After a busy few weeks, runners were probably due a quieter weekend - but they were still out in force including one very special race close to home.

The first running of the Phoenix 5 brought more than 400 runners out under the warm sunshine.

The Comet: The medals at the first ever Phoenix 5. Picture: STEVENAGE PHOENIXThe medals at the first ever Phoenix 5. Picture: STEVENAGE PHOENIX (Image: Stevenage Phoenix)

Hosted by Stevenage Phoenix, the race started and finished in Shephalbury Park and took runners on an out and back route past the Lamex Stadium, Fairlands Valley and a circuit of the lakes area before retracing their steps. 

Competition at the front of the field was fierce with the winning time of 26 minutes 23 seconds set by Mo Elbayan of Stopsley Striders, followed by Hi Runners' Sam Stratford (27:51) in second and Casey Stevenson (28:48) of Kettering Town Harriers third.

Stopsley also had the winner of the ladies competition, Christine Lathwell finishing in 33:04, just edging Paula Downing of Mablethorpe Runners and Bishop's Stortford's Vicky Simpson-Thomas in a dramatic finish.

Bedford Harriers won the team award for the ladies while Ware Joggers were victors in the men's event.

The race generated £4,000 for the four nominated charities - Garden House Hospice, Knebworth Food Bank, Cardiac Risk in the Young and Project H Defibs.

In addition, £140 was collected at the cake stand for Cancer Hair Care. 

Despite having more than 60 volunteers supporting the event, Phoenix still had a good representation in the race.

Of the 15 that completed it, Simon Lodge was first from the club, and seventh overall, in 30:05 ahead of Alex Wasley (32:03) and George Curtin (41:52).

The first lady Phoenician was Jess Clarke in 46:52.

The others from the home club were Nick West (42:16), Danny Bishop (43:17), Phil Gover (47:37), Heidi Cameron (48:58), Martin Wasley (50:43), Daniel Curtin (52:40), Katie Mitham (53:20), Kelsee Watson (53:23), Myles Hammersley (54:46), Angela Goodwin (1:01:31) and Denise Ricot (1:01:47).

The Comet: The six North Herts Road Runners at the Phoenix 5 in Stevenage. Picture: NHRRThe six North Herts Road Runners at the Phoenix 5 in Stevenage. Picture: NHRR (Image: North Herts Road Runners)

North Herts Road Runners' contingent numbered six with James Dalton leading them home in 35:43, Hannah Keeble the second of them in 44:11.

Richard Barker (53:00), Georgia Barker (53:00), Stephen Doran (53:38) and the race walking Sheila Leavy (1:04:33) completed their line-up.

For Fairlands Valley Spartans, Jay Papa was 17th in 32:17 and Lloyd Dias clocked 43:49.

The Comet: Georgie Hooper and Nick Gill with their Exmoor 10k medals. Picture: FVSGeorgie Hooper and Nick Gill with their Exmoor 10k medals. Picture: FVS (Image: Fairlands Valley Spartans)

Nick Gill and Georgie Hooper of Fairlands Valley Spartans went for scenery and elevation as they ran the Exmoor 10k, part of a coastal trail series.

Comprising 1,480 feet of climbing, as well as views across the north Devon coast, Gill was fourth overall in 50:53 while Hooper was 28th overall, and seventh female, in 1:02:38.

Nicki Nation ran her first race for a while as she finished the Marlow five-miler in 1:04:04 while Zoe Jackson completed the Met Police 10k in 52:15.

Altitude was also a thing for a number of Squirrels at the Snowdonia Half Marathon, a race with 1,900 feet of ascents.

They were led home by Kat Burr in 1:57:28, placing her fifth in the FV40-44 group, closely followed in by Caroline Thrussell who took top spot by over 30 minutes in the FV60-64 category.

Georgia Head was ninth in the open category in 2:08:32 with others from NHRR to finish including Dervla Downing (2:14:00), Alice Noakes (2:21:53), Paul Bowal (2:25:30), Helen Ankers (2:29:12), Andy Grudzinski (2:35:21) and Adam Wilson (2:40:39).

Lewis Green of Stevenage Phoenix was also in north Wales and completed 57.6k in the ultra run in a time of 13:22.

The first Eastern Masters track & field fixture of the season took place in Corby with the FVS women claiming a comfortable overall win, while the men were third.

Among the Spartan winners were Andrea Westcott who claimed three wins in the W50-59 group, placing first in the 100m, the long jump and the high jump.

Christine Lathwell was a double winner, in the W35 800m and 3,000m, as was Marian Morley in the W50-59 shot and javelin.

Joylan Saunders-Mullins won the 60-plus 100m while Sharon Crowley triumphed in the W60 3,000m.

The relay team of Crowley, Saunders-Mullins and Tessa Stephenson were also successful.