Cross-country race is testing

Hitchin-based triathlon club FVS TRI stormed the opening fixture of the Sunday cross-country league at Cheshunt. They had wins in the men s A and B team races, the men s masters race and the women s A and women s masters. FVS TRI were also the leading ove

Hitchin-based triathlon club FVS TRI stormed the opening fixture of the Sunday cross-country league at Cheshunt.

They had wins in the men's A and B team races, the men's masters race and the women's A and women's masters.

FVS TRI were also the leading overall club of the 15 that make up the Sunday league in the combined competition ahead of Trent Park, Royston and Garden City Runners.

Men and women competed together for the first time this year in a combined race over around five and a half miles.

There were 31 male and female athletes competing for FVS TRI with the men's A and B teams made up of eight men and the men's masters team made up of the leading four athletes aged over 40 in each club.

Steve Harrison won the race overall in a time of 30:26 for the three-lap course.

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Simon Hall, Brian White, James Grierson, Dil Wetherill, Mike Russell, Mark Young and Mark Robertson made up the winning A team which only beat second placed Royston by four points in a close competition in the opening fixture.

The masters team was Simon Hall, Brian White, James Grierson and Dil Wetherill who also beat Royston into second place for the veteran win.

The winning B team of eight were led home by cross-country first timer Richard Allen, Simon Patenall, Mark Grayson, Steffan Ford, Andy Mussett, Ed Manson, Max Lepoutre and Sean Bradley.

Dil Wetherill, Steffan Ford and Richard Allen were all competing over cross-country for the first time for the club.

Times: Steve Harrison 30:26, Simon Hall 33:54, Brian White 34:28, James Grierson 34:54, Dil Wetherill 35:16, Mike Russell 35:33, Mark Young 35:43, Mark Robertson 36:49, Richard Allen 37:19, Simon Patenall 37:29, Mark Grayson 37:40, Steffan Ford 37:58, Andy Musset 38:26, Ed Manson 39:12, Max Lepoutre 40:38, Sean Bradley 40:58, Peter Eames 41:30, Mark Malone 44:19, Steve Musset 45:02, Keith Perry 45:23, Tony Shortland 46:49, Paul Dutton 47:19.

In the ladies' race, Gemma Sargent was first home for the club in seventh overall in 39:55 with Sam Tophill, Kate Turner, Lesley Dutton and Jackie Perry making up the winning women team of five.

The winning masters team of three was Sam Tophill, Lesley Dutton and Jackie Perry. Lynn Allen made her cross-country debut with Naomi Woodland making a welcome return to the club.

Times: Gemma Sargent 39:55, Sam Tophill 41:29, Kate Turner 42:34, Lesley Dutton 42:56, Jackie Perry 44:05, Naomi Woodland 45:44, Lynn Allen 47:21, Ellie Crowson 51:51, Meli Fletcher 55:07.

The next fixture is at Welwyn in November with a monthly race through the winter finishing in February with the Watford fixture.

There were also 33 Fairlands Valley Spartans taking part in the first cross-country league fixture at Cheshunt.

Men's A team: Duncan Choosey (SM) 13th; Richard Bate (SM) 21st; Dave Bowker (M50) 26th; Steve Smithson (M40) 56th; Richard Sidlin (M40) 65th; Andy Garrett (M40) 72nd; Alan Donald (SM) 81st; Sean Thompson (SM) 82nd.

Men's B team: Andy Bramall (M40) 86th; Nick Stewart (M40) 124th; Anthony White (M50) 129th; Mick Ling (M40) 140th; Mark Glading (M40) 157th; Gary Mulhern (SM) 165th; Selvan Naicker (SM) 176th; Kirston Winters (SM) 179th.

Other men: Pete O'Reilly (M40) 181st; Graeme Stewart (SM) 183rd; Mark Freeman (M50) 188th; and Ron Cohen (M70) 212nd.

Women's A team: Chris King (W45) 93rd; Chris Feely (W45) 148th; Barbara Wilson (W55) 158th; Peta Wilson (W35) 159th; Debbie Hall (SW) 194th.

Women's B team: Sarah O'Bryan (SW) 211th; Cally Glading (W45) 222nd; Tessa Stephenson (W45) 225th; Michelle Long (SW) 227th; Sarah Erne (SW) 228th.

Other women: Sue Wiggins (W35) 229th; Emma Welch (W35) 232nd; and Katrina Doyle (W35) 233rd.

Conditions for the Snowdon Marathon on Saturday were atrocious.

The Spartans duo of Paul Holgate and Sharon Crowley faced galeforce winds and cold driving rain. More than 500 of the 1,687 entrants did not start or did not finish but Paul got round in 4-53:54 (910th) and Sharon in 4-45:49 (939th).

Sara O'Callaghan completed the Beachy Head Off Road Marathon in 4-55:33.

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