Normality returning thick and fast for Fairlands Valley Spartans and North Herts Road Runners

Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Peterborough Marathon

Eight from Fairlands Valley Spartans took on the Peterborough Marathon. - Credit: FVS

Athletics is very slowly starting to get into a normal routine once again - with North Herts Road Runners and Fairlands Valley Spartans both enjoying more and more action.

This week was the first opportunity to run 3,000m on the track and two from NHRR members boosted their national rankings.

Andrew Leach of North Herts Road Runners

Andrew Leach of North Herts Road Runners. - Credit: NHRR

Andrew Leach clocked nine minutes 42 seconds at Milton Keynes to go top in the 55-59 age group while Mark Vaughan is 14th in the V50s.

Vaughan, who along with John Auld just avoided a torrential downpour, clocked 10:12 to finish third, four places and 17 seconds ahead of Auld.

Mark Vaughan of North Herts Road Runners

Mark Vaughan of North Herts Road Runners. - Credit: NHRR

He said: ‘I’m very happy to have run a steady race while still coming back from long-term injury."

The first round of the Midweek League was held virtually with Elwyn Howell clocking 54:27 in the V60 category. 

The Spartans meanwhile were on the road and the trails with the Peterborough Marathon the destination for eight of them.

Charlotte Smith of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Charlotte Smith of Fairlands Valley Spartans recorded a PB at the Peterborough Marathon. - Credit: FVS

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Charlotte Smith beat four hours on only her second official outing over the 26.2 miles, finishing in 3:55:43 while Grant Ramsay kept up his run of sub-three hour times with 2:54:56, finishing 38th out of 561.

He has now finished 47 of his 51 runs under the barrier.

Matt Clarke came home in 3:49:43 and a tricky final four miles meant John Harris was just outside four hours, clocking 4:01:06.

The others all finished between four and five hours, Jim Brown in 4:06:13, John Nelms (4:10:45), Ed Hare (4:25:20) and Fiona Clarke (4:29:47), for whom this was her first proper marathon and the first of three raising money for the East & North Herts Hospitals Charity.

A number stretched their legs even further as they tackled the Classic Quarter, a 44-mile trail run from the southernmost point of England to the most westerly.

Adrian Busolini of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Adrian Busolini of Fairlands Valley Spartans took on the Classic Quarter. - Credit: FVS

Adrian Busolini said: "It was a cold, dreary, rainy start but it soon warmed up and the sun broke through for what was a glorious day on the coastal trail.

"It wound its way through hidden coves and beaches, up and down hills and it proved difficult to maintain pace as the technical difficulty of the route escalated after Mousehole."

He finished in 20th place in a time of 8:54:26.

Tony Hewitson (left) and Jason Hawthorne of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Tony Hewitson (left) and Jason Hawthorne of Fairlands Valley Spartans. - Credit: FVS

Spartan newcomers Anthony Hewitson and Jason Hawthorne also completed the ultra, running together to finish in 11 hours 42 minutes.