Best times are set

Athletics round-up Seven out of eight North Herts Road Runners achieved lifetime bests at the Paris Marathon. Now the club s Flora London Marathon runners are looking forward to April 23 and their opportunity to rewrite the record books. Kevin Ferry ran t

Athletics round-up

Seven out of eight North Herts Road Runners achieved lifetime bests at the Paris Marathon.

Now the club's Flora London Marathon runners are looking forward to April 23 and their opportunity to rewrite the record books.

Kevin Ferry ran the Paris event in 2-49:27 to leap to third on the club's all-time list of fastest marathon runners.

Ferry, who was a nationally ranked 400m runner in his teens, took a massive 48 minutes off his previous best time.

His efforts earned him an automatic entry into next year's London event.

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Gary Cook was also delighted to join the sub-three hour club, clocking 2-57:23, and along with Steve Taplin (3-11:32) and Lysa Ralph (3-43:17), guaranteed a Good for your age place in London next year.

Further personal bests came for vet 50 Stewart Bryant (3-19:21), plus Colin Calcutt, who took 20 minutes off his previous best (3-54:37), and Paul Bowal who was agonisingly close to the four-hour barrier in 4-00:21.

Lindsay Cook, who coaches husband Gary, ran well to complete the course in 4-29:13.

Astrid McKewon was delighted to return from injury with a stunning 38:05 clocking in the Flitwick 10k on Sunday.

She finished fourth in a quality field and husband Steve also ran well to finish first for North Herts in 36:05 closely followed by Pete Sibbett who finished fourth vet 40 in 36:32.

Pete Northover enjoyed a fast second half of the race to record 37:40 and then Duncan Hooker (40:20) led in a host of Road Runners.

They were Jaime Gaviria-Velez 40:25, Keiron McGill 40:37, Johnny Spinks 41:17, Adrian Sherwood 41:22, Norman Leslie 41:37, Mike Mello 42:01, Deryk Myall 43:14, Neil Ward 44:10, Robert Riggall 46:26, Billy Crone 47:30, Jon Hunt 47:37, Bob Boss 48:24, Natalie Simmonds 53:43 and Allison Cook 56:16.

Vet 60 Ian Sutcliffe finished second in the Bedfordshire county championships in 49:38 while Tony Wickham recorded a personal best of 58:30.

Seven Fairlands Valley Spartans made the short trip to Flitwick for Sunday's 10k road race.

Paul Maguire was their first finisher in a new personal best of 40:25. Next around the undulating course through Steppingley was Jim Brown in 41:06.

Times: Paul Maguire 40:22 pb, Jim Brown 41:06, Andy Bramall 41:25, Ron Church 45:46, Andrew Hull 46:09, Dave Paul 49:10, Carol Paul 52:18.

Simon Jackson improved his personal best by two minutes when he ran the fast and popular Reading Half Marathon.

His time of 1-22:43 saw him finish 145th out of 8,837 runners.

Spartan lady Mel Boyd was 227th in a brilliant 1-25:05.

The race started and finished at the Madjeski Stadium.

Four club members had a fantastic day in Prague on Saturday.

Their times at the half-marathon, which had 3,148 finishers, were Mick Connell 1-53:37, Roger Hardman 1-53:43, and Sue Connell and Christine Hardman both 2-11:38.

Roger Biggs travelled to the small Leicestershire village of Hose to continue his recent rich vein of form at the Belvoir Half Marathon. He ran his best half-marathon time since 1997 and finished in 1-34:59.

Three club members - Mike Newbitt, Rob Hardy and Paul Holgate - enjoyed a 27-mile run through 14 Greens and six other villages of Hertfordshire. The trio navigated their way by 33 ordnance survey map grid references provided by the organisers and answering treasure hunt style questions at each grid reference point.

Times: Mike Newbitt 6-13:02, Rob Hardy 6-13:02, Paul Holgate 6-13:51.

Pauline Hardy completed the 16-mile option in 4-41:41.

FVS TRI's Mike Utton ran his debut marathon, Paris, as part of his build up to Ironman Austria. His fantastic time of 3-09 will be a real boost to his Ironman preparation.

Seven club members competed at the Flitwick 10k and were rewarded with two silver medals.

Steve Chalk was second male vet 50 in 37:45, his fastest 10k for more than five years, a fact he attributes to the benefits of triathlon training.

Youngest club member Andrew Mussett made his competitive debut on the roads and was rewarded with second place in the under-17 category in a respectable time of 42:42.

Proud dad Steve also debuted for the club and finished in 50:24, nearly four minutes faster than last year.

Paul Gibb was first home for the club in 36:35, just beating Steve James who finished in 36:53.

Times: Paul Gibb 36:35, Steve James 36:53, Steve Chalk 37:45, Mark Grayson 41:36, Ian Owens 41:45, Andrew Mussett 42:42, Steve Mussett 50:24.

Jan Forrester and Dave Coard braved the cold and windy conditions of Derbyshire to race the Ashbourne Duathlon.

Jan was an excellent second female vet 50 in a time of 3-06:08 for the 12k run/40k bike/4k run. Dave had an excellent race to finish in 2-51:04.

Neil Rose raced the Reading Half-Marathon and finished in 1-49:48 to earn himself a personal best.

Pete Eames took to the track and earned a personal best in the 3000m at Watford in a time of 11:30, winning the male vet 45-49 age group in the process.