Arthur's a world champion once more

Veteran race walker Arthur Thomson from Letchworth GC was on top of the world in France. The 71-year-old Herts Phoenix athlete, a former winner of the veteran achievement category at The Comet Sports Awards, enjoyed more success at the World Masters Indoo

Veteran race walker Arthur Thomson from Letchworth GC was on top of the world in France.

The 71-year-old Herts Phoenix athlete, a former winner of the veteran achievement category at The Comet Sports Awards, enjoyed more success at the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships at Clermont Ferrand.

He won gold in the 3000m indoor walk in his age group in a time of 16:09.24, more than a minute faster than the next man last Tuesday.

And on Saturday, in the 10k outdoor walk postponed from Friday because of the atrocious weather, Thomson beat his nearest rival by more than six minutes to win yet another gold. The British team won bronze.


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Thomson holds the world records for 3,000m, 5,000m and 10k, 20k and 30k and 3,000m indoors.

He is now in training for the European Masters in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the end of July.

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n Gary Cook recorded an impressive victory for the North Herts Road Runners in the ominously named Double Bypass cross-country race on a snowy Easter Sunday.

Cook was first home from a field of around 50 competitors having completed a shortened version of the 16-mile course in a time of 1-34:44.

The race is notoriously tough and takes place in rural Buckinghamshire.

It requires athletes to navigate a number of obstacles including quarries, rivers and tunnels.

His wife, Lindsay, also took part and completed the gruelling course in 2-28:35.

n It was cold and windy but bright and dry for the Maidenhead Easter Ten on Good Friday.

Chris Leigh from Fairlands Valley Spartans ran a new personal best to finish 341st out of the 1,139 finishers with a time of 75 minutes exactly.

Jim Brown was the first Spartan finisher and he was 174th in 68:45.

Roger Biggs was chasing Leigh over the last half mile and was 347th in 75:08.

The Spartans were 30th out of the 41 clubs that finished with a complete team of three.

Steve Smithson ran the 1500m at Gosling Stadium in Welwyn Garden City on Good Friday. The weather was appalling - the race took place in a hailstorm! - and his time was 5:25.

n Hitchin-based triathlon club FVS TRI boosted the numbers for the Good Friday Welwyn Hilly Cycle Time Trial which attracted a record entry for the second year in succession.

Forty members, including 11 women, made the final start list with a further 20 unable to race due to the restriction on the number of places.

The inclement Easter weather did enable some of the FVS TRI reserve riders to race as many cyclists from other clubs decided not to compete.

The 26.2 mile course was shortened this year due to traffic issues on the Welwyn to Codicote section but still attracted top riders from local clubs and sponsored teams.

FVS TRI had the largest turnout as well as the winner of the B race with Rob Wilson recording a time of 1-19:03.

Second home for the club was Mark Robertson in 1-19:59 with Dave Hard in 1-20:04.

Penny Wylie was first woman for FVS TRI in 1-31:44, just ahead of Chris Yuill in 1-31:53.

Times (top 10): Robert Wilson 1-19:03, Mark Robertson 1-19:59, David Hard 1-20:04, James Grierson 1-20:20, Charles Harris 1-20:42, Kevin Smart 1-21:08, Robbie Laughton 1-22:48, Jonathan Gillham 1-23:06, Peter Bardell 1-23:16, Kevin Sambridge 1-24:40.

Jon Gillham and Chris Yuill made it two races in four days.

They braved the arctic conditions on Easter Monday to compete in the Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon at Hampton Court Open Air Pool in Surrey.

Gillham was 28th overall from 300 finishers in a time of 1-07 for the 426m swim, 21k bike and 5k run, and Yuill was 147th overall in 1-20.

Transition times were a little slower than normal as competitors donned extra layers to combat the driving wind and occasional snow on the bike leg!

Sam Tophill completed the Oakley 20 recently in a time of 2-45:28.

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