In a stacked field Cornish finished in 66:44, someway outside his own PB but in a creditable 14th place. Also on the elite startline was Alex Milne, who ran 67:53 for 22nd place.
Andrew Merry returned after a summer absence from racing with the Matfen 10k in Northumberland. The Scot finished in 35:55 on the undulating course for fourth place just more than a minute behind the podium and almost five minutes clear of fifth.
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