A family affair dominates Spartans race

A healthy total of 31 Stevenage and North Herts Athletic Club members travelled to Watford on Saturday to compete in the opening fixture of this winter s Chiltern Cross-Country League. Greatest success came in the combined junior and under- 17 women s rac

A healthy total of 31 Stevenage and North Herts Athletic Club members travelled to Watford on Saturday to compete in the opening fixture of this winter's Chiltern Cross-Country League.

Greatest success came in the combined junior and under- 17 women's race in which Loughborough student Sara Bailey finished first followed by Jo Mansell in second place.

Lauren Cunningham was 3rd, Francesca Witney 5th, Sam McCormick 10th and Tilly Scheuber in 12th. Not surprisingly, this resulted in a dominant team victory.

The club fielded it's largest complement of senior men for a while and first home of this youthful quartet was Dan Poulton who finished 7th but was the first junior in the race.

The other runners were Adam Searle who was 12th, Marcus McKechnie 13th and Sam Poulton 15th. The team finished seventh but most impressively these positions came in a field of 92 finishers.

The biggest turnout came in the under-13 girls age group where the club was led home by Hannah Dewhurst's 4th place finish.

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Next home was Sarah Pike in 10th spot with Alex Gates 13th, Bethany Hills 17th, Temi Fajobi 22nd, Charlotte Baird 26th and Kathryn Sweetlove 28th. The team finished third.

Another third placed team were the under-13 boys for whom Matthew Leach was also 4th backed up by Paul Spicer in 12th and James Bottomley 19th. The under-17 men's team with Callum McKechnie coming 8th, Josh Moss 11th and Louis Naylor 13th were also third a position matched by the under-15 girls where Amy Pring was 8th and Louise O'Connell 13th.

The under-15 boys lead finisher was Lewis Keeble in 8th place and he was chased home by Luke Langley in 13th spot, David O'Connell 15th, Warren Herridge 17th and David Pickett 19th with the team just edged into fourth place. The club's youngest representative Edward Bottomley came a fine 6th in the under-11 boys race.

The Glading family dominated the five kilometre road race organised by Fairlands Valey Spartans on Thursday night.

Eleanor and Cally Glading ran their fastest ever 5k along with 33 other Spartans and were helped by brothers Mark and Tom.

Darren Ling also made a impressive debut finishing in 22:50.

Andrew Patterson was the fastest on the night finishing in 18:35 a massive 69 seconds faster than he ran the same distance last month.

Other times: Todd Gray 18:51, Graham Blackburn 19:14, Michael Green 19:27, Mark Beasley 19:41 and Steve Dear 19:49.

Fastest woman was Chris King who finished in 21:26 followed by club coach Tessa Stephenson 23:06, Sharon Crowley and Amanda Brook both equal third with a times of 23:28.

Six Spartans took part in the Great Eastern Half Marathon on Sunday at Peterborough with Amanda Brook 1-45:56, Alison Suckling 2-04:13, and Susan Leigh 2-04:16 all recording personal bests.

Other Spartan times: Andrew Hull 1-42:16, Paul Holgate 1-42:46 and Chris Leigh 2-19:54.

Mark Saunders ran the Leicester Marathon finishing in 4-32:58. Michaela Norton-Lay's time was 4-38:38.

Gerry McCabe clocked 1-44:45 in the Stopsley off road half marathon while Roger Biggs completed the Porto Marathon along the Atlantic coast of Portugal in 3-42:4.

Mike Newbitt finished the Waltham winder off road marathon in 4-10:50 and Rob Hardy in 5-4:23 while Pauline Hardy completed the 11-mile event in 3-5:23.